Raiders free agency 2023 raider nation
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FSM Presents: Raiders Free Agency 2023

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The NFL’s new year kicked off, and the Raiders are looking for a fresh start. Here are the moves GM Dave Ziegler has made to start NFL free agency.

The Raiders are rebuilding their roster during Free Agency 2023.

Raiders Free Agency 2023
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Franchise Sports Media will recap all the Raiders’ offseason moves during the NFL offseason.

The Las Vegas Raiders entered the 2023 NFL offseason looking for a starting quarterback for the first time since the 2014 offseason. For the first time in nine years, the Raiders will have a new signal caller and voice in the locker room. In a move everyone saw happening since the team started Jarret Stidham for the last two games of last season, Derek Carr is no longer a Raider. The teams all-time leading passer signed with the New Orleans Saints, leaving the Raiders with a huge hole to fill.

While quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Lamar Jackson were/are both available, Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler and his front office is choosing to go a different route to build the 2023 version of the roster. Ziegler wasn’t going to give up the draft picks or cap space for Rodgers and, to an even more significant extent, Jackson. Age and declining play played a role in the Rodgers decision, and the amount of money and draft compensation played a role in the decision not to pursue Jackson.

NFL Free Agency has started, and the Raiders want to improve their 2023 roster. 

The first domino fell with the Raiders on their new signal caller.

The Raiders are looking to add to their offense in Free Agency 2023.

Raiders Free Agency 2023 Jimmy Garoppolo
Photo Credit: Sports Illustrated

It looks like they found their guy in Jimmy Garoppolo. The NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo first reported that Las Vegas is signing Garoppolo, a nine-year veteran who had played with the New England Patriots and the San Francisco 49ers when the tampering period started on Monday. The new Raiders quarterback will be on a three-year deal worth $67.5 million, including $34 million guaranteed.

Garoppolo, 31, was a logical choice by the Raiders. Las Vegas had just one quarterback on its roster entering free agency — undrafted rookie Chase Garbers — and lost Jarrett Stidham to the Denver Broncos in free agency. They needed a proven, capable veteran at the position, and Garoppolo knows Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels‘ system and, on paper, looks like at least a slight upgrade over Carr.

Garoppolo went 7-3 in his ten starts for the 49ers this past season, completing 67.2% of his passes for 2,437 yards with 16 touchdowns to four interceptions for a 103.0 passer rating. The 49ers were 38-17 in Garoppolo’s six seasons with the team, as Garoppolo compiled a 99.2 passer rating in his 45 starts.

Health has been the biggest issue for Garoppolo throughout his career. When he’s on the field, however, he does lead his team to victory more often than not. He is one of seven starting quarterbacks with a career win percentage of .700 or better since the merger (minimum of 50 starts). When he played at least 15 games for San Francisco, they advanced to the Super Bowl or the NFC Championship.

However, just because the Raiders signed Jimmy G to a multi-year contract, that doesn’t mean they envision him being the starting quarterback for the future. McDaniels hinted at the NFL Scouting Combine that the team would like to add a younger quarterback who can be around for a long time.

According to ESPN’s Dan Graziano, Las Vegas was in talks with the Chicago Bears to trade for the No. 1 pick before the team agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers.

D.J. Moore was a critical part of this trade. They had talks with other teams. The Raiders, I am told, were in on this and had a very similar framework in place to move up from seven to one to get a quarterback,” Graziano said on the March 13th episode of ‘Get Up.’ “But they didn’t have the D.J. Moore-type piece that Chicago was looking for. So, think about that, that’s two big spots, that Chicago’s back at nine instead of seven. That’s how important it was for them to get this kind of player because they feel he’s the kind of receiver that Justin Fields needs.

The Raiders can easily get off of Garoppolo’s contract after two seasons, so nothing is stopping them from taking a quarterback this year. Las Vegas currently holds the No. 7 pick in the draft and has plenty of picks (12 as of this article) to trade up if they choose.

Raiders Free Agency 2023 will see the Silver and Black continue to add to the offense. 

Ziegler and McDaniels again dipped into their New England roots at the start of free agency.

The Raiders are adding familiar players in Free Agency. 

Raiders Free Agency 2023 Josh McDaniels
Photo Credit: TQ/Franchise Sports Media

Las Vegas also signed former New England Patriots wide receiver Jakobi Meyers to a three-year deal, according to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones. The deal is worth $33 million and includes $21 million guaranteed.

