The Oakland Raiders franchise and its fans finally have some optimism heading into the off-season. With an early pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and plenty of room under the salary cap, good things are expected for the Silver and Black.
This team has several needs and just one player won't help, but with the money to add a few free agents, General Manager Reggie McKenzie could have this roster looking much different for the 2014 season.
Oakland needs to find a pass rush playing against quality offenses in the AFC West. 27 year-old Brian Orakpo is one of the best pass rushers in the league and a player that could make this defense instantly improved. The defense line was terrible in 2013, but with a big name player like Orakpo and possibly a youngster through the draft, it could become a strength for the team heading into next season.
If management decides Terrelle Pryor is their man at quarterback, finding some play makers to help the young signal caller is a priority. Two very different type of receivers come to mind, Jeremy Maclin of the Philadelphia Eagles is dynamic and a threat all over the field, but Eric Decker of division rival Denver is the big receiver Pryor needs in crucial situations.
All of these free agents will be highly sought after this off-season, but if the Oakland Raiders can add they help they need on defense and at wide receiver, they just might become the Cinderella story of the 2014 NFL season.