This Time, Excitement Over the Oakland Raiders Is Justified

It seems like every year since the Raiders lost to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl, Raiders fans have found a reason to be excited about the upcoming season.

However, whether it was big name free agent signings like Deangelo Hall and Randy Moss or high draft picks like Darren McFadden, Robert Gallery, and the quarterback who shall not be named, the results were always the same: The Raiders ended the season at the bottom third of the league.

This season looks like it could be different.

In the past, many of the moves made by the Raiders in the offseason were attempts at quick fixes. The Raiders are notorious for drafting workout warriors and mostly at the skill positions (see Darren McFadden, JaMarcus Russell, and Darrius Heyward Bey). In the years after the Super Bowl, they also made a name for themselves by signing big name free agents (see Deangelo Hall, Randy Moss, and Javon Walker).

It appeared that the only offseason strategy by the Raiders front office was to try and luck into a franchise changing player. Anyone who follows the NFL closely knows that this type of player is almost impossible to come by.

This offseason, a distinctly different tactic was taken by the Raiders. First, there were no big name free agent signings. Instead, the Raiders addressed some key issues through solid veterans who came at a reasonable price. The Raiders added size and strength to their linebacking core by trading late round draft picks for Kamerion Wimbley and Quentin Groves and added some much needed depth to the interior of their defensive line by signing free agent big John Henderson.

These pick ups were a breath of fresh air for Raider fans. They are not the type of flashy signing that some might have wanted, but they were all attained at reasonable prices and address core issues in the Raiders defense without much risk.

Of course, most will agree that the biggest offseason acquisition b...

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