Of course, the connection between Meyers and the Raiders stems from McDaniels and Ziegler. McDaniels was Meyers‘ offensive coordinator for the first three years of his career, and Ziegler was working in the front office when the team signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2019 out of NC State.

It’s hard to turn down Las Vegas,” Meyers told CBS Sports NFL Insider Josina Anderson. “When you look at their offense… when you look at their coaches. They wanted me; I wanted them. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out with the Patriots. I put a lot of effort into my time there. I appreciate them, but God works in mysterious ways. I’m blessed.”

As a full-time starter in 2021, the final year under McDaniels as his OC, Meyers had a career year, catching 83 passes on 126 targets for 866 yards and two touchdowns. The 26-year-old followed up that campaign with a 2022 season in which he caught 67 of his 96 targets for 804 yards and a career-high six touchdowns.

The Raiders also signed wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, who has played for the Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks, and the New England Patriots.

The third former Patriots offensive player to join the Raiders thus far, along with Garoppolo and Meyers, Dorsett is a burner. He ran a 4.25-second 40 at his Pro Day at the University of Miami in 2015. He is a former first-round pick of the Colts and has 151 receptions for 2,001 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career. But his 13.3 yards per catch career average doesn’t show the type of game-breaking speed he possesses.

The Raiders will continue to build on their defense in Free Agency.

The Raiders have a ton of holes on the defensive side of the ball, and they started to address them early in Free Agency as well.

In Raiders Free Agency 2023, the defense is a high priority.

Raiders Free Agency 2023 Robert Spillane
Photo Credit: John Byrum/Icon Sportswire/Getty Images

The Raiders signed former Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Robert Spillane to a two-year $9 million deal.

Spillane was a part-time starter in Pittsburgh. He started five games last season and has 16 starts in his five-season career. Spillane had 79 tackles in 2022, including 12 against the Raiders on Christmas Eve. The 27-year-old linebacker spent the last four seasons with the Steelers, totaling 191 tackles, five tackles for losses, three sacks, eight passes defended, a fumble recovery, and a pick-six.

After a season in Indianapolis with former Raiders defensive coordinator Gus Bradley, Brandon Facyson is also headed back to Las Vegas.

Facyson started just four games for the Colts last season, so he is far from a sure answer at cornerback for a Raiders team that only had Nate Hobbs as a returning starter. He did start a career-high nine games in 2021 for the Raiders when he had 13 passes defended and an interception in 12 games for Las Vegas.

Las Vegas also signed former Philadelphia Eagles safety Marcus Epps to a two-year, $12 million deal.

The safety free-agent class was strong. Epps was considered a mid-level player in this free-agent class at the position, He had a solid season for the Eagles, and he was strong against the run. He will start, probably alongside 2021 second-round pick Tre’von Moehrig, who struggled in his first season in Patrick Graham’s defense after having a promising rookie season.

Epps, 27, was drafted out of Wyoming by the Minnesota Vikings in the sixth round in 2019. He was cut later that year. He had been with the Eagles since. The 2022 season was his first as a full-time starter, and he now has 25 career starts under his belt. He has three career interceptions and had none at the start of the 2022 campaign. He had 94 tackles last season.

The Raiders will continue to build on their defense in Free Agency.

Here is a rundown of the Raiders’ transactions so far in free agency:

 

Additions

Jimmy Garoppolo – QB (49ers)

Jakobi Meyers – WR (Patriots)

Brandon Facyson – CB (Colts)

Marcus Epps – S (Eagles)

Robert Spillane – LB (Steelers)

Phillip Dorsett – WR (Texans)

Jacob Bobenmoyer – LS (Broncos)

O.J. Howard – TE (Texans)

Jordan Willis – DE (49ers)

Jaquan Johnson – S (Bills)

Cam Sims – WR (Commanders)

David Long – CB (Rams)

 

Re-signed

Jermaine Eluemunor – OT

Brandon Parker – OT

Jesper Horsted – TE

Ameer Abdullah – RB

Netane Muti – OG

Roderic Teamer – S

Jakob Johnson – FB

Jerry Tillery – DT

Curtis Bolton – LB

Hroniss Grasu – OL

 

The Raiders are re-tooling their roster to fit what Ziegler and McDaniels want to do. Roster construction is a never-ending journey. The Silver and Black are not done re-working their roster and will continue to add more pieces during this offseason. Stay tuned. FSM has you covered.

 

-Joe Arrigo – Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on Twitter & IG @JoeArrigoFSM

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