The Oakland Raiders are moving forward to 2018 after a frustrating season finishing 6-10. Oakland has a lot of talent on the roster and now has a new highly respected head coach, the attention now can be taken off the coaching staff and placed on improving the roster with free agents. The Raiders enter 2018 with $23.3 million in cap space, which is the 20th most in the NFL and still with needs to address, they will look to sign some free agents this offseason.
Here are four players the Raiders will target in free agency:
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4.) Andrew Norwell, OG, Carolina Panthers
The offensive line is an area where Oakland is looking to improve, and Norwell figures to be one of the best interior linemen available and would be a great start at fixing that line. The Raiders would likely have to give him a sizable contract to get him, but if they decide to really address this need, he's at the top of their list.
3.) Malcolm Butler, CB New England Patriots
The Raiders finished the season with the 26th ranked pass defense, largely due to the poor performance of its top two corners, Sean Smith and David Amerson. Malcolm Butler collected only $3.9 million from New England in 2017, but should be expecting something in the range of $12-14 million annually on his new deal. Butler in 2017 had 60 combined tackles, 12 PBU's, three FFs, two INTs, and one sack. Smith is a likely cut this offseason since the Raiders would save $8.5 million in cap space and Amerson has already been cut. Butler was benched in the Super Bowl and will more than likely not be heading back to New England.
2.) Keenan Robinson, LB, New York Giants
The Raiders need to add talented depth at the linebacker position and Keenan Robinson would be a great fit. Robinson signed a one-year $3 million contract with the Giants in 2017 and will be in the same price range for 2018, which is affordable for Oakland who can't afford to spend a lot. The Raiders may select a linebacker with their first-round pick in the 2018 NFL draft and if (when) they resign LB Navorro Bowman this will make the linebacker position less of a need. Robinson is only 28 years old coming off a season where he played in only six games. However, in those six games, he was productive with 32 tackles.
1.) Justin Pugh, OT, New York Giants
The Raiders right tackle position struggled this past season. Marshall Newhouse was signed to handle the role but didn't fare well and once Vadal Alexander filled in for Newhouse he didn't play well either. Insert Justin Pugh who will be one of the best blockers in 2018 free agency. The former first-round pick didn't have the best season in 2017, but that may be more to blame on the rest of the Giants offensive line, rather than Pugh.