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10 bold and brazen Las Vegas Raiders predictions for 2024

Syndication: The Register Guard

Once again, the Las Vegas Raiders find themselves edging toward an offseason full of change, from who might be their head coach to who will step in as their permanent general manager. After another season of turmoil, the Raiders face several decisions that will either set the franchise on a return path to the postseason or continue to see it languish on the field.

After the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, owner Mark Davis has taken big swings to put his team on that winning path, but both have failed for two very different reasons.

With Jon Gruden, hired as the team was leaving Oakland, he trusted him too much with player personnel decisions, which doomed the team on the field — albeit with clear progress toward respectability. No one could have foreseen the end for Gruden amidst a league-wide scandal.

With Josh McDaniels, Davis’ mistake was thinking the aloof and caustic “offensive genius” could change from his first stint as a head coach in Denver. He did not and the Raiders locker room was a morbid and negative place.

After a late-season resurgence under interim head coach Antonio Pierce, the Las Vegas Raiders are playing their best defense in years, and there is unity and optimism in the locker room. Key team leaders like Davante Adams, Maxx Crosby and Josh Jacobs have all expressed their own optimism for the future and how much change in 2023 has contributed to a closer-knit team.

But what will happen in 2024? The Raiders have some key decisions to make on and off the field and we’re here to give you our 10 bold predictions for the Raiders heading into the new year.

1: Antonio Pierce gets nod as permanent head coach

Las Vegas Raiders Antonio Pierce
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

We know, you’re saying to yourself: that’s a no-brainer. But despite Raider Nation’s desire to see Pierce hired, his “resume on grass” and the team’s turnaround since he took over certainly have earned him the frontrunner status heading into the offseason. Yet, we have yet to find out who else might be interested, so this is a done deal. Despite that, we can’t see it going any other way.

2: Las Vegas Raiders trade up in first round, draft QB Jayden Daniels

Jayden Daniels Las Vegas Raiders
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no question Caleb Williams of USC will still go No. 1 overall in April’s NFL Draft. Anyone who tells you differently is fooling themselves. The Las Vegas Raiders must get their franchise quarterback, and it’s a bridge too far to think they can trade up with Chicago to the first slot. With Williams, and most likely Drake May of North Carolina, gone, Las Vegas makes its bold move and grabs the former Arizona State & LSU quarterback. Pierce knows Daniels from Tempe and he fits the mold and becomes the fifth Heisman Trophy winner to be drafted by the franchise.

3: Las Vegas Raiders say goodbye to Josh Jacobs

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Las Vegas Raiders
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There’s never been a question of how talented a running back Josh Jacobs is and what his contribution has meant to the Las Vegas Raiders franchise. Despite his holdout last year over being franchise-tagged before being injured late in the season, Jacobs was a crucial leader in the locker room and continued to do his best on the field. But, with far greater roster needs and Jacobs’ value declining entering his sixth season, the team will let him hit free agency. After year five, the numbers for running backs fall off a cliff, and the Raiders will turn the page.

4: Champ Kelly is named permanent general manager

NFL: New York Giants at Las Vegas Raiders
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Like Pierce earning a full-time shot at the coach, Kelly has earned the opportunity to be the Raiders’ full-time GM. Not only because he made shrewd moves like the acquisition of cornerback Jack Jones, but he’s well-respected around the NFL and has long been considered a general manager prospect. With his prior work in Denver and Chicago, he’s ready to take the reins during a critical year where the Las Vegas Raiders must find their franchise quarterback and hire an innovative offensive mind to work on Pierce’s staff.

5: QB Jameis Winston leaves Saints and signs with Raiders

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings
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Yes, Winston is a polarizing talent. In Tampa Bay, he threw for a ton of yards (5,109) in 2019 but also threw 90 interceptions during his five seasons with the Buccaneers. After Derek Carr signed with the Saints, Winston re-signed with the Saints, saying he loved New Orleans and the fanbase. In Las Vegas, with rookie Jayden Daniels and second-year pro Aidan O’Connell on the roster, Winston bets on Vegas as one more shot to try and win a starting job. The Las Vegas Raiders start camp with a much more dynamic veteran able to play should Daniels need more seasoning.

6: CB Jaylon Johnson signs with the Las Vegas Raiders

Syndication: Detroit Free Press
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Being familiar with Champ Kelly from his days in Chicago, the premier free agent at cornerback decides to move west and sign with the Raiders. Despite the Raiders drafting young players at the position in the 2024 draft, Kelly wants to take advantage of the rapid ascent of the defense and goes all in on the talented Johnson. It will cost the Raiders, but with an eye on unseating the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West, it makes sense to go along with 2023 late-season pickup Jack Johnson, giving the Vegas one of the league’s best tandems at cornerback.

7: WR Hunter Renfrow is released

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Miami Dolphins
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What started as such a promising career in the Silver and Black ends as the Raiders take their best opportunity to walk away from Renfrow’s contract by releasing the slot receiver and absorbing the $5.5 million cap hit in 2024. Renfrow suffered injuries in 2022, which hurt him, but his apparent stay in the dog house with former coach Josh McDaniels was always perplexing. At no fault of his own, Renfrow was a forgotten man. He’ll get an opportunity to revive his career elsewhere in 2024.

8: Davante Adams restructures contract, stays with Raiders

NFL: Los Angeles Chargers at Las Vegas Raiders
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Having gone through the trials and tribulations of a franchise in flux and liking what he sees with Kelly’s roster moves in both the draft and free agency, Adams restructures his deal to free up cap space to make the Las Vegas Raiders a more viable championship contender. By validating what the Raiders are doing and buying into their plan, Adams ends any speculation he may seek a trade.

9: Las Vegas Raiders advance to the divisional round

NFL: Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs
Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

After upgrading at quarterback in the draft and free agency, and bolstering their defense, the Raiders make a nice run in 2024, finish the season 10-7, and win their first playoff game since 2002.

10: Tom Brady’s partial ownership is finally approved

WNBA: Finals-New York Liberty at Las Vegas Aces
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The bid to become a minority owner of the Las Veags Raiders hit a snag in 2023, but the NFL, Mark Davis, and Brady work it out and Brady officially becomes part of the franchise. Brady’s role is passive at first but soon he becomes more of a fixture at Raiders events and an ambassador for the brand around the league.

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