2020 Offseason: Top-10 Free Agent Targets

The common running theme with the Raiders entering the 2020 offseason is the team’s desperate need for an influx of talent — at literally every spot on the roster. Luckily, on paper anyways, they appear to be in a good position to add said talent. In addition to having five selections in the top-100 of the NFL Draft, your new Las Vegas Raiders will come to the table with the 11th most available cap space per Spotrac (below; nearly $55 million in pocket cash to spend as they see fit).

Courtesy of Spotrac

As I tend to do with these annual rankings, I take the assist from the team over at PFF, who compiled their list of the “100 best available NFL free agents in 2020” back on January 31st. After scrolling through, I did my darnedest to select ten names that I felt were “realistic” in their own right, ranging from “big, splash signings” to “smart, undervalued additions” (and perhaps some in between).

Inevitably, there will be a name or two or three that I omitted, that someone will be upset about. I assure you, it’s okay, and they – whomever they are – can be added to your personal list of free agent targets. Now, without further delay:

(Note: Ages noted below will be the player’s age at the start of the 2020 season)

DL Chris Jones (age 26): Defensive line (and their inability to generate pressure consistently) remains arguably the Raiders biggest need. Per PFF, “Jones’ 58 total pressures were the fourth-most among interior defenders this year, and he’s proven to be a capable, disruptive run defender.”

CB Byron Jones (age 27): He looked at home at cornerback, and still remains one of the NFL’s elite athletes. Jones is able to match-up and run with most tight ends given the versatility and previous time spent at safety, as well.

Let us not forget Jones’ special Combine performance.

CB Chris Harris Jr. (age 31): Only factor working against Harris is his age. He played on the outside this past season for the first time and statistically, it was the worst season of his career. Put him in the slot and let him be the lockdown presence that he can be.

WR A.J. Green (age 32): Another elite player with age now working against him, turning 32 in July. We know the narrative: Jon Gruden’s attraction and affinity for veteran players. It looks increasingly unlikely that the Bengals allow Green to walk with a new quarterback on the way, but stranger things have happened I suppose (read: it’s Cincinnati).

LB Cory Littleton (age 26): Given the track record of abysmal linebacker play, coupled with Littleton’s age and impact, he may be the Raiders’ number one priority target this offseason. From PFF: “Littleton has quietly become one of the best coverage linebackers in the league, capable of running the seam with tight ends and closing quickly on running backs underneath. He has 18 pass breakups and six interceptions over the last two seasons, and he’s posted a 90.6 coverage grade that ranks third-best in the league.”

WR Robby Anderson (age 27): While adding Green looks less and less likely, as noted above, it may be more of a shocker if Anderson isn’t on the Vegas roster to start next season. Anderson does his best work downfield, so there are legitimate questions about his fit and deployment in this offseason — but any upgrade at the position is a welcome one at this point.

Future Raiders’ wide receiver?

EDGE Yannick Ngakoue (age 25): Hard to ignore a player at this position and at his age. However, worth noting, per PFF, “Over the last two years, he’s posted pass-rush grades of 76.8 in 2018 and 77.5 this season, both solid numbers but not at the 2017 level that had Ngakoue looking like the next great pass-rusher in the NFL.”

DL Javon Hargrave (age 27): Hargreave might fall in that “undervalued” category that I outlined earlier. Notes from the PFF team regarding his pending free agency: “He ended the season with 49 total pressures, which was a top-10 figure among interior defenders, and he did it while still grading well as a run defender and tackling with impressive efficiency. Interior defenders are readily available this offseason, but Hargrave is a good one.”

LB Joe Schobert (age 26): Strong in coverage and questionable (underwhelming, inconsistent, whatever word you want to use) against hte run.

LB Matt Judon (age 27): We might have a true “Gruden Grinder” on our hands here. Further down the PFF free agent rankings, this one is more a nod to Vic Tafur, Big Smooth, who highlighted Judon’s name in his free agent preview piece here. Per Smooth:

Here’s to hoping that most of 2020’s signings pan out as well as, say, Trent Brown did last year.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive


9 thoughts on “2020 Offseason: Top-10 Free Agent Targets

  1. Anderson is a solid player but probably not worth the $12 million+ contract. Breshaard Perriman, former 1st round speedster, played better than Anderson down the stretch and should cost significantly less than Anderson.

  2. Other additions
    WR Perriman (1yr 4M)
    Fast, young, a lot of potential might finally be maturing into a starter
    DL Suh (1yr 8M)
    Can play inside and out. Buccs became a top run D and increased sacks by 10 after adding Suh
    CB Waynes
    CB Dennard
    Played in Zimmer D scheme should fit in Vegas

  3. Either Cory Littleton or Joe Schobert. They’re both great in coverage and would be excellent candidates for the WILL linebacker position.

    1. Also, I don’t think the Bengals will hold on to AJ Green and here are my reasons. They invested a lot of money in him and he didn’t play at all in 2019 and he barely played half a season in 2018. I don’t think the Bengals will want to risk it at his age. The Raiders should grab this guy.

  4. of the players you had on your list i like in this order javon hargrave chris jones cory litteton robby anderson i think your best pass defence is a strong pass rush your going to need that aganist kc im a big raider fan im from missouri if you cant beat kansas city then you can forget about playoffs never long a super bowl

  5. If we can’t get Chris Jones which we probably can’t the Chiefs will do everything possible to resign him!
    How bout both Dante Fowler and Littleton? Rams don’t have the cap space to sign either of them. If we add Murray or Simmons or Patrick Queen and get a TRUE #1 WR, playoffs for sure next season. Dante will hide many mistakes in our D’s secondary! Look what Bosa did for the 9ers. Covered up for their weak *** back half!!!!

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