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How free agency delay can impact Raiders signings

Free agency is around the corner and the tampering period starts tomorrow. With the Covid-19 virus spreading around the world, the opportunity to start negotiating with players may be delayed, which could have both a positive and negative impact for the Las Vegas Raiders.

Every year, free agency starts with a bang as organizations try to get as much talent as they can before the talent well goes dry. This year might be a bit different because of the Coronavirus. Because of it, teams are shutting down their facilities, which can make visits a tad difficult.

The tampering period, where teams can negotiate with players, starts two days before free agency officially does and it’s not farfetched to think that the Raiders and other teams had already started negotiating even before that. However, smart signings take time to be ironed out and although some players are perfectly fine putting their John Hancock on paper without even visiting the organization, others might be inclined to pay a visit to the city they potentially be playing in for the duration of their contract.

So far, there isn’t any indication free agency will be postponed and some teams may even be getting their private jets ready to fly players in once they strike a deal. Regardless of when the time to sign will begin, there are advantages and downsides to waiting to get contracts done.

Related: Melvin Gordon can complement Raiders running game

Worth the Wait to Sign Players?

There are a couple reasons why it could be smart to wait before Raiders brass makes an offer to free agents. First, it would be smart to get acquainted with the player in question. It might be an old school approach, but teams and players have to feel each other out to make sure a deal benefits both parties. Some years ago, the Texans and quarterback Brock Osweiler stroke a deal without ever meeting each other in person. Their relationship quickly soured and Houston ended up dumping the signal-caller a couple of years later. This could’ve been avoided had the Texans exercised due diligence. If Las Vegas is really aiming for Tom Brady, it’s doubtful the quarterback will want to sign a deal before meeting with the organization, so they will have to take the necessary steps if they want to lure him.

Moreover, the Raiders might miss on premiere signings if they show caution and wait to sign anyone, but at the same time, they will be in position to embrace the second wave of free agency, which will offer bargains and difference makers at a team-friendly price tag. Tre Boston, who doesn’t get enough respect, comes to mind. It took him a while to find a home last year, and the year before and the previous one to that too.

The Perils of Waiting to Make Deals

It’s simple, the more the Raiders wait, the less they will have to choose from. It’s true there will be bargain signings, but the talent pool will have also been drained by the time the first wave of free agency comes and goes. As soon as the players with the highest profile sign, journeymen and veterans with injury flags will constitute the leftovers.

At the end, general manager Mike Mayock has a plan in place regardless of when free agency starts. Don’t be surprised if he throws a curve ball at us. Ramble On Raider Nation!

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