Reports indicate the Raiders boost their D-Block (Defensive Backs0 and are bringing back safety Charles Woodson on a one year deal.
Twitter reacted with Every Raider fan going nuts about the signing. For good reason too. Charles Woodson came in and made an impact for a defense desperate for playmakers and leadership. Woodson also represents a piece from the glory days of the Raiders and having him on the roster makes fans very happy. He embodies what it means to be a Raider, rough and tough.
From a football perspective, Woodson is the versatile Defensive Back Allen and Tarver utilize. He can line-up in the slot or at either safety position. He is not necessarily the kind of threat in coverage he once was, but he still has the range and speed to play safety. His tackling ability is up and down, but they have Tyvon Branch complimenting him at safety to cover those deficiencies.
Leadership wise, we understand what Woodson brings to the table. Reggie McKenzie’s trend is signing football players with Superbowl rings and Charles Woodson has one of his own. A strong Leadership presence will be on each level of Tarver’s defense. The Raiders look to be one of the smartest and versatile defenses in the entire league.
Additionally the Raiders made the re-signing of Usama Young, fellow safety. Young’s two year deal makes him an inexpensive back-up for Charles Woodson. Young started for the Cleveland Browns the year before serving as Woodson’s Back-up. He played well before injury took him out of the line-up. Young is pretty good on Special Teams as well.
Young is a capable back up for Charles Woodson who should also offer some spot up duty. He recorded an interception and sack providing the kind of versatility to play all over the secondary. Preserving Charles Woodson is important and Young is more then capable of playing in his place.
The move indicates the Raiders are perserving 3 of their four starters from last season and a key back-up in Young. They also add a more season Brandon Ross and Chidekwai. FA Tarrell Brown is an unrated addition and they may even add a rookie to the mix. Dennis Allen specializes in Defensive Backs, so I have high expectations for them. They have the veteran leadership and continuity to be one of the strongest positions for the Raiders and i hope they produce
The Raiders capped off the first week of Free Agency by adding some weight named Donald Penn to an Offensive line in need of some help at the left tackle position.
Donald Penn is a former undrafted free agent whom has spent the last few seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Penn chose the Oakland Raiders over the Redskins because he wanted an opportunity to play at left Tackle. Penn has started at left tackle the past few seasons for the Tampa Buccaneers. He has struggled with his weight but he was a pro-bowl alternate a few years ago.
PFF focus has a higher rating on Penn then Veldheer but Penn is aged 31. The move is a low risk one for the Raiders as it is a 2 year deal with less then 3 million a season guaranteed.
Football wise, Penn is a monster. He has a chance to compete with Manelik Watson for the starting position at Left Tackle. With Watson’s history of injury, I am glad to hear the Raiders have a back plan in case Watson gets injured or is unready to be a fulltime starter.
The past couple of seasons the Raiders have wanted establish an imposing bully on the Offensive line. Boothe, Howard, and now Penn are all quality veterans with a lot of experience and even more LBS. The Raiders should finally have the bully to open holes for McFadden, so he can get down hill and take runs the distance.
Best part of Penn’s deal is there are no big cap implications if he is cut after the season. Otherwise, Penn has a chip on his shoulder and something to prove after being cut by the Buccaneers. The Raiders should be able to get Penn’s best football in the twilight of his career.
The Raiders added another couple of Superbowl rings and versatile weapons to their team in the second week of Free Agency, only this time it was offense.
GM Reggie McKenzie brought in one of his favorite players from his former employee named James Jones. At 29, the former Packer wide-out signed a two year deal worth up to $3.8 million a year. Considering their was not much rumored interest in one of the top wide receivers in Free Agency, McKenzie got himself another steal.
Jones passed up an opportunity to play for The Panthers in favor of returning to Northern California as he is from neighboring San Jose. Football wise, Jones is a versatile competitor. He is capable of lining up in the slot or in the outside position. He has racked up almost 800 yards the past two seasons catching balls from Aaron Rodgers.
I love this deal because it is another bargain price for someone who is a big time competitor. The cap implications are not the bad, but I hope they do not expect Jones to be a true #1 receiver. Jones’ sure hands make him a reliable target but he is best suited in a complimentary role.
I hate this deal because of it’s implications for the draft. I would hate to see the Raiders pass up the Clemson Phenom Sammy Watkins because of their depth at the receiver position. With Streater, Holmes, and Moore already there, plus Jones the Raiders have four capable play-makers in the receiving game. Either way, their is so much talent in this draft class when it comes to receiver that I would hate to see the Raiders pass up value in the mid rounds because the position is field.
Therefore, it would not surprise me to see Denarius Moore traded before the season ends. Moore was expected to be the go to guy, and made some big plays while struggling with consistency. Overall he is an Al Davis guy and has concerns with his work ethic which could make him a viable candidate for the trading block. He should have some value as a relatively young receiver who has made big plays in the league. The Patriots or Panthers could do worse then adding him to their receiving corps.
