Here is a comprehensive list of how the Raiders should value free agents. Free Agency opens today and these players are grouped by the wave. This isn’t necessarily a ranking so much as it shows what players should be a priority as well as their value to the Raiders.
These guys will get the big money and they will get it fast. Oakland will be lucky to get any of them with only about $15 million in cap space and Khalil Mack‘s extension upcoming. This group is ranked by priority.
Second-Tier Guys who fit a need
This group doesn’t have the same name recognition, age, production or upside but they’re still ballers. Big money will not come for this group as fast as the first tier. Thus, they may take the most money they can get early from a team who really wants them. Otherwise, they can wait until the market is more stable and a team really needs to spend some money.
This is where the Raiders have made their living in free agency. If the money and team fit is right, Oakland can fill some positions of need by this group that is often overlooked. The Raiders won’t overpay for anyone in this bracket.
Under the Radar Guys for down the line
This group is filled with starting experience. Players in this bracket have proven themselves as starters and key role players. They’ve played at a high level but age, injuries, limited upside and inconsistencies keep them from being in a higher bracket.
Oakland can fill some key starters and depth players from this bargain bin. However, a team who thinks they can put this player in the best position may make one of these players an offer they can not refuse.
On the downswing
Again, these players have proven themselves in the league. However, they will have to continue proving themselves. Unless a team falls in love with one of them or desperately needs to spend money, these players won’t see a ton of cash.
The biggest difference between this wave of free agency and the previous one is age. Expect these guys to sign contracts after the draft when teams have a better idea of their needs before camp.
These are the ego signings. A coach will think they are the ones to unlock the potential that this group has shown. Injuries, scheme-fit and inconsistency have placed them in this wave. However, age, flashes and upside put them in this group over some of the others.
Some of these players were drafted high. Others were not. Nonetheless, they’re all explosive athletes who were suppossed to dominate the competition. A team might fall in love with that and gamble on them. The Raiders might be one but Oakland will only do it if the price is right and the player fits the culture.
Veterans worth a gamble
Many of these players have earned the right to decide how they want to go out. Money grab and mentorship role with a young team or a reserve role with a contender? Some are more name than game these days.
Not all of these players are Hall of Famers but they’ve all played at a high level and reserve the right to decide what value football has to them. The NFL is not for long and these players will have their value set by other teams. It will be up to them if another season is worth it or not. Either way, Oakland could use their leadership.
If you want to know numbers, positions, and former teams then click on the linked names. Ultimately, this is more big board than it is predictions. Can’t wait to see what the Raiders do when Free Agency opens at Midnight.