Raiders free agent suit: Focus shifts to defense, O-line after the addition of Jimmy Garoppolo

The Raiders started free agency by finding a quarterback solution. They agreed terms with Jimmy Garoppolo in a three-year, $72.5 million deal Monday, multiple sources on the team with direct knowledge of the situation reported. the athlete. That sounds like a lot of money, but as usual, the real number to focus on is the money guaranteed.

Garoppolo received $33.75 million guaranteed upon signing, including his 2023 salary and 2024 bonus. Essentially, he’s been locked into the Raiders’ roster for just two seasons. And while his average annual salary is $22.5 million, his 2023 cap is only $16.3 million, according to multiple league sources with first-hand knowledge of the situation. the athlete. His goal is set to rise to $28 million in 2024, and it will be the same number in 2025 if he’s still on the team by then. Garoppolo is sure to be the Raiders’ starter this season, but it’s worth noting that his acquisition won’t preclude them from drafting a quarterback sometime next month.

Jimmy Garoppolo Contract Breakdown

year salary Cap hit Dead money if cut

2023

$24.25 million

$16.3 million

$33.75 million

2024

$24.25 million

$28 million

$18.75 million

2025

$24.25 million

$28 million

$3.75 million

In a smaller but still significant move, the Raiders also agreed to terms with safety Marcus Epps to a two-year, $12 million contract with $8 million guaranteed on Monday. Epps secured a full-time starting role with the Eagles in 2022 and took advantage of the opportunity. He played all 17 games and recorded a strong stat record of 94 tackles, four tackles for loss and six pass deflections. He’s fine at covering passes and averages 6-foot-1 and 198 pounds, but he’s a stout defender, who plays with remarkable physical strength and tends to be in the right position. He’s only 27 years old and would give the Raiders a young duo of starting safety and a long-term upside playing next to Tre’von Moehrig, who turns 24 this season. Muehrig had a tough season last year, but the front office still believes in him.

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“It’s a pleasure working with him,” coach Josh McDaniels said earlier this month. “I think he learned a lot last year when he was his sophomore year. His senior year, you’re playing there and I’m not sure any rookie really knows everything that’s going on there. You’re just trying to do your job right. I think he slowed down a little bit last year. We had him.” In a few different roles. I think Doron Harmon has really had a huge influence on Tre’ in terms of how you do your job every day and carry on with your process. You would have loved Tre’ taking it one step further. We’ll be using him in many different roles again here. It’s Really good football player. I’d like to see him take a leadership role in high school.”

The Raiders also agreed to undisclosed terms with cornerback Brandon Faison. He started nine games for the Raiders in 2021 before leaving with former defensive coordinator Gus Bradley to join the Colts last season. He made four starts in 16 games and played 43 percent of his shots defensively, according to Pro Football Reference. Ideally, it will fall into a similar rotational role to the Raiders rather than relying on it as a start.

The Raiders had just over $27.3 million in cap space left according to Over the Cap after Garoppolo was signed, so they likely have at least $20 million in space after adding Epps and Facyson. That room will come in handy given that General Manager Dave Ziegler still wants to explore bringing some free agents home, improving the offensive line, and adding some help on the defensive side of the ball.

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Here is a list of the best free agents who fill the needs of the Raiders, fit their scheme on both sides of the ball and can be had for a realistic salary. Of course, this list is subject to change and will be updated as players are signed across the league.

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The Raiders have a young high school and need a stable older presence that can still play at a high level. Bradbury was a first-team All-Pro last season and has knowledge of Defensive Coordinator Patrick Graham’s system from his time with the Giants from 2020-2021. This game feels like a normal game.

McGarry was lackluster during his first three seasons, but he was stellar last season. He’s less proven than Jawaan Taylor who is three years older, but it’s a cheaper option if the Raiders don’t want to invest heavily in a correct tackle.

Bobby Wagner, LB, Rams

Wagner was released because the Rams are in disarray, not because of his play. He posted a monster stat streak of 140 tackles, 10 TFLs and six sacks on his way to a second-team All-Pro nod. He will turn 33 next season, but he is another age-defying veteran who deserves to be awarded a short-term contract.


Bobby Wagner has enough water left in the tank to be worth a short-term deal. (Kirby Lee / USA Today)

Just like Tremaine Edmunds, David does everything well. The only difference is that he’s older at 33, which also means it’ll take less of a financial commitment to get it. It would be an excellent replacement.

The Eagles had the best offensive line in football last season and Somalo was a big reason for that. He can play either position of guard at a high level and will provide a much needed veteran presence to the unit as a whole.

Robinson is a 6-4, 330-pound nosedrum who is all about filling in, handling double teams and putting up barriers in the dirt. He came off with a knee injury but should be healthy for the start of the season.

