If you break down the offseason acquisitions into two categories (Free Agency and Draft), the Raiders had a very polarizing 2014 offseason. First, they saw two of their best players leave in Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston. They then went on a sort of a spending spree, bringing in a handful of veterans. Justin Tuck played well, but signings like Maurice Jones-Drew, Lamarr Woodley, Tarell Brown, and Charles Rogers did not prove to be successful.
On to the Draft. Believe me, if there is any way I can avoid complimenting this franchise, I will. However, Oakland brought in some very good players in last years’ draft. Depending on the development of Derek Carr, the Raiders potentially got four quality starters in the first four rounds, not to mention one of the beast rookies in Kahlil Mack. The Raiders will have a bit more talent headed into this offseason, even though their record did not reflect it.
Potential Free Agents: Stefen Wisniewski, Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore.
The most notable name here is Wisniewski. The Raiders' offensive line was a relatively solid unit in 2014, and they would be wise to keep their starting center around who played all but 19 of the teams' offensive snaps (wouldn't that be something?).
While it's tough to gauge the Raiders' potential available salary cap with plenty of moves to be made, one thing is certain: they will have plenty of money. They could in fact wind up with between $50-60 million dollars of cap space. How they choose to spend it will be interesting. Will they take last years' approach and find a handful of reasonably priced
over the hill veteran players on short-term contracts? Will they look to spend the big bucks on younger free agents like Randall Cobb or Ndamukong Suh? Or will they hold most of their money, draft some more talent, and spend on free agents in the future when their roster is a bit more whole?
While Oakland had a strong draft last year, there is still plenty of talent needed on the roster. With the exception of QB, a few offensive line spots, and Khalil Mack, the Raiders could use a starter anywhere.
They hold the number 4 overall pick in the Draft in May. While the best play would be to trade back, that is always much easier said then done. Early favorites for the first round selection include Alabama WR Amari Cooper and USC DL Leonard Williams. When a team has so many holes on the roster, need is completely thrown out the window in favor of finding the best possible talent.