The Oakland Raiders come into the 2020 offseason on the verge of many changes, but also face one massive change. Fortunately, the Raiders will not have the drama of Hard Knocks following them around at any point but will still find themselves as a major topic of discussion due to their impending move to Las Vegas, Nevada. However, the move could be the change that affects the actual team the least. There are many issues the team needs to address before worrying about which moving company will help them settle in Las Vegas.
Going into 2020, the Raiders will have the seventh-most cap space in the NFL. Concurrently, the team also has an impressive number of players with expiring contracts, especially on the defensive end. Daryl Worley is expected to explore the market, but Nevin Lawson, Karl Joseph, and Benson Mayowa also have their futures still to be decided. While both sides of the ball need help, missing out on these potential re-signings could be crushing, even with so much cap to work with.
“Trusting the process” will be exciting for one of the few times in recent memory. Fans have seen the first year in the Mayock/Gruden era lead to improving the team, significantly. Granted, the Raiders came into 2019 boasting a 4-12 record and needing a massive tune-up. The team got their tune-up with draft picks and free agency signings and showed improvement across the board. The Raiders clearly needed more than one year to rebuild, but it would be foolish to imply that the team is not significantly closer than they were last year.
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From overcovered to undercovered. The Raiders do not have the blessing/curse of Hard Knocks monitoring their every move and will most likely have their future move overshadowing a majority of their moves. It is understandable, the stadium looks like a sci-fi spaceship and Vegas… well who doesn’t know about Vegas? Having fewer eyes on the team can lead to fewer distractions, but honestly, it does not seem to difficult to has less drama than last season.
Expect the unexpected come draft time. Fans saw very quickly that if Mayock likes a prospect, he will get him. Similar to how the Raiders took Clelin Ferrell at #4. The Raiders have two first-round picks (#12 and #19), and it is possible one of those picks found themselves much deeper in the average mock draft. It may also be possible that, if they do not trade out of it, the #19 pick could be unexpected as the Raiders do not pick again until #80.
Expect a major player to sign with Las Vegas. Impressive players such as cornerback Byron Jones and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue now have expiring contracts. The Raiders have shown their need for a defensive star, and with the 7th most cap space, there should be no target too big.