Ranking the Raiders’ free-agent acquisitions thus far

Mar 23, 2023, 1:00 PM | Updated: 3:08 pm

Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is introduced at the Las Vegas Raiders Headquarters/Intermountain Healt...

HENDERSON, NEVADA - MARCH 17: Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is introduced at the Las Vegas Raiders Headquarters/Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center on March 17, 2023 in Henderson, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The Las Vegas Raiders have made a plethora of moves in the first week or so of free agency, with the biggest being quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.

Signing him to a three-year deal, the Raiders are looking to rekindle some magic between Garoppolo & head coach Josh McDaniels, hoping to get back to the postseason next January. Sin City didn’t stop there though, signing a number of players who could be starters once the 2023 season begins.

And while there’s still plenty of time to add more pieces, let’s grade the ones that the Silver & Black have made thus far.

QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Contract: 3-years, $72.75 million

Grade: B-

A signing that was written on the walls for months, Jimmy G is now a Raider.

In terms of all QB options this spring, there are worse options than Garoppolo. A Super Bowl-playing gunslinger, he’ll finish his San Francisco 49ers tenure with a 38-17 record as the starter. Last season, Jimmy G finished with a 7-3 record, throwing for 2,437 yards, 16 TDs and four INTs.

The problem: Injuries

Garoppolo hasn’t had a fully healthy season since 2019, the year the 49ers made the Big Game. After coming into the year with a reconstructed shoulder, the Illinois alum fractured his foot in Week 13 against the Miami Dolphins. Then rookie QB Brock Purdy came in and you know the rest.

Point being: Jimmy G doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence that the Raiders will be a contender in 2023. Having to face a division filled with Patrick Mahomes, Justin Herbert and Russell Wilson, Las Vegas could have a losing record once again.

As great as Jimmy G was in the Bay, the 31-year-old has struggled with health and mobility, two things that the AFC West is unforgiving about.

WR Jakobi Meyers

Contract: 3-years, $33 million

Grade: B

Another New England connection, Jakobi Meyers is a solid addition to the Raiders.

Playing for the Patriots for four years, Meyers has racked up 2,758 receiving yards and eight TDs in his NFL career. He had a consistent 2022 season, finishing with 804 yards and a career-high six TDs.

Now joining the Raiders’ explosive core of Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow, Meyers as the third option is a nice luxury indeed.

WR Phillip Dorsett

Contract: 1-year, $1.217 million

Grade: C

The Raiders continue to fill out the wideout room with former Patriots.

Spending three years in New England, Phillip Dorsett reunites with Josh McDaniels in Vegas. A journeyman WR, Dorsett played with the Houston Texans last season, recording 257 receiving yards and one TD. His best year came in 2016 with the Indianapolis Colts, going for 528 yards and two TDs.

Now 30 years olded, Dorsett isn’t more than a familiar face for McDaniels and Jimmy G.

WR Cam Sims

Contract: 1-year, $2.59 million

Grade: C

Similar to Dorsett, except he didn’t play in New England.

Cam Sims has spent the last five seasons with the Washington franchise, having his best year in 2020. That year he went for 477 receiving yards and one TD. He was basically out of the rotation in 2022, registering eight receptions for 89 total yards.

S Marcus Epps

Contract: 2-years, $12 million

Grade: B+

An area of need last season, the Raiders address the safety position with Marcus Epps.

Epps, 27, has spent the last three and a half years with the Philadelphia Eagles, becoming a valuable cog in one of the best defenses of 2022. The Wyoming alum showed out last year, producing a career-high 94 combined tackles. He also added six passes defended and four TFLs to his name.

Still relatively young, Epps immediately becomes the Raiders’ best safety, able to hold down the position for at least a couple of seasons.

Tight Ends

Contract: 1-year, TBD; 1-year, $2.75 million

Grade: C+

After trading away fan favorite Darren Waller to the New York Giants, Las Vegas needed to restock the tight end spot for 2023. They did that with the signings of Austin Hooper and O.J. Howard.

While neither player is as talented as Waller, both have been regular contributors in the NFL for years now.

Hooper is the better option of the pair, last playing for the Tennessee Titans in 2022. He caught 41 passes for 444 yards and two TDs last season. Howard is more alike to his predecessor, especially in the injury department, missing four games last season. Used marginally, the former first-round pick had 145 receiving yards and two TDs for the Houston Texans in 2022.

Still, the Raiders needed to find cheap replacements and did so with these former standouts.

LB Robert Spillane

Contract: 2-years, $7 million

Grade: B

Losing Pro Bowl linebacker Denzel Perryman sucks, but adding LB Robert Spillane doesn’t.

Spillane has spent the last four years as the Pittsburgh Steelers’ tackling ace in the middle, producing a career-high 70 combined tackles in 2022. He had four passes defended as well last season. In his career, Spillane has recorded close to 200 combined tackles for Pittsburgh, especially impressive considering he’s only started 16 games.

Obviously keeping Perryman (154 tackles in 2021), would have been the ideal situation here. But Spillane is not a bad consolation prize at all.

DL Jordan Willis

Contract: 1-year, TBD

Grade: A

This could be the most underrated signing of the Raiders’ off-season.

While not a household name, defensive end Jordan Willis was a productive member of the 49ers’ front four in 2022. Only featured in nine contests, Willis recorded 12 combined tackles, four QB hits, three TFLs and 2 sacks last season. But his impact was felt beyond the stats, consistently wreaking havoc on the line for other A-listers (DE Nick Bosa) to have an easier path to the quarterback.

Spending the last two and a half years in the Bay, Willis will be remembered for his game-changing blocked punt against the Green Bay Packers in the 2022 postseason.

CB Brandon Facyson

Contract: 2-years, $6.5 million

Grade: B-

A reunion for Las Vegas, as Facyson returns after a lone season elsewhere.

Spending the 2021 season in the Silver & Black, the veteran cornerback had 55 combined tackles and 13 passes defended with the Raiders. His stats fell off last season with the Indianapolis Colts, recording 28 combined tackles and six passes defended.

Regardless, it’s a familiar face for the Raiders and at a low price, there are worst deals out there. He and fellow CB David Long Jr. will compete for a starting spot in 2023.

Stay locked in at Sactown Sports for all things NFL & Raiders.


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