Texans should focus on Malcolm Butler in free agency

Twitter LogoCopy Link IconOakland RaidersRaiders Rumors: Latest Buzz on Malcolm Butler and More 2018 Free-Agent TargetsAdam Wells@adamwells1985Twitter LogoFeatured ColumnistMarch 13, 2018 CommentsComment Bubble Icon

A new era is set to begin for the Oakland Raiders in 2018 with the return of Jon Gruden as head coach. His first order of business will be to fill out his roster with free agents so the team will be in a better position to improve on last seasons disappointing 6-10 stretch. 

The Raiders have already taken steps to retool what they are going to look like next season. They announced offensive tackle Marshall Newhouse and cornerback Sean Smith were released Monday. 

Oakland has nearly $25.4 million in available cap space to use for free agents, per Over the Cap. 

Matt Patricia and Bob Quinns first offseason running an NFL team on their own is about to kick into full-gear.

The Lions head coach and general manager both hailed from the Patriots with the hopes of taking on whats about to come on their schedule: Re-signings, free agency, the draft and the process of filling out a roster. They have to make it all fit, under a salary cap, across a roster and with identities they feel like they can chase to success.

They have several different ways to go, but heres one way. Its a mock offseason taking whats in front of Detroit and making a mock team out of it. These numbers are estimations, of course, and plenty will change in the markets and in the pre-draft process. But the point is, it follows a plan for the present as well as the future and tries to tie the knots together into something that works.

Ebrons name has been swirling in trade discussions, as hes entering a fifth-year option with lots of uncertainty about his long-term fit. The Lions unload him for some draft capital to help fill their needs and move onto a new plan at the position. The savings here are $8.25 million for 2018.

Ngata has said he wants to return, and if the deal is small, Detroit should take it. His football IQ and care to mentor younger players is worth as much as his limited run plugging. Hes a small piece but a valuable one.

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