The Las Vegas Raiders have recently made significant changes to their roster. They’ve moved on from cornerstone players and brought others in during free agency. While some of their most recent additions should help the team right out of the gate, don’t expect the Silver and Black to turn into a perennial Super Bowl contender just yet.
Jerry McDonald of Bay News Area rightfully pointed out that most of the players the Raiders signed in the open market aren’t going to be game-changers. He then added that there’s a reason why they were free agents after all and he isn’t wrong. Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue should definitely bolster the pass rush. Also, Kenyan Drake should give Las Vegas a one-two punch at running back. However, the other additions to the roster may not have the impact Ngakoue and Drake will.
Wide receiver John Brown has two 1,000-yard seasons. On the other hand, he has failed to reach 700 yards receiving four times over his four-year career. Moreover, he’s never scored more than seven touchdowns in a season, so he could either turn into a deep threat for the Raiders or be a non-factor. At this point, both scenarios are plausible.
In addition, Las Vegas re-signed Andre James and signed Nick Martin to replace Rodney Hudson at center. While he will be cheaper, it wouldn’t be shocking if there’s a drop in production at the position. The same is true for defensive tackles Salomon Thomas and Quinton Jefferson. They’re both solid players but neither of them will keep opposing offensive coordinators awake at night.
It’s too early to tell what impact the Raiders’ free-agent class will have
While it’s too early to buy your Super Bowl tickets, you can’t also call the Raiders’ most recent signings a bust. The team’s success doesn’t solely depend on their 2021 free-agent class. Defensive end Maxx Crosby needs to take the next step in his development. The same is true for wide receiver Henry Ruggs III and Damon Arnette. If they all improve, Las Vegas could become a contender. On the other hand, if they stay stagnant or regress, their odds of qualifying for the postseason will significantly decrease.
Also, there’s the fact the Raiders’ track record in free agency isn’t very good. Players that were good before joining the team, struggle to have an impact in Las Vegas. Either way, it’s too soon to crown the Silver and Black or shrug them off.
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