Jon Gruden's second go-round as head coach of the Raiders has yielded mixed results. After inheriting a team that was in ruins, Gruden went 4-12 during his first year back on the sidelines. The Raiders were significantly better during the last two seasons, despite major drop-offs during the final quarter of the season. The '19 Raiders finished 7-9 after a 6-4 start. Last year's team was 6-3 before winning just two of its final seven games.
Depth has been the main reason for the Raiders' late-season collapses. Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have put together a solid roster, but rounding out the squad with better talent is a must if the Raiders are going to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016. Specifically, Mayock and Gruden will look to strength Las Vegas' pass rush, interior defensive line, and safety positions during the 2021 offseason. The Raiders are still in search of a replacement for Khalil Mack, who has continued to rack up stats and individual accolades in Chicago.
One player who will almost certainly be back for the 2021 season is quarterback Derek Carr, who earlier this offseason received a vote of confidence from Mayock and several of his teammates.
"I think Derek Carr had his best year yet, under Jon Gruden," Mayock said, via ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. "I think he's one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL and we're happy with him. ... I think Jon Gruden and I would stand shoulder to shoulder and pound the table for Derek Carr."
This is your one-stop destination for everything involving the Raiders' 2021 offseason. Over the next several months, we'll update this story with all prevalent information regarding the silver and black. Those updates will include schedule announcements, player transactions, draft news, and other relevant information.
Key upcoming dates
- April 29-May 1: 2021 NFL Draft.
- May 12: Release of 17-game regular-season schedule
Unrestricted in-house free agents
DT Johnathan Hankins -- re-signed by Raiders
OLB Nicholas Morrow -- re-signed with Raiders
DE Takkarist McKinley -- signed with Browns
S Erik Harris -- signed with Falcons
T Denzelle Good -- re-signed by Raiders
CB Nevin Lawson -- re-signed by Raiders
TE Derek Carrier -- re-signed by Raiders
WR Zay Jones -- re-signed by Raiders
OLB Kyle Wilber
ILB Raekwon McMillan -- signed by Patriots
LT Sam Young
RB Devontae Booker -- signed by Giants
WR Nelson Agholor -- signed with Patriots
RB Theo Riddick -- re-signed by Raiders
CB Daryl Worley
DE Vic Beasley
ILB Ukeme Eligwe
DE Jeremiah Valoaga
CB D.J. Killings
Unrestricted free agents signings from other teams
WR Willie Snead
RB Kenyan Drake
WR John Brown
LS Trent Sieg
2021 NFL Draft picks
Las Vegas owns the 17th overall pick in this year's draft, a pick that most draft experts believe the Raiders will spend on a defensive player. Among the players the Raiders may select with this pick include Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Alabama defensive lineman Christian Barmore, Miami defensive lineman Jaelan Phillips, or Miami pass rusher Gregory Rousseau. That being said, don't be surprised if the Raiders take a receiver with the pick if reigning Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith is still available.
Raiders 2021 draft picks
Round 1: 17th overall
Round 2: 48th overall
Round 3: 79th and 80th overall
Round 4: 121st overall
Round 5: 162nd and 167th overall
Round 6: 200th overall
Rumors, reports and updates
April 26: The Raiders signed former college basketball player Carson Williams, who is listed as a tight end. The 6-foot-5 Williams averaged 11 points and 6 rebounds per game during a college basketball career that included stops at Northern Kentucky and Western Kentucky.
April 9: After one season in Cleveland, Karl Joseph is back with his original team. In his first 49 games with the Raiders, Joseph made 41 starts while recording four interceptions, 15 passes defensed, three sacks, 236 tackles and nine tackles for loss. Joseph was enjoying arguably his best season in 2019 before an injury prematurely ended his year after nine games.
March 19: This was a busy day for the Raiders. Along with signing several high-profile free agents (a list of players that included Yannick Ngakoue, Kenyan Drake and Solomon Thomas), the team traded tackle Trent Brown to the Patriots in exchange for two late-round picks in the 2022 draft. They also acquired a 2021 third-round pick from the Cardinals in exchange for center Rodney Hudson.
March 3: Darren Waller joined Alec Ingold in singing Derek Carr's praises, but stipulated the Raiders "have to make the playoffs." Waller told the NFL Network, "I have all the belief in the world in Derek Carr. I have ever since I got here. I still do to this day. I think he's a guy that can take us everywhere we want to go."
March 2: Derek Carr received a vote of confidence from teammate Alec Ingold. "It's the general belief that Derek Carr isn't the guy," Ingold told Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "That doesn't make sense to me. I just don't understand it. Because he is the guy. In our locker room, there is a sense of pride that we have our guy and we're gonna ride with our guy. That is what bothers me more than anything. I can't understand how anybody isn't ecstatic to have this guy as the quarterback. By the way he plays. By the way he competes. By the way he leads. There is a sense of confidence around here that Derek Carr is our quarterback."
Despite the rumors, Carr, who has two years remaining on his current contract, is slated to be the team's starting quarterback in 2021. In three years with Gruden, Carr has thrown 67 touchdowns against just 27 intersections. In 2020, Carr threw for over 4,000 yards for a third consecutive year. He also threw 27 touchdowns (his highest total since 2016) and just nine interceptions.
February 24: Las Vegas released receiver Tyrell Williams midway through his four-year contract. Williams, who caught six touchdowns during his first season with the Raiders, missed the entire 2020 season with a torn labrum.