Let’s face it: Las Vegas Raiders fans aren’t exactly known for their patience. All things considered, that’s not too surprising. These days, every move made by general manager Dave Ziegler gets ostracized. It was last offseason that he made sure Maxx Crosby, Hunter Renfrow, and Darren Waller were locked into long-term commitments. Oh, and he acquired superstar wide receiver Davante Adams as well. Even so, this week, Ziegler’s 2023 plan is already catching heat from Raiders fans.
Here’s the thing: the team needs depth. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that much out, so right now, that’s where we are at. NFL free agency is upon us, but tough decisions are already being made as this is being written. Look at what happened with yesterday’s signings, or the lack of them. 2021 Pro Bowl linebacker Denzel Perryman is walking away, for now, as the Raiders were unable to secure his services. As you can imagine, Raiders fans weren’t having it. There’s definitely an argument to be made that Perryman was one of the best defensive players on an otherwise unimpressive unit. His absence was obvious on film, especially when it came to defending the run.
Let’s hold off on judgement until Dave Ziegler and the Raiders show their cards…
Again, it’s early, but this leaves the linebacker room rather bare. Understandably, it’s easy to get frustrated right now. Still, do you think Dave Ziegler will roll into the 2023 season with Divine Deablo, Luke Masterson, and Darien Butler? Of course not.
As far as signings go, Ziegler and Co. must really see something in Brandon Parker. Who knows, maybe offensive line coach Carmen Bricillo really wants to coach him? After missing the entire season, he’s coming back. The collective sigh from Raider Nation could be heard all across social media when the news broke. The right tackle position is currently in flux. Thayer Munford showed flashes of ability but is still developing; on the other hand, Jermaine Eluemunor performed admirably. However, the latter is a free agent. Parker is likely just a rotational piece at best. With so much riding on the line this season, you’d be hard-pressed to believe that Parker will be the starting right tackle in Week 1.
The rest of the week featured Jesper Horsted, Ameer Abdullah, and Netane Muti getting re-signed. If we’re being honest, none of those signings should play a significant role in 2023.
It’s easy to criticize right now, but let’s revisit this conversation next weekend once the first wave of free agency hits. At some point, you know the Raiders will pull something off. They did just restructure Crosby’s contract after all, which frees up more cap space (up to $47.2 million, per Vincent Bonsignore).
*Top Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images