The Las Vegas Raiders were expected to upgrade the defense in free agency but so far, they’ve used much of their salary cap space adding to the offense. The team already signed quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and wide receiver Jakobi Meyers to three-year deals and weren’t done there. Las Vegas has decided to add some speed to their wide receiver room.
The Raiders are signing former Houston Texans wide receiver Phillip Dorsett, per KPRC 2 Houston’s Aaron Wilson.
Dorsett originally came into the NFL as a first-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts in 2015. He has bounced all around the league since but his longest stint came with the New England Patriots. He spent three years on the team and was coached by current Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels. Dorsett hasn’t been able to live up to his status as a first-round pick but he’s been able to stick around on NFL rosters.
His career high in yards came in 2016 when he had 528. The Raiders have plenty of wide receiver talent and won’t need Dorsett to do much. The team lacked vertical speed last season and Dorsett will fix that problem. He ran a 4.33 40-yard dash coming into the league as a rookie and hasn’t lost all of that speed yet.
Mack Hollins Likely Moving On
One of the best free agent signings the Raiders made last season was wide receiver Mack Hollins. The former Miami Dolphin had career highs in catches (57) and receiving yards (690) in his first season with the team. He also established himself as one of the Raiders’ best special teams players and leaders. He was only on a one-year contract and it appeared he did enough to earn another one.
However, with the decisions to sign Meyers and Dorsett, it appears the Raiders are moving on. Hollins did enough to earn a decent-sized contract and the team can’t afford to pay another wide receiver good money. Perhaps if his market isn’t any good, the Raiders could convince him to come back on another one-year deal but that’s seeming unlikely right now.
Raiders Still Not Making Big Moves on Defense
As free agency goes on, the Raiders miss out on more and more defensive talent. The only significant move the team has made was adding former Philadelphia Eagles safety Marcus Epps. The team has many more needs all over the defense but hasn’t been as active as expected. At this point, it’s clear that the Raiders aren’t looking to be big spenders.
They’d prefer to add inexpensive pieces and address needs in the draft. Typically the teams that spend the most in free agency aren’t the most successful teams in the NFL so there’s logic to the Raiders being patient. It’s difficult to see the vision for the defense right now as they are major holes everywhere. Fans won’t have a better idea of what the defense will look like until after the draft. The team will start to add more players soon but it’s not looking like there will be any big splash additions. Time will tell if it’s a strategy that ends up working out as the Raiders had one of the worst defenses in the NFL last season.