The Oakland Raiders are heading into the 2014 season with a ton of cap space and some major questions and now that the Super Bowl is over it's time to look at some of those options and in free agency and the draft names like Hakeem Nicks, Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, Mark Sanchez, Eric Decker and Rashad Jennings could be in the mix.
The Raiders are coming out of their second straight 4-12 season and after cutting down the salary cap and getting rid of some bad contracts, the team is poised to make moves. Dennis Allen remains at head coach and Reggie McKenzie is still the general manager and they will be tasked at turning the team around completely after parsing things down over the past two years. The team is expected to go after a quarterback like Johnny Manziel or Teddy Bridgewater in the draft and they also could go after someone like Derek Carr or names in free agency like Mark Sanchez if he gets released and Michael Vick.
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Free agents like Hakeem Nicks and Eric Decker could be in the mix this offseason as well and Rashad Jennings is likely one name that the Raiders will try to re-sign. The team dealt with injuries to Darren McFadden again this season and that means he is likely gone for good and Jennings was very good in relief and led the team in rushing and he should return. The team needs upgrades on the offense after the play from Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin last season and getting someone like Nicks or Decker should help that.
Blake Bortles had a solid season in 2013 and played a fantastic game against Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl and that performance and his workouts could push him into the top five. Many now see him as the second best rated quarterback due to his size heading into the NFL and that means he could push ahead of Bridgewater depending on how the spring shakes out. The Raiders ranked 25th in passing yards per game last season and adding someone like Bortles, Bridgewater or Carr could help transform the offense, as the team can put some free agents together with the $60 million in cap space they have freed up.
Bortles has had two very productive seasons, going for 3,581 yards and 25 touchdowns this season and 3,059 yards and 25 touchdowns last year and it comes after he defeated Baylor by passing for over 300 yards. Bortles went to school with Latavius Murray, a draft pick for the Raiders last season and ESPN.com reports that Bortles got a first round grade before declaring and that could be where he gets picked. Carr is an interesting later option, as he had over 5,000 yards passing and 50 touchdowns this season with just eight picks while completing nearly 70 percent of his passes.
Who else should the Raiders go after?