Why the Las Vegas Raiders are having a miserable offseason
Even Raiders fans will tell you that this offseason is not going anything like they hoped it would coming into another spring.
It’s one thing for Kansas City Chiefs fans to look at the (in)activity of the Las Vegas Raiders and laugh this offseason. After all, it really doesn’t seem like the team has improved all that much—if at all—and yet it’s not like there was a solid foundation to build upon in the first place. There are some talented parts, to be sure, but the whole looks miserable and free agency hasn’t seemed to help.
As it turns out, Raiders fans feel the same way—at least that’s the case for Brad Weiss, site editor for Just Blog Baby. For him, the narrative of the Raiders’ offseason is a sad one of missed opportunities and failed approaches.
Since we’re all in this (division) together as AFC West rivals, we wanted to reach out after the first week of free agency and hear more about how the Raiders were faring. While we feel bad, in a way, for Weiss and the rest of Raider Nation, it ultimately feels good to know they’re having a miserable offseason. (And a huge thanks to Brad for answering our questions!)
In this early stage of the offseason, what has you the most excited or heartened about the Raiders’ activities?
Nothing they have done really improves the team from last year. Jimmy Garoppolo has won a bunch of games at the NFL level, but with his injury history, it is tough to think he lasts a full season.
Outside of that, trading Darren Waller was a bit of a shock, and considering we could have gotten a second for him last season, it was not a great deal. Also, $33 million for Jakobi Meyers was a bit of a reach.
Overall, David Ziegler and his staff have been more than underwhelming so far this offseason.
What remains the biggest frustration at this point?
The fact that we have not addressed areas of need outside of quarterback so far. Las Vegas has to fix the offensive line, all three levels of the defense, and what they plan to do at tight end now. As it stands, the roster is worse than it was a year ago today.
Maybe Ziegler and company are waiting to make a big splash, but we have seen a lot of elite talent coming off the board already in free agency. Yes, the Raiders do have four of the top 100 picks in the 2023 NFL draft, but we have a lot of work to do before we get there.
Is there anything that could be termed a major surprise for the franchise?
Anybody who has watched or covered this team over the last 20 years knows that there’s not much that surprises this fan base. Every offseason, Raider Nation goes in thinking that the team will improve, and even after coming off a playoff appearance the year before, they could not string together two solid seasons of football.
A big surprise would be them actually going out and spending money on a big-time player and that player coming to the Raiders and performing well. Davante Adams was a huge trade for the franchise last off-season and set the single-season receiving record in year one. But outside of him, nothing has really worked.
What’s the biggest hurdle in front of them in terms of roster construction?
This was an offseason where the hurdles were supposed to be gone. Going in with so much draft capital and cap space, you figured that the Raiders roster would be bolstered in a big way this offseason. Instead, the front office has been quiet for the most part, outside of the signing of Garoppolo.
Another big hurdle is the fact that they are struggling to get elite talent to sign on the dotted line. Denver has Sean Payton now and players seem to want to play for him, and of course, Andy Reid and the Chiefs are a destination for free agents because of the coach and Patrick Mahomes. If the Raiders are ever going to do anything in the AFC West, they are going to have to start changing the narrative immediately.