McKenzie was not done with adding Superbowl rings on Monday, as he signed a familiar face. Kevin Boothe was originally drafted by the Raiders in 2006 before being cut for schematic reasons the next season. Boothe went on to start lots of games for the Giants including two SuperBowl rings.
Boothe adds another big body capable of starting in the offensive-line. He is versatile as a center or guard. The veteran will be able to compete at either of the guards positions, while being insurance due to injury.
Boothe is not a Pro-bowler or anything spectacular. He is not a slouch neither, and is a welcomed addition to an offensive-line in transition.
Both of the signings are continue Reggie McKenzie’s trend of signing Veterans who know how to compete and win. He is not signing the most talented players but players who change the losing dynamic of the franchise. Boothe and Jones added to the core of players signed last week are the type of Leaders who can reverse the culture of losing.
I have been critical of McKenzie in the past, but I give him props for sticking to his guns. He is signing quality stop-gap players at a bargain rates in hopes that his draft picks can develop. For my beloved Raiders sake and for his own, I hope McKenzie’s plan works.
He will continue his plan and carry the momentum through the rest of Free Agency. He still has plenty of cap space.
Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie capped off the First week of Free Agency by signing two under the radar Free Agents Tarrell Brown and Antonio Smith. Although neither have the name recognition of Justin Tuck or LaMarr Woodley both could have just a big of an impact on the Raiders Defense.
Brown Comes from just across the Bay as a former 49er. Last season he did not have his best effort as he did not record an interception in 10 starts. However the two seasons before he started every game and recorded a combined 6 interceptions. Playing with the 49ers, Brown has the playoff experience which Raiders young secondary members such as DJ Hayden can learn from.
Brown may not be a pro-bowler but he has a lot of value as a starter or coveraging the slot. He is an above average tackler and his one of Pro Football Focus’ highly graded corner. He should be able to play the man or zone coverages required of Tarver’s scheme. Best part about this deal is the deal is only one year and worth $3.5 million, meaning their is no long term commitment for either side.
As for Smith, the former Texan and self-proclaimed ninja brings the defensive line some more versatility. With the Texans he was primarily used as a defensive end lined up in the 5 technique. With the Raiders he will probably be utilized in those sets on some of the versatile schemes utilized by the Raiders. The Pass Rusher will also line-up as a pass rusher in the 3-technique.
Sure Smith is approaching 33 years of age, but he played well for the Texans recording 5 of his 41 career sacks. He is also stout against the run and could be critical in helping Stacey McGee develop along the Raiders Defensive Line rotation. Smith will be a critical element of keeping the defensive line fresh and also being able to mix up fronts and stunts for oppossing offensive lines.
Overall, neither of these guys have much household recognition. Fortunately they continue McKenzie’s trend of adding high leadership and work-ethic players to aid the development of our struggling organization. It is not going to happen overnight so having veterans capable of playing well young players develop is critical. Brown and Smith can both play at a high level and will be critical elements of the defensive rotation regardless of who else is brought in via free agency or draft. The best part about both of these signings is they are relatively cheap and offer low risk to the franchise.
Just around twelve hours ago, Raidernation was ready to jump ship when the Rodger Saffold deal was botched. Apparently, depending on whose side you believe, Saffold had a previous shoulder injury that caused him to fail the Raiders physical and voiding the contract.
Fast Forward a few hours, and Raider Fans were excited to hear the team signing Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley to two year contracts. Sure Woodley and Tuck are not the marquee players they once were a few seasons ago, but the signings are still significant boosts for the squad.
Tuck and Woodley both come from two other storied franchises in the Steelers and Giants. Both hoisted the Lombardi trophy in their tenure with their former teams. Championship pedigrees are not cheap in this league and a team that has done a lot of losing needs to learn how to win, and these guys know how. As Fans we seen the Impact Woodson made when he came in purely from a leadership perspective, and these guys can do the same
Between the two of these guys, The Raiders added over 100 career sacks to a struggling front four.Woodley
is a versatile rusher capable of standing up or putting his hand in the ground. Tuck is capable of rushing from the end or 3 technique. That versatility should be utilized by the Raiders. D-Coordinator Tarver should be stoked to have two new toys.
Raiders got Tuck and Woodley for what it would have cost to franchise Lamarr Houston. Not to mention, the two year deals do not hurt the team in the long run. Around a 6 million dollar salary for these guys is a good deal considering they have more sacks then Houston.
These Two guys are about as respectable as you can be in the league. If they can buy into Reggie’s plan then I am sure they can get other Veteran Defensive Players to buy into what the Raiders are selling. So far free agency has proven Raiders are going to have to offer more then just playing time and money. Having Woodley’s and Tuck’s influence should help other free agents buy into the francsise.
These two moves signify Reggie’s plan of patience and not over spending. Fans lost beloved Houston and Veldheer and the Raiders needed to provide some hope for its fans. The Saffold drama can now be put behind us, and fans can buy into the big picture again. Reggie is not going to overspend or lock up players, he wants to build through the draft. Tuck and Woodley are the servicable stop-gap players for fans to be excited about, but they also could be the mentors to Raiders young players. Moreover, these are signings the Raiders can build on as they continue Free Agency and into the Draft.
