So far this offseason, the Oakland Raiders have been more aggressive than a recently divorced man on his Match.com account.
However, unlike a creeper on the prowl on the internet, how could you not like what the team is doing? Granted, the start of free agency felt like the same old, crazy, against the grain Raiders when they had let Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston walk away, and balking at Veldheer replacement Roger Saffold after his failed physical.
Since then, the team has brought in Austin Howard, Justin Tuck, Lamarr Woodley, Antonio Brown, Donald Penn, James Jones, Matt Schaub, Tarell Brown, Kevin Boothe, C.J. Wilson and Maurice Jones-Drew while bringing back Charles Woodson, Usama Young, Pat Sims and Darren McFadden. Even more astonishing, if you look at all of the deals the team has made, they are all cap and team friendly!
Make no mistake, this is the biggest offseason for the Raiders in over a decade. Fresh with cap room, the team is slowly and secretly building the foundation for success down the road. The players and coaches are energized by the fresh blood, and the Raider Nation is at fever pitch, nearly shutting down Twitter with the #DJaxToOakland campaign.
However, while all of the moves that the team have made on paper look good, the upcoming NFL Draft will be the most important and defining moment for the team since losing the Super Bowl in 2003. And, if it isn’t an immediately successful draft class, you can bet that General Manager Reggie McKenzie and Head Coach Dennis Allen won’t be around in 2015.
The Raiders are in a “show drastic improvement” mode, and this is a unique opportunity for the team to make tremendous steps into becoming a marquee NFL franchise again.
However, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because the Raiders upcoming schedule is brutal. There are still major questions concerning the secondary and the offensive line. Like that recently divorced man, the team and the fan base needs to set realistic expectations for themselves, yet, it is perfectly OK to be excited about the road ahead. If DeSean Jackson actually comes to Oakland, the entire 510 and 925 area codes may very well implode and Raider Image stores will be rushing to supply their fan base with #10 jerseys.
For that reason alone, here’s hoping the Raiders do land DeSean Jackson. Lord knows this fresh on the beat Raiders reporter sure hopes so, because you better believe I’ll be writing about the twists and turns all season long.
Regardless, fasten your seat belts Raider Nation, because the team is driving full speed ahead and we are all along for the ride.