Raiders News: 5 players are among PFF’s top free agents
The Las Vegas Raiders are expected to hit free agency with around $20.5 million in cap space, per OverTheCap.com. While the Raiders will be able to cut some fat to increase that number, they only have about $16.5 million in effective cap space — the maximum number when a team signs at least 51 players — and the Contract extension talks with Derek Carr are in the $35 to $40 million range. Not to mention Maxx Crosby and Hunter Renfrow are in line for big paydays soon.
Given all that, Las Vegas will be hard pressed to bring back some of its top free agents when the market officially opens next month.
Focus on professional football recently released its Top 200 Free Agents for this offseason, so let’s use that as a tool to see what days as a Raider might be numbered.
Who would you bring back first?
25) Casey Hayward CB
Projection of the contract: One year, $6.5 million fully guaranteed
Conclusion: Hayward showed he still has something in the tank this season for Las Vegas, ranking among the best cornerbacks in football. The cliff is approaching as Hayward hits his thirties, but he should still be able to provide a quality starting game for a zone-heavy defense in 2022.
60) Marcus Mariota QB
Projection of the contract: One Year, $8 Million Fully Guaranteed
Conclusion: Mariota is a former No. 2 draft pick, and the NFL is having a hard time dropping that kind of pre-evaluation for a player. He showed talent in moments with the Raiders, and that might be enough to convince a team without a quarterback in 2022 to roll the dice on him one last time. At the very least, it should be a coveted backup option.
122) Zay Jones WR
Projection of the contract: Three years, $18 million ($6 million per year), $9.25 million total guaranteed
Conclusion: Jones produced the best streak of his career with an increased workload on the streak in 2021. There is some risk if it was just a blow or a real turning point, but he can catch the ball and move chains effectively, making him a valid risk as a #3 option.
166) KJ Wright LB
Projection of the contract: One year, $2.5 million, $1.75 million total guaranteed
Conclusion: Wright was one of the best linebackers of his generation, but is coming off a weak year and is 32 years old. He may be able to bounce back, but his role may now be limited to a two-try specialist.
182) DeSean Jackson WR
Projection of the contract: One year, $3 million ($M per year), $1.75 million total guaranteed
Conclusion: Jackson has been a consistent elite deep threat throughout his career. Even at his age, he’s probably still a positive option for a team that needs to add speed to their offense. Given his age and recent history, it might take them a while to pull the trigger.
In other Raiders links:
- Raiders NFL Draft reconnaissance reports: Auburn cornerback Roger McCreary and Georgia cornerback Derion Kendrick.
- The new vision of Vegas: Raiders coaching hires should open a lot of eyes, writes our Ray Aspuria.
- ESPN ranks Raiders 15th ahead of 2022: “Raiders owner Mark Davis referred to the arrival of a new diet/tag team consisting of general manager Dave Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels as “taking this to the next level”, via Paul Gutierrez.
- Raiders Draft Tracker: Each week leading up to the draft in Las Vegas, Raiders.com will compile the latest fictional drafts from top analysts and take a look at who they predict Silver and Black will select with the No. 22 overall pick.