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Outsiders Edge: Numbers Blame Game Amongst Raider Nation Highlights Lull Of Offseason

Oh no, a new quarterback is sporting the No. 4 for the Las Vegas Raiders—gasp! The blasphemous act is unforgivable considering the former “4” holds franchise records while the noob “4” is a fourth-round rookie.

There, got the rage out of your system?

And if you aren’t bothered by Aidan O’Connell sporting the No. 4 jersey, good on you.

How does Raider Nation feel about No. 4?

No matter how you feel regarding a new quarterback sporting Derek Carr’s old number—from rage or indifference—this is a byproduct of a football team that doesn’t historically retire jersey numbers.

The Raiders are one of three NFL teams—the Atlanta Falcons and Dallas Cowboys are the other two—that don’t hang up jersey numbers. The only Silver and Black number that seems to be off limits is Jim Otto’s legendary “00,” although the NFL voted last month to allow certain players to once again don the number 0. The position groups allowed to sport the donut are: quarterbacks, defensive backs, punters, and placekickers.

The Raiders don’t retire numbers, deal with it…

The reverence fans will have for a particular player is expected, if not obvious. But with the organization not holding any numbers as sacred, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that someone else will be wearing the number.

The “let it breathe” notion fell on deaf ears when the Raiders allowed Charles Woodson to walk via free agency and then drafted Michael Huff out of Texas a few months later and gave him the legendary No. 24. OG Raider Nation knows the game all too well, having watched other players put on numbers like: 8 (Ray Guy), 12 (Ken Stabler), 16 (Jim Plunkett), 21 (Cliff Branch), 25 (Fred Biletnikoff), 32 (Marcus Allen), 81 (Tim Brown), and 87 (Dave Casper), to name a few.

The numbers blame game amongst Raider Nation merely highlights the lull of the offseason we’re all in. And like the Big Dubowski noted above, perhaps O’Connell doesn’t even wear the No. 4. But it’s one of the digits that’s available, as is the No. 12 for a QB. Las Vegas hasn’t announced the numbers the rookies will sport in 2023, so we’ll just have to wait.

Important Dates: Raiders

Organized Team Activities (OTAs) for the Silver and Black are underway. These voluntary offseason workout sessions began with a four-week phase that started on May 22–23. Sessions continue on May 25, May 31–June 2, and June 12–15. Live contact is prohibited, but valuable 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills are allowed.

Before OTAs close out in mid-June, the Raiders will hold a mandatory minicamp June 6–8.

Important Dates: League

July 17 is an important date for the franchise tag, particularly for the Raiders. That’s the deadline for teams that designated a franchise player to sign a multi-year contract extension by 4 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time). After that time, the player can only sign the one-year franchise tender, which can’t be extended until after the team’s final regular-season game. We all know the Raider in question: running back Josh Jacobs.

The franchise tender for running backs is $10,091,000—not exactly chump change. But Jacobs is likely seeking some long-term security, and the trio of Jacobs, Tony Pollard (Dallas Cowboys), and Saquon Barkley (New York Giants) round out the Top 10 running back contracts in terms of average per year, as each is franchise-tagged.

But all three are likely seeking to enter the Top 5 in average per year, with the Cleveland Browns’ Nick Chubb at the five spot with an average of $12.2 million per year. For reference, the San Francisco 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey has the top RB contract with an average of $16.015 million plus per season.

Also, Jacobs is wearing a new number too:

*Top Photo: Getty Images

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