The Las Vegas Raiders added experience and previous success to the mix on Wednesday, signing six-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Gerald McCoy.
For Las Vegas, this represents the third Pro Bowl defender that Jon Gruden and Co. have added to the mix ahead of its preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks on August 14.
In no way does this mean Las Vegas should be done looking at both the free-agent market and trade block to fill out the rest of what is an average roster. Below, we look at three more moves the Raiders should make before Week 1.
Las Vegas Raiders trade Marcus Mariota
For some reason, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden loves himself some Nathan Peterman. That could lead to Mariota being out of a job in the desert after agreeing to a restructured contract. The former No. 2 pick played sparingly in his first season with the Raiders. There’s also no real reason to believe he’ll see the field with Derek Carr having started all but two games during his seven years with the Raiders.
While Marcus Mariota has a no-trade clause, it makes perfect sense that he’d waive that to go to a team in need at quarterback. He’s also slated to count a mere $3.5 million against the cap, which would be a steal for a team like the Indianapolis Colts with a need under center following the Carson Wentz injury. Shipping Mariota off for a mid-round pick would make sense for Vegas.
Las Vegas Raiders sign Alshon Jeffery
Las Vegas loves what it has in young slot receiver Hunter Renfrow. It also added John Brown to the mix from the Buffalo Bills in free agency. Outside, the likes of youngsters Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards are expected to take the next step. Meanwhile, veterans Willie Snead and Zay Jones fill out a deep wide receiver group.
With that said, there’s really no one on this roster who can bully opposing defensive backs. Despite his wide array of injury issues over the past few years, Jeffery would change that. The 6-foot-3 former 1,000-yard pass-catcher would be a legit red-zone threat for Carr. He’d also likely come on a veteran minimum deal without any real risk.
Las Vegas Raiders trade for Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks
The Raiders yielded nearly 30 points per game a season ago. Part of that was due to their lack of experience in the secondary. However, pass rush and linebacker player were also two big issues for this team. Thirsting for an elite-level edge guy since trading away Khalil Mack, Gruden should already be kicking the tires on adding Jones to the mix.
The former All-Pro pass rusher is clearly on the trade block. He wants a new deal from the Arizona Cardinals. They aren’t willing to offer it up. Just imagine Yannick Ngakoue and Jones teaming up in Vegas. Meanwhile, Hicks would be an upgrade over Nicholas Morrow at inside linebacker. Perhaps, offering up first-round bust Clelin Ferrell and a second-rounder in next year’s NFL Draft could get this done.