The 2013 NFL season has been a rough one for the Oakland Raiders. After getting rid of numerous big-name players during the off-season, this group of mostly no-names has struggled to play at a consistently well at a high level, and have stumbled to a 4-9 record with three games remaining in the season.
This, however, has been by design according to Raiders owner Mark Davis. In an interview with Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News, Davis revealed that the future of the Raiders will begin to take shape this off-season:
…we just went through the two-year deconstruction of the Raiders. We had to do it. It wasn’t fun, but it was something we had to do. And it’s basically complete. That is done. And the re-construction is going to begin right after this season is over. That’s what we’ve got to do—we’ve got to build this team back up. And we’re in a good position—with all the dead money, the cap stuff, the upside down contracts… they’re all gone.
This is going to be a crucial off-season for the Raiders as there are numerous holes on this team. Some young players have stepped up this year, such as Nick Roach, Rashad Jennings, Lamarr Houston, Sio Moore and even Rod Streater is approaching a 1,000 yard season. But others have faltered and are unlikely to be with the team after this season.
The draft could bring the Raiders a franchise changing player like Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, Anthony Barr, or Jadaveon Clowney who could immediately improve the Raiders situation at quarterback or help the Raiders’ anemic pass rush.
The Raiders have been at the bottom of the league for far too long now. This off-season is the one where it all begins to turn around.