After years of toiling at the bottom of the AFC West, the Oakland Raiders are looking to turn things around in 2015. The team has a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator, and are likely to add a few new wide receivers to a revamped offense.
While going 3-13 in 2014, the Raiders ranked last in total offense. Rookie quarterback Derek Carr showed improvement towards the end of the season, but he’ll need a lot more help next year. Entering the offseason, Oakland doesn’t have a receiver on their roster who has ever totaled 900 receiving yards in a single season.
Even if the Raiders don’t make a big splash in free agency, they should have an improved passing game. In addition to Carr having one season under his belt, new head coach Jack Del Rio has brought in Bill Musgrave, who will institute the no-huddle offense. Oakland has a chance to draft a top wide out, and Alabama’s Amari Cooper could be available for them at No.4 overall.
Oakland can afford to make a few big moves in free agency, with just under $50 million to spend in free agency. Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas are the best receivers that aren’t under contract, and though the Raiders aren’t expected to sign either, they’ll have a few options this offseason.
Britt isn’t as good as some of the wide receivers that will be on the market, but he might be one of the more realistic options for Oakland. He caught 48 passes for 748 yards in 16 games with the St. Louis Rams, rebounding from an 11-catch season. Britt has a history of off-the-field incidents, which is usually something that hasn’t scared the Raiders in the past. The 26-year-old wouldn’t be a strong No.1 receiver, but he would at least be a solid target for Carr in his second year as a starting quarterback.
The 24-year-old was one of the best players at his position in 2014, ranking ninth in catches (91), 11th in yards (1,287), and fourth in touchdowns (12). The Green Bay Packers are expected to keep Cobb, but the Raiders will likely pursue him if he hits free agency on March 10, according to Bill Williamson of ESPN. Cobb only played six games in 2013, but he caught 80 passes in 15 games in 2012. After Jordy Nelson signed a four-year extension worth $39 million last year, it’s possible that Cobb’s price will drive him to test free agency, though the Packers are the overwhelming favorite to sign him.
The Raiders made one of the biggest surprises of the 2009 NFL Draft, passing on Crabtree to select Darrius Heyward-Bey at No.7 overall. Heyward-Bey was gone from the team in four seasons, never having caught 65 passes or totaled 1,000 yards. Crabtree has been a disappointment with the San Francisco 49ers, totaling more than 1,000 yards just once, but he could intrigue the Raiders if he hits free agency. 49ers head coach Jim Tomsula recently said via NFL.com’s Marc Sessler that San Francisco and Crabtree would discuss a new contract this week, but it’s unclear if the team is willing to match his price.