I thought they had been over spending, but it appears they still have a ton of $$$ to throw aroundJon Gruden is doing the damn thing. Armed with three first-round draft picks and sizable salary cap space, the former Raiders coach turned Monday Night Football analyst turned current Raiders coach is making his move to rebuild the franchise he spent 2018 tearing down.
It started inconspicuously. A January futures contract meant Nathan Peterman would be the latest Bills’ failure for Gruden to haphazardly rehabilitate. The club struck a deal to play one final season at the Oakland Coliseum. Daryl Worley and Jalen Richard were retained. Erik Harris signed an extension.
But then the Raiders kicked their offseason into high gear March 10. New general manager Mike Mayock engineered a deal to bring Antonio Brown to the West Coast for the low cost of third- and fifth-round picks. Two days later, they agreed to a contract that would make Patriots left tackle Trent Brown, possibly the best blocker on the free agent market, the highest-paid offensive lineman in league history. Lamarcus Joyner, worthy of the Rams’ franchise tag amidst a bevy of high-profile transactions last spring, followed not long after with a four-year deal.
Suddenly the trajectory of the Raiders has changed. Armed with the skeleton of an NFL roster and a boatload of assets, Gruden has begun to shape his franchise into the kind of team he’d feel comfortable lauding on Monday Night Football. Adding Antonio Brown addresses a major weakness in a depleted receiving corps. Signing Trent Brown shores up the biggest hole on what had been one of the league’s top offensive lines. Inking Joyner and keeping Johnathan Hankins in the fold gives an overwhelmed defense a pair of veteran playmakers to pave a foundation.
Gruden isn’t close to finished, either. While his haul of draft picks will infuse the Oakland roster with young talent, he’s also got an estimated $30(ish) million still to be spent in free agency, even after megadeals for Joyner and his pair of Browns.
with what they've done so far in Free Agency coupled with all of those draft picks, they may have a much quicker turn around than what it seemed to be when last season ended