Free Agency begins next week and it is time for the Oakland Raiders to decide which players will return. The team already put a long-term investment into punter Marquette King, but who is next?
King earned every dollar of his new contract. How many times did he bail the offense out with a booming punt? Plus, the punter always reps Oakland in the community.
In the end, tough decisions are always made in free agency. However, this free agency the Raiders must prove they can build on last season’s momentum. Expect them to free up roster places for talented players that meet Jack Del Rio’s long-term vision.
Donald Penn, Offensive Tackle
Penn should stay because the Raiders do not have many better options in free agency. Cordy Glenn got franchised tagged. Russell Okung is younger but not necessarily an upgrade. The Raiders should keep Penn for another year or two, so he can train his replacement.
Khalif Barnes, Offensive Linemen
Barnes is one of the tenured players on the team. The Raiders hold more than $70 million in cap space. Give Barnes another one-year deal. Dude has plenty of starting experience at every position on the offensive line, outside of center.
Denico Autry, Defensive Linemen
Autry came on once Mario Edwards Jr. and Justin Tuck were both side lined. Give the young player another year. He brings versatility across the Raiders defensive line. He can play inside or outside.
Seth Roberts, Receiver
Roberts scored all of his touchdowns in Raiders wins. See Autry
Tony Bergstrom, Center
I doubt he has much of a market. However, Bergstrom played decent when thrust into the starting center role this season. Give him a short term deal.
Taylor Mays, Safety
Mays found a role in the defense late. He played better in a hybrid linebacker/safety role. However, the team is better off giving those reps to a younger player.
Larry Asante, Safety
Neiko Thorpe, Corner
Thorpe also got some run because of injuries. He looked good at times, and he could be a nice depth option. He is still young also. However, he could easily be replaced. He might even get resigned but released before the final roster.
Benson Mayowa, Edge
Shelby Harris, Edge
Dude keeps floating between the practice squad and active roster. Expect him to look for another opportunity.
Rod Streater, Receiver
Streater was once our team’s best receiver. He is a good guy, but those days are gone. It might be best for all parties to move on.
Andre Holmes, Receiver
He helped the team in the redzone and the deep passing game. However, his role and production dropped off last season compared to 2014. Expect him to find a bigger role elsewhere.
J’Marcus Webb, Guard
Add any other free agents not listed here.
Curtis Lofton, Linebacker
Our big free agency acquisition could not even keep his job last season. Find a replacement in the draft or free agency, and then cut Lofton.
Marcel Reece, Full back
Beyond his 3 game suspension, Reece already faced a diminishing role. Don’t get me wrong, Reece is a great guy and Raider. However, the Raiders barely use a fullback. Jamize Olawale is a capable starter anyways. Maybe we can trade Reece for a late draft pick?