The Oakland Raiders are coming into the 2015 offseason with cap space to spend in free agency and names like Ndamukong Suh, Terrance Knighton, Julius Thomas, Greg Hardy, Jeremy Maclin and Randall Cobb could be potential options, while Adrian Peterson could end up as a target if he hits the market from the Minnesota Vikings.
The Raiders are projected to have over $45 million in cap space and the team is expected to spend it. According to NFL.com, the team had the most cap space last year, but they opted to sign players to reasonable deals rather than break the bank, as they felt the 2015 class was deeper and more talented. Suh is a top target on the market, but reports from ESPN.com and the Detroit Free Press have the Lions closing in on a deal. Julius Thomas is expected to be a top target, while Randall Cobb and Jeremy Maclin also could be options.
The Raiders brought in Jack Del Rio to take over as head coach for Dennis Allen and Tony Sparano and owner Mark Davis hopes he is there for the long term. The Raiders went 3-13 last season and won just eight games combined over the last two and now they have the cap space to try and bounce back. The team has also done a solid job in the past few drafts, adding talented players like Khalil Mack, Latavius Murray, Mychal Rivera and DJ Hayden.
The offense is an area of focus, as the team struggled overall passing and rushing the ball consistently in 2014. The offense overall has been a mess for the past few years since the team has not been able to find a quarterback, but now that issue appears to be off the table with Derek Carr. Last year was his rookie season and he had a strong debut and Del Rio has already praised him quite a bit and he could take a big step in 2015 if he gets some support.
Cobb and Jeremy Maclin could be prime targets on the market, as they both are free agents after career seasons. The two players could price out of their current teams and with the money that the raiders have, the team could compete for their services. The Raiders likely will also look at the running back position, as they are losing Darren McFadden to free agency and they were one of the worst rushing teams in the league. DeMarco Murray is the top RB on the market, while Ben Tate, CJ Spiller and Mark Ingram are available.
The Raiders could look at players like Greg Hardy or Terrance Knighton if Suh ends up staying with the Lions, while Nick Fairley also could be an option. Fairley could be a nice secondary option if the Raiders miss out on Suh, as he is a player that is similar in stature and skills, although he is obviously not the same Pro Bowl talent that Suh is. Hardy has his own baggage and on top of that, any team that signs him likely will have to deal with a suspension for the first part of the season.