Guess What? There is still a long way until the NFL and draft and even longer until the season starts. The Raiders have not been the figurehead to Free Agency as many would have hoped, but they still have more than 50 million in cap space, and plenty of needs along the roster.
Offensive Line Hoggies do not recieve a lot of recognition, so I am going to group them together.
Alex Mack- Mack was one of the best centers in the game last season, and at 28 years old is the best free agent left on the market. The Raiders could benefit from selecting him and sliding the wiz kid to guard. However, cleveland can match any deal made to him and he will probably want a huge deal making it unlikely he becomes a Raider.
Brian De La Puente-
The former saints center could be a nice starter to help sure up the offensive line. Has performed decent, but probably deserves starting money. If number is right, this Saint connection could become a Raider easily, as a guard or Center.
The former undrafted free agent has been a beast for Tampa over the years and has not missed any games. At 31, I am not sure if he is going to get any better, however he is probably the only capable Left tackle available. He has visited with the Raiders and indications are it has been a successful. Raiders can not afford to let him leave as they need a replacement for Veldheer.
Oher, yes the one from the movie, is still relatively young at 27. Even if the Raiders ink Penn, Oher would be a nice addition as a guard or solid depth. He has regressed some the past couple of seasons, but a change of scenery could benefit him.
the Boise State product has been a guard as Green Back Packer and Arizona Cardinal. He is far from a pro-bowler, but he is a servicable starter. At worst, he would be a solid option for depth. He has arms long enough to play tackle combined with enough speed and power to pay guard. He should not command anywhere near the 4 million he would have made with Cardinals, so the Raiders should come into play, especially with Reggie McKenzie’s connection to the former Packer.
Other Names-Zach Strief, Tyson Clabo, Eric Winston, John Jerry, Kevin Boothe, Davin Joseph, Uche Nawaneri, Richie Incognito
The Raiders need to address the Defensive Back field as they have yet to resign incumbants Mike Jenkins or Charles Woodson. Specifically they need to add atleast one or two cornerbacks to pair with D.J Hayden, as well as added insurance in the even Hayden goes down with injury. *As I wrote this, Tarrell Brown was signed for the Raiders. Great move, underrated cover corner familiar with the bay area. He will do well as a starter, but I would perfer him as a nickle Back and insurance policy to DJ Hayden. Raiders could still add another corner for starter purposes and a FS. Brown was a great start, but here are a few other guys.
Guys I like:
Raiders brought Jenkins in on a one year prove it deal. He played up and down but is worthy of another affordable deal. He is versatile and would give raiders some continuity they have been lacking. There are a lot of teams interested in the former pro bowler and versatile CB, so I am not sure Raiders will bring him back especially if they have not done so already. However he is the capable and versatile starter to compliment Hayden. He Brown and Hayden would make the corner position sured up for the raiders in the immediate future.
Thurmond is still relatively young and coming off a superbowl year. He was primarily a back-up which could lead to him getting over payed. He would still be an upgrade over the other Raiders Cornerbacks.
Entering his 30’s Cromartie is no longer the player he once was. However, he is still scheme versatile, athletic, and a competitor. Cromartie doesn’t reflect the high charachter guys Raiders have targeted, but I’m sure Raiders could offer him more then anyone else, and I know he would not turn down one last pay day, as well as a chance to be back in Cali weather.
He is by far the best corner available due to age and the fact he is coming off a great season with the Broncos. He did already turn down a 9 million dollar avg. deal from the Broncos so he may overvalue himself. Raiders may not fork out the money he wants, but he would be the best #1 corner Raiders could get, while forming a good duo with Hayden. Not to mention he can play former team Broncos twice a year. No offers from Raiders yet could change once raiders sure up needs.
By most accounts, Thomas was mediocre in 2014 after consecutive ACL injuries. He was a productive player before and could be an affordable nickle back for Raiders. He could reunite with Justin Tuck and prove he still has plenty left in the tank. He already made a visit so the mutual interest is there.
Other names- Rashaad Mathis, Asante Samuel, Champ Bailey, Carlos Rodgers, Dunta Robinson, Anotine Cason, Drayton Florence, Josh Wilson, Aaron Ross
*All of these guys have proven capable at a time. However, many of them are on the decline due to diminishing skill from increased age or injury. Could be training camp guys without a shot at making the roster and proving themselves worthy.
There are plenty of stzrts in this Safety pool. However many are their for injury concerns or dip in production:
You already know why, and how much he means to our franchise. Proved he has plenty to offer a team in nead of leadership and playmakers. Numbers have to be write to bring in a guy closer to 40.
Regardless if Raiders get Charles Woodson they’ll need a second safety to make sure he does not take so many snaps. Clemons is the best available as we speak. He has only missed three games in four seasons.
He has underachieved with the Eagles, but at 26 years old he is an affordable back-up option. We could hope he learns something from Playing under Charles Woodson a year.
Other Names- Usama Young, Roman Harper, Quintin Mikell, Kendrick Lewis, Thomas Decloud, Brandan Merriweather, Michael Huff
Raiders announced signing of LaMarr Woodley and Justin Tuck yesterday. The two would still benefit from having a pass rushing pressence on the inside.
Melton was a pro-bowler and is a versatile passrusher despite being undersized. He is coming off injury and an off field arrest which could have made Raiders shy away thus far. Melton could really be useful replacing Houston as an undersized bass rusher on the inside. Give him a fat one year prove it deal.. Please!
I have been very adament about the 6 time pro-bowler. He is approaching age 33 but he can be effective as a two down run stopper. He is better then Vance Walker or Patt Simms. With something left to prove, he could be the bargain Reggie McKenzie looks for considering their has not been a lot of interest.
Even if the Raiders can court one of the three guys above, Walker would still be an effective back up. He knows the Raiders defense and is capable of stopping the run.
The former Texan is already visiting. Coming off a 5 sack season he can play the end position in a five technique or DT as a 3 technique. They could do a lot worse then the Veteran Smith, but he is not my first option.
Other Names- Terrance Cody, Patt Simms, Patrick Carriker, Robert Ayers
Regardless of what you think about Nick Roach, The Raiders could use an upgrade on the inside, and Roach could be better utilized in his natural position as an outside linebacker.
Spikes is only 26 years old. He had a falling out with the Patriots, so why not come to the Raiders. He is a two down thumper, but the Raiders need that, especially if they utilize more 4 linebacker sets. I’m sure if the Raiders called, he would be happy to take their payday, even if it is only a one year prove it deal due to his injury last season.
He has started a lot of games for the Rival chiefs. If nothing else he is an affordable depth option to push Nick Roach.
Henderson has had his fair share of off the field incidents with 2 DUI arrests, allegedly. However, He can play and with little interest could be some real value for Raiders on all three downs.
Other Names: Dan Conner, Jonathan Vilma, Nick Barnett, Larry Foote, Pat Angerer, Desmond Bishop
Notice: I excluded QBs, RBs, and WRs because they have not been very high in demand. McKenzie is either waiting to address other needs and let their stock fall, or he would rather address those needs via the Draft in May.