The Las Vegas Raiders faced a disappointing 2023 NFL season, falling short of playoff contention. As the 2024 NFL offseason looms, the Raiders find themselves at a crossroads. They need to make strategic decisions to elevate their roster and contend in the upcoming season. This article delves into the key players that the Raiders must prioritize resigning during the 2024 free agency period.

2023 Season Summary

The Raiders' 2023 campaign was characterized by inconsistency and underwhelming performances. Injuries to key players and a lack of depth in certain positions were contributing factors to their struggles. Despite noteworthy individual efforts, the team faced challenges in securing consistent victories. They ultimately missed out on the postseason.

Heading into the offseason, the Raiders are experiencing a sense of déjà vu. Much like Rich Bisaccia in 2021, interim head coach Antonio Pierce has left his mark. Although the Raiders fell short of reaching the playoffs under Pierce, they have remained competitive since he took over from Josh McDaniels. That's a big reason why the franchise finally named him the official head coach recently.

Following the coaching situation, a pivotal decision awaits at the quarterback position. Jimmy Garoppolo found himself on the bench under Pierce's leadership, with Aidan O'Connell assuming the starting role. Let's see how that plays out, too.

Free Agency Outlook

Despite the departure of GM Dave Ziegler, he left the Raiders in a favorable cap situation. Currently ranked ninth in projected cap space, the Raiders possess flexibility in managing Garoppolo's departure. They can absorb the $28.3 million dead-cap charge or opt for a post-June 1 cut, spreading the payment over the next two seasons.

Additionally, the Raiders have the financial means to bring back Josh Jacobs, a key player in their roster. The team's stance on Jacobs remains unclear after negotiations during the previous offseason, though. This leaves the door open for other crucial decisions in the upcoming free agency period.

Here we will look at the best players that the Las Vegas Raiders must re-sign during the 2024 NFL free agency period.

Marcus Peters, CB

Entering his ninth NFL season, Marcus Peters showcased his enduring prowess as one of the league's premier interception artists during Week 8. His exceptional play was evident when he intercepted a wayward pass from Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. He then returned it for an impressive 75-yard touchdown. Since his debut in 2015, no defender boasts more interceptions (33) or pick-sixes (seven) than Peters. That's a testament to his consistent impact.

Of course, NFL cornerbacks often experience a sharp decline, and Peters has a substantial injury history. That said, his standout performances in 2023 suggest that he remains a top-tier talent. If he maintains this level of play, securing another deal with the Raiders should be a seamless process.

Josh Jacobs, RB

In the previous season, under the management of Ziegler and McDaniels, Josh Jacobs received the franchise tag. This elevated the base value of his one-year deal to $11.8 million. That was inclusive of an additional $200,000 in incentives. However, with a potential change in the Raiders' front office for 2024, allocating such significant cap space to a running back may not be a priority.

Still, it is crucial to recall that Jacobs is just a year removed from winning the rushing title in 2022. Yes, he finished with a rushing grade nearly 10 points below previous seasons and averaged 3.5 yards per carry in 2023. However, Jacobs saw improvement under the Antonio Pierce regime. The running back showcased increased frequency and effectiveness. He recorded at least 98 yards from scrimmage in three of the five games before a quad injury prematurely ended his season. We think he's still worth another go.

Raiders' Josh Jacobs

Andre James, C

Having earned substantial respect and trust from the prior Raiders regime, Andre James assumed the center position after the team traded away franchise mainstay Rodney Hudson to the Arizona Cardinals. This strategic move proved successful. James demonstrated patience and adeptness in pass protection. He effectively countered interior pass rushers and resisted power rushes, with only occasional struggles against formidable inside forces.

James also played every snap at center for the Raiders since Hudson's retirement after the 2020 season. Now he will conclude his two-year, $8.65 million extension. Anticipating a well-deserved pay increase, James has exhibited noticeable improvement over the past two seasons. The Raiders should not let him walk.

Jermaine Eluemunor, OL

A versatile lineman and longtime swing tackle, Jermaine Eluemunor found stability as the Raiders' right tackle last year. That's after signing a one-year, $3 million deal in free agency for the 2023 season. Building on a strong 2022, Eluemunor maintained high performance. He consistently posted pressure rates below 5 percent. Yes, he may face challenges against more agile edge rushers, particularly those who can alter their rush paths. However, Eluemunor excels in handling speed-to-power transitions and has proven himself as a starting-caliber tackle.

Looking Ahead

The Las Vegas Raiders find themselves at a critical juncture in the 2024 NFL offseason. They are compelled to make strategic decisions that will shape the team's future. As they reflect on the challenges of the 2023 season, the imperative to re-sign key players becomes paramount. Marcus Peters remains a defensive force, while Josh Jacobs holds the potential for a resurgence. Andre James merits recognition for his contributions, and Jermaine Eluemunor has proven his starting-caliber capabilities. The Raiders must navigate these decisions with precision, considering both the team's immediate needs and long-term aspirations. The outcome of their free agency endeavors will undoubtedly influence the trajectory of the franchise in 2024.