NFL Panic Index 2018: What are the Raiders even doing? – SB Nation

The NFL sells hope better than any other sport, and there’s no better time to be full of brazen confidence than right before the season begins. But deep down, there’s also that doubt creeping in.

What if those free agent signings don’t work out? What if the draft picks end up as busts? What if a key player goes down with a major injury? What if my team DOESN’T win at least 10 games?!

Now that the new season is almost here, it’s time to start figuring out what you should be panicking about right — or not.

WTF is this Raiders team?

The Raiders were busy Saturday, sending all-world defensive talent Khalil Mack to the Bears and taking backup quarterback AJ McCarron off the Bills’ hands. It was, let’s just say, a dark day for Raiders fans.

Jon Gruden’s plan for his Raiders revival sure has been … something. His first season as the team’s $100 million head coach has seen an exodus of talent for the upcoming season, without much coming back in return.

Key Raiders departures in 2018:
Khalil Mack (traded)
Marquette King (released)
Martavis Bryant (released)
Obi Melifonwu (released)
EJ Manuel (released)
Travis Carrie (free agency)
Michael Crabtree (free agency)

Key Raiders additions for 2018:
Jordy Nelson (free agency)
Tahir Whitehead (free agency)
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (free agency)
AJ McCarron (trade)
Kolton Miller and six other draft picks

Just getting back to last year’s six-win total is going to be an accomplishment for Gruden. But maybe that was his plan the whole time.

Panic index: The Raiders’ defense was pretty bad even with Mack, the 2016 Defensive Player of the Year, on it. And now he’s gone. Maybe the two first-round picks Oakland got in exchange for him will fill that void — but not in 2018.

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