Ya-Sin missed six games through injury last season, but was easily the departing’s best cornerback when healthy. Moreover, he will only be 27 years old this season. The only thing holding it back is durability.

Peters, 30, had a challenging year last season after suffering another major knee injury in 2021. With his apparent decline, long injury history and heartbreaking personality, he is a threat. However, for the Raiders, this could be something worth taking on the Oakland native.

Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Cowboys

Vander Esch falls into a group of hard-core but still high-quality players. He’ll never be amazing, but he’s powerful and will validate a desperate need for the Conquerors.

Risner is a capable left guard who hardly misses in matches. He will be the best goalkeeper on the list.

Murphy is a good cornerback, but he’s out with a back injury. This will undoubtedly hurt his market.

Oliver was only a full-time starter for one season, so his game required some projection, but he showed he could be an effective fielder at cornerback, fullback, and safety. It’s easy to convince yourself that he’s ready for a bigger role.

When Pepkins was healthy last season, he was solid, but he’s played through a nagging knee injury for most of the season. He will be another player where medical factors can be the deciding factor.


Trey Pipkins III was solid, when healthy, for the Chargers last season. (Kirby Lee / USA Today)

Rankins is an exciting defender. He brings in a bit of juice as passes — he’s had 23 and a half sacks over seven seasons — but stopping opposing teams’ ground game remains his specialty.

Ogunjobi had a strange free agency last year signing a big deal only to fail a physical, but he put aside his health concerns by starting 16 games in 2022. He only had a sack and a half, but that just might be it. Being an aberration because he has 23 1/2 career sacks across six seasons. He’s also an excellent running fullback, so he would give the Raiders a boost from all sides on the inside D line.

Who doesn’t love a reunion? As a turnover passer, Key has compiled 11 sacks over the past two seasons. It can’t be written off as luck anymore. The bust of the former raiders will now help them legitimately.

Ebukam has posted at least 4 1/2 sacks every season since 2019 and showed the ability to be a full-time starter last season. He’s probably the best at rotational passing, but that’s all the Raiders need.

In Tranquill’s first season as a full-time starter, he made 146 tackles, 10 TFLs and five sacks and can cover as well. not bad. With the Chargers agreeing to terms with Eric Kendricks, he should be available.

Cox is past his prime, but is still a good player. He had 43 tackles, seven TFL tackles and seven sacks last season and plenty left in the tank. It would be a very valuable addition to the Raiders.

Hernandez is nothing more than a solid starter, but that can still come in handy. And while he plays on the other side of the ball, Graham knows him from his time coaching with the Giants from 2020-2021.

Gaines has more swiping juice than you might expect. He has recorded 8 1/2 sacks in the past two seasons and is a solid defender. 6-1, 312 pounder would be a useful addition.

The former Raider didn’t honor his contract last year with the Seahawks, but he’s still a good player. He had 44 tackles, five TFL and two sack last season and has missed only three games in the past two years. He’ll turn 32 this season and have enough to be a useful member of any D-line rotation.

Hollins had a career year with the Raiders, establishing himself as a legitimate #3 receiver, contributing to special teams and becoming a favorite of both the coaching staff and the locker room. The Raiders want him back, but there’s a gap when it comes to what the New Deal will look like. The Raiders offered Hollins a similar deal to the one-year, $2 million contract he signed the last season before free agency began, but he turned it down according to a league source with first-hand knowledge of the situation. Hollins is seeking a multi-year contract with an average salary of $5-7 million. He could realistically make that happen since this isn’t a strong market for receivers, but it’s unclear if the Raiders are willing to go that far.


There is a common interest in McHollins returning to the Raiders, but there is still a gap in the required salary. (Kirby Lee / USA Today)

Campbell will turn 37 in September, but he’s still getting it. He had 36 tackles, four TFLs and 5 1/2 sacks last season and missed only three games due to injury. It’s worth a one-year deal.

Eluemunor started all 17 games last season and made huge strides once he settled into right tackle, but he’s still a decent player at best. The Invaders should explore an upgrade and bring Eluemunor back at just the right price.

Perryman took a step back last season after a Pro Bowl campaign in 2021 and suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in December, but he remains a solid player with a solid reputation in the team’s home base. They could have brought him back if he was willing to take another bargain.

The Ford is oddly built at 5-11, 310 pounds, but it was an efficient player. He had 35 tackles, six TFL and three sacks last season and hasn’t missed a game since 2019. The Raiders have expressed interest in recent weeks, according to a league source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Morrow could get a job elsewhere, so it’s easy to see him pricing himself out of the Raiders’ range. However, there is also a world where the Raiders can bring him back to play behind Darren Waller at a cheaper deal than he’s looking for.

Harmon gets up there at 32 and was fine last season, but his value as a veteran presence on and off the field can’t be ignored. He could return in a lower role behind Epps and Moehrig.

(Top photo by James Bradbury: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)

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