The Oakland Raiders are the new up and coming team of the NFL. The Raiders are loaded with young talent everywhere and they have surprised a lot of people by being this good this early at 9-2 so far this season.
They have a young stud at the most important position in football with Derek Carr at QB. In his 3rd season Carr is looking like a MVP candidate and a top 5 QB in this league. Behind a very good offensive line Carr has thrown for over 3,000 yards and 22 TD’s so far this year. The offense is just explosive with Carr throwing to a monster like Amari Cooper and the resurgent Michael Crabtree. They can beat you either way offensively, whether it be Carr lighting it up through the air, or pounding it on the ground with Latavius Murray and that big o-line like they did against Denver.
Defensively is where it gets sketchy with Oakland. Yes, the have Khalil Mack who will probably be considered the best player in this league next to Von Miller here in about two years. They just have holes in the back-end but they are young.
Here is the kicker though. The Raiders have money that they literally HAVE to spend. Albert Breer writes Oakland has to spend a certain amount of money to exceed the collective bargaining agreement’s cash spending floor. CBA stipulates that teams must spend a certain amount on payroll over two four-year periods: 2013-16 and 2017-20. In each set, teams HAVE to utilize 89% of the salary cap. As it turns out the Raiders are the only team shy of hitting that target.
I’m not saying Oakland will go on some type of spending spree here because they still have players who have incentives on their deals and that could put them over the top BUT it’s not out of the realm the Raiders don’t pull a 2007 Pats and sign a bunch of 1 yr deals to a couple of great veterans and make a run at this thing.
Regardless what happens and I honestly don’t expect them to make any moves. The Raiders are very young and very talented. They will contend in the AFC as long as Carr and that o-line stays healthy and together. If Aldon Smith ever plays and stays on the field (don’t count on it) they could have the best pass rush in league for awhile. So the future is bright for the Raiders
The only bad part is that it’s gonna be real dirty when the Raiders hoist that Lombardi trophy and Carr yells “VEGAS!!!!, THIS IS FOR YOU!!!!!”