The Silver and Black returned to the playoffs this past season. Now the Las Vegas Raiders look to make even more noise with their newest head coach.
All told, 2021 proved to be a trying but somewhat-successful year for the Silver and Black. The Las Vegas Raiders won their first three games and last four contests. In between the team saw their head coach step down and two of their recent first-round draft choices have issues off the field.
But under the guidance of interim head coach Rich Bisaccia and the leadership of veteran quarterback Derek Carr, the club finished 10-7 and claimed its first playoff berth since 2016.
The Raiders came up short at Cincinnati in the wild card round. And now the team is under the command of new general manager Dave Ziegler and former Patriots’ offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.
While the franchise still has some salary cap room this year (see Spotrac), it’s not the usual big number we have seen in the past. So what five players could the Raiders be looking at this offseason?
5. DT Larry Ogunjobi (Cincinnati Bengals)
Last offseason, the club revamped both sides of the ball in the trenches. As for the defensive front, young performers such as Arden Key and Maurice Hurst were sent packing. They sighed interior defenders Solomon Thomas and Quinton Jefferson and gave big money to pass-rushing standout Yannick Ngakoue. The latter led the team with 10 sacks and he and Maxx Crosby (8.0) teamed for just over half of Las Vegas’ 35 QB traps.
But Thomas and Jefferson signed one-year deals and are eligible for free agency in mid-March. Likewise massive defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.
Five-year pro Larry Ogunjobi has been a steady starter for the Bengals each of the past four seasons. He comes off a year in which he totaled a career-best seven sacks. He could be a solid addition to the Raiders’ defensive front.