By Calvin Kamrath
Be patient, blue skies are on the way.
Listen, I get it. I know how you feel.
“This Franchise doesn’t care about its fans”
“Moving to Vegas? The Raiders are from Oakland! How dare you?!?”
It hurts. The team that you love seems to be blowing it up and tanking right in front of you. Trading away Amari and Khalil right after John Gruden signed on for 10 years lets you know that success isn’t going to happen anytime soon. You guys are in a rebuilding process, and unfortunately that takes time, but it could be a quicker turn around then you think.
John Gruden didn’t sign on for 10 years to waste your time or his. He has a plan, and that starts with three first round picks this year. If that doesn’t excite you, we can talk about how much of a player this team is going to be in free agency, due to trading their top two stars away for the future. And lets be honest, you guys weren’t winning a title with Carr, Cooper and Mack as your building blocks. You had that chance and showed that the defense couldn’t wreak havoc for two straight years. The offense with Derek Carr couldn’t show up like it used to. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing, because it ushered in change.
Let’s look forward. Derek Carr is not your future. Trading him while you can to a team like NY or Jacksonville while they’re desperate is the best option possible, and if there are other aging vets that you can move for a pick or two, do it. If not for a pick, then simply to open up some cap space to help sign players for the future. Vegas is going to be a huge attraction for players, but it will also be a distraction, and don’t give me that “they’re professional”. Michael Jordan was the greatest of all time, but that dude even had gambling issues.
This year’s free agency has a ton of potential for players to help build a new culture in Vegas. Start with the offensive side of the ball, LeVeon Bell is the way to start. You need someone that a rookie QB can come in and hand off to, to help remove the pressure of a pass rush and or a scary secondary.
Move to the defensive side of the ball and you have a class full of free agent pass rushers. Guys that can help you turn your pass rush from one of a high school team to one that would make Pat Mahomes scared.
One more thing that you need to accomplish this year in free agency: find a leader. The biggest leader in this class is Earl Thomas, and boy what a gamble that would be. Coming off an injury like that, Thomas might not be the same player he was before, but he sure as hell would be a leader in that locker room full of young studs.
You need a bridge. Whether that be Derek Carr, or trading him for some assets, you need someone to usher in the future. That man should be a Nick Foles type. I’m not saying that you need to bring in a vet to waste his career or talents, but you want to make sure you have someone to mentor whoever it is that you bring in.
Move to the NFL draft, where you have three first round picks. THREE. Look at the future; if you can’t guess that I’m going to say use one on a QB, you’d have to be insane. Gruden likes winners. There is a winner in this draft, and his name is Kyler Murray. He should be the guy you take with your first pick or trade up to take. Murray isn’t the prototypical size of a QB, and isn’t the hardest thrower in the world. But neither are Baker Mayfield, Drew Brees, Russell Wilson and many others. Size isn’t everything, at least when it comes to playing QB.
Use those two next picks to buff the offensive line or bolster that defense and there you go, Raiders fans.
That is the start to the future you guys desire.