Something To Prove
I mean really, When was the last time Raider Fans actually had something Legit to be excited about? Reggie McKenzie actually has something to prove to the fanbase which pays his pay check. Same could be said for Tuck and Woodley. Both were intricate pieces of their former franchises, yet were not coveted by their former teams. As they enter their 30’s(Woodley 29 Tuck 31) both players can prove they still have plenty to offer a team. Woodson dispelled the myth that 30 year old players can’t impact games, and Woodley/Tuck will look to do the same.
Sure Woodley and Tuck are not exactly the marquee names anymore. However that is no reason for Raidernation to not be excited, as they are better then anyone else currently on the roster. Sure the Raiders have a lot more to do in Free Agency and they have a huge draft coming up in May, but signing Woodley and Tuck is a step in the right direction.Singularly, neither is the kind of pass rusher to command double teams anymore, but paired offensive QBs have something to fear for the first time in a while.
My First Raiders Free Agency PodcastHere is my first Podcast. I address some of the happenings in the first day of Free Agency. I talk about the impact of Veldheer and Houston leaving. As well as some other notable free agency signings. How will this effect Raiders draft strategy, and other notable free agents who should be signed
The buzz around the Raiders is that the 2014 starting quarterback may not be on the roster. The Raiders did not do anything to dispell the myth at the combine, as they were interested in many of the top picks. Hence there are many reports indicating the Raiders are shopping Terrelle Pryor for a late draft pick. Others suggest he may be cut if the Raiders can not find value for him on the trade block. Here are some of the arguments being made, as to why Pryor has played his last down for the Raiders.
The Raiders have not seen enough development in 3 years.
Why Does Pryor deserve another shot with the organization responsible for drafting him three years ago? Yes, the Raiders know what they have in Pryor, but the truth is he is still learning to play the position. He made a huge jump from his second season to the third, and I Pryor’s work ethic could be displayed this season as well.
Dennis Allen and Pryor don’t seem to get along.
Sure their were media reported drama here and there.Both sides have remained professional enough to not burn the bridge completely.The truth is, Pryor and Allen are both professionals and competitors wanting to win. I think the two men can put aside whatever charachter clashes they have to win ball games. The fact is, this is bigger than Dennis Allen. Mark Davis has his sights on a new stadium but more importantly winning. If Pryor gives them the best shot at that, then Mark should channel his inner Al and keep Pryor on Scholarship.
Pryor does not fit the Raiders scheme.
Maybe the Raiders do favor a quarterback with more traditional traits. Yet, mobile quarterbacks are the new way of the world. Pryor gives them an element to their offense that McGloin does not. His electric speed and size possess the playmaking ability the Raiders are desperate for. Take a look at the draft, even the NFL’s newest prospects do not posess the type of god given athletecism Pryor has.
Raiders have interested in Free Agent and Rookie QBs
This is fine. The Raiders have not had a franchise QB in years, so they should be exploring every option to fill their void. Pryor should be included as one of those options. He shouldn’t be written off even before training camp. He has enough potential and experience to atleast warrant a back up oppurtunity. Worst case scenario the Raiders could cut him after Training Camp, IF and only IF someone else beats him out.
Pryor is not an ideal backup
The argument here is teams want a backup similar to their starter so their is not two different offenses installed. My take is, don’t you want a Backup QB who can win games if your starter comes out? Pryor has proven his ability to impact games and that is the kind of quarterback I want if my starter comes out. Sure he makes mistakes, and he is not perfect, but he doesn’t need to be if he is a backup. Not to mention, after backing-up McGloin, Pryor said all the right things. He did not cause a distraction and handled the matter like a professional. Moreover, with the amount of mobile QBS in the league the Raiders need one of their own to give the Defense an honestly look week to week. How is it better to have a Matt McGloin as a back-up? Sure Allen likes McGloin better than Pryor, but does that mean he is a better back-up than Pryor. If McGloin is better then let him prove it camp.
It is best for both parties to move forward.
Really? How is it better if Pryor goes and plays well for another team? I guess most people are operating under the assumption that Pryor won’t play well on another team. I am not so sure on that, the jury is still out as the young man tries to improve his mechanics this offseason. Additionally, I am sure Pryor wants the chance to bring wins to a franchise that drafted him and a fanbase that supported him. Pryor wants to be a starter, and the Raiders need a starter; that should atleast be enough mutual interest to warrant a competition.
In closing, the Raiders need a lot of help and should be exploring every option to make their team better. Pryor should not be written off as an option for this team moving forward. At least give Pryor another offseason of growth before writing him off as a Quarterback. The Raiders should allow him to compete with McGloin and any other options at Qb via the Draft or Free Agency. What is the worst that could happen? Pryor competes and wins the starting job, which forces Allen to play him, Again?
Snoop Dogg thinks the Raiders should keep Terrelle Pryor, while Vic Tafur, Raiders Beat writer thinks the team is likely done with Pryor. Where do you fall? Vote on the Poll