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Las Vegas Raiders NFL free agent targets who can help team turn it around

The Las Vegas Raiders enter NFL free agency with a plethora of needs following a six-win campaign under first-year head coach Josh McDaniels.

Vegas released longtime starting quarterback Derek Carr and is in the market for a replacement. Meanwhile, its defense was a complete and utter disaster under Patrick Graham a season ago.

The good news? There are two building blocks on offense with recently franchised reigning NFL rushing champion Josh Jacobs and star wide receiver Davante Adams. Vegas also has an estimated $39.71 million to spend under the 2023 NFL salary. With more moves, this number could bloat to well over $60 million before NFL free agency opens.

With all of this as a backdrop, here’s a look at five Las Vegas Raiders NFL free agent targets who can help the team turn it around in 2023.

Related: Top 2023 NFL free agents

Las Vegas Raiders sign Isaiah Wynn

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

This one is about as obvious as it gets. Vegas had a revolving door at right tackle last season (almost literally). Veteran journeyman Jermaine Eluemunor yielded only three sacks, but he can’t be seen as a long-term option opposite Kolton Miller.

With a ton of starting tackle options available in NFL free agency, the Raiders should go with a familiar name. A first-round pick of the Patriots when both head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler were in New England, he has familiarity in this scheme. At just 27 years old, Wynn also has a potential long-term future in Sin City. Add in the fact that he can play multiple positions, and this would be a blockbuster signing for the Raiders.

Related: 2023 Las Vegas Raiders mock draft

Eric Kendricks heads to Sin City

las vegas raiders nfl free agency, nfl free agents: eric kendricks
Peter van den Berg-USA TODAY Sports

Las Vegas will likely be targeting long-term options with the excess of money that it has under the salary cap. With that said, it makes sense to also go after veterans with a wealth of experience as potential stop-gap starters.

This is where Kendricks comes into play. A former All-Pro during his time with the Minnesota Vikings, he was just recently released after eight solid seasons with the franchise. While the 31-year-old Kendricks struggled in coverage last season (74.1% completion allowed in coverage), he has a track record of success in systems similar to what Graham runs with the Las Vegas Raiders. In short, Kendricks would be an ideal replacement for impending free agent Denzel Perryman.

Las Vegas Raiders bring in Emmanuel Moseley

las vegas raiders sign emmanuel moseley
Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Veterans Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett are slated to become free agents. Youngsters Nate Hobbs and Amik Roberston struggled big time in coverage for the Raiders a season ago. It led to their defense yielding 25 passing touchdowns against six interceptions.

Sure fans in Vegas would love this team to target someone like James Bradberry. But with the plus-level class of cornerbacks in the 2023 NFL Draft, it makes more sense to take a chance on Moseley. Here’s a dude who has yielded a sub 66.0 passer rating in each of the past two seasons.

While the former San Francisco 49ers star is coming off a torn ACL, he’s still only 26 years old and boasts a tremendous amount of upside. Of all our projected signings for the Raiders in NFL free agency, Moseley makes the most sense.

Related: Lack of a clear QB plan for Las Vegas Raiders should come as no surprise

Raiders decide on Baker Mayfield as stopgap QB option

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

There was a ton of talk about the Raiders chasing after big-time quarterbacks this offseason. Initially, talk surrounded four-time NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers heading to Southern Nevada. That’s now highly unlikely to be in the cards. In fact, the aforementioned Ziegler noted recently that the Raiders’ long-term situation at quarterback might not be settled in 2023.

“We’re in charge of filling the most important position on the team. There’s some pressure that comes along with that and however we fill it, it doesn’t mean we’re going to have an immediate answer this year.”

Las Vegas Raiders general manager on QB situation

It makes very little sense for the Raiders to pay out $30-plus million annually to someone like Jimmy Garoppolo. And while a signing Lamar Jackson could be in the cards, yielding two first-round picks for his services just doesn’t fit with the Raiders’ team building philosophy.

Enter into the equation a reclamation project in Baker Mayfield who has a ton to prove. He’s a few years removed from being a top-10 signal caller in the NFL. He still boasts a nice amount of upside after closing out the season strong with the Los Angeles Rams.

The Raiders’ plans should include signing Mayfield to a short-term contract while bringing in a first-round rookie to sit behind him.

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