It has been a disappointing run for the Las Vegas Raiders ever since Jon Gruden became the head coach of the franchise — for the second time — in 2018. In his first three seasons, Gruden has compiled a 19-29 record and the Raiders have yet to make the playoffs since 2016. Seeing that Las Vegas has started 6-4 or better in each of the past two seasons, changes need to be made to the roster for them to turn into a playoff contender.
Derek Carr remains as the starting quarterback, but is his job secure for the foreseeable future if the Raiders fall short of expectations again in 2021? Does Gruden avoid being ousted if Las Vegas doesn’t show improvement this season?
While changes could be on the horizon for the Raiders, here are three star players that the team could target in the future to help them work toward their ultimate goal of winning a Super Bowl.
Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
I’m not a big believer in Carr being a quarterback that can lead a team to the promised land. Carr has produced some solid seasons for the Raiders, but he just isn’t on the same level as plenty of other quarterbacks in the NFL. With Gruden wanting results soon, Aaron Rodgers would be a name to watch after the 2021 season as he is entering his presumed final year with the Green Bay Packers.
It remains to be seen if Rodgers would be interested in heading to Las Vegas, but it would be remiss for the Raiders to not try and get the All-Pro quarterback. Maybe signing Davante Adams would be enough for Las Vegas to convince Rodgers to make the trip to the AFC West in 2022, finally giving them a quarterback that has what it takes to lead them deep in the playoffs.
Chandler Jones, EDGE, Arizona Cardinals
In recent seasons, the Raiders have failed to put together a productive pass-rushing unit. Just last season, Las Vegas totaled only 21 sacks as a defense, which was the fourth-fewest in the NFL. The Raiders are hoping that former first-round pick, Clelin Ferrell, will have a breakout campaign in 2021 off of the edge. However, Las Vegas signed Yannick Ngakoue in an attempt to bolster their pass rush.
Whether it be via trade or in free agency, the Raiders should pursue Chandler Jones sometime in the future. Jones requested a trade from the Arizona Cardinals earlier this offseason due to a contract dispute. If Jones isn’t traded this season, he will become an unrestricted free agent next offseason, giving the Raiders multiple chances to acquire him within the next year.
Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
Amid the saga between Rodgers and the Packers, Adams was one of the victims of the situation as he is an unrestricted free agent in 2022. If Rodgers was willing to commit to Green Bay beyond the 2021 season, Adams would have already inked a new extension with the Packers. However, with Rodgers leaning toward leaving after the 2021 season, Adams could very well test free agency next offseason.
Adams has spoken about reuniting with his college teammate in Carr. Given that, the Raiders could be high on his board of preferred destinations if he elects to leave the Packers. There’s also the chance that Las Vegas can lure Rodgers via trade and then sign Adams to reunite Rodgers and Adams in silver and black. Adding Adams would finally give the Raiders a true No. 1 wide receiver, regardless of who their quarterback will be.