Who should come back

The Oakland Raiders began their off-season by re-signing veteran Charles Woodson. Woodson had a redemption season by not only providing leadership and swagger but also as one of the best players in Silver and Black.

However, The Raiders have quite a few other decisions to figure out starting with the players whose contracts expired.

Who’s going

Andre Holmes

Proved his value this season equating almost 700 yards for the season. Well Holmes has shown flash as a deep threat for the Raiders, the team needs to upgrade the position. I see Holmes becoming a third or fourth receiver on a really good team.

Darren McFadden

As much as it hurts me to say, it is probably time to move on from the Run DMC era. At 27 years old, McFadden finally stayed healthy but had his worst season as a pro. McFadden still has value as a third down and spot play back. However, a change of scenery may be better for both teams. McFadden probably needs to go to an offensive juggernaut who will not only utilize him, but defenses won’t be able to key on only him.

Carlos Rodgers

Injuries and age make Rogers an easy decision. He played well before getting injured but aging corners are always available on the market.

Tarrell Brown

Brown too played well before injury, however, McKenzie has proved willing to substitute corners over the past few seasons. Combined with a new head coach and salary cap, the Raiders should upgrade the position with Antonio Cromartie among other names.

Pat Simms

I was all for bring Simms back last season after he played well as a starter. However, with Justin Ellis blossoming, having another run stuffing end may be redundant.

CJ Wilson

As a career back-up, the journey man should be able to find another gig. Wilson’s inability as a pass rusher just doesn’t warrant him coming back.

Chimdi Chekwa

Rather it is the practice squad, special teams, or spot up play Chekwa has been a contributor since he was drafted. Hopefully he has enough tape to stay in the league, but with young Carrie and Thorpe on the roster Chekwa is probably the odd one out.

Who’s Staying

Brandin Ross

I have never been a huge Ross supporter, but he got a lot better from the 2013 season to the end of the 2014 season. Therefore, why not? He is young, could be a special teams player or add depth to the team at a relatively cheap price.

Rod Streater

The media might have forgotten about the third year player who almost eclipsed 1,000 yards as a sophomore but fans have not. He is a fan favorite and one of the few weapons in the cupboard. He has a combination of size and speed that make him viable in the slot and outside. Please don’t let him get away!

Stephan Wisniewski

The Wiz kid regressed last season. He was ranked in the 20s by PFF and had a few fumbled exchanges throughout the season. Still, resigning the center means there is one less need on the team. McKenzie preaches building through the draft and it is time for him to continue that strategy by developing the young center. Plus, he is a Raider legacy!

Matt McCants

McCants played center last year, however, he did well as a tackle the season before. His versatility makes him a viable depth option for the Raiders.

Marquette King

No brainer. Keep the great punter lineage going. King is not only a developing young punter, but he is also an athlete and stable in the community.

Chopping Block

Tyvon Branch

I might take some heat for this one, but Branch has not been a reliable contributor since signing his last big deal. He was supposed to flourish under Dennis Allen but he just hasn’t been able to stay healthy. If it is time to close the door on McFadden than why not do the same by cutting Branch and converting his salary into cap space. Why not replace him with Antrei Rolle?

Matt Schaub

Self explanatory. I would rather have Mark Sanchez or a laundry list of other quarterbacks backing up Derek Carr.

Maurice Jones Drew

Hype up the JDR MJD connection all you want. The two bay area natives worked to perfection in Jacksonville, but this is years later. MJD hasn’t been the same back in a few years despite a lighter body and lighter load. He is one of my favorite players an a bay area guy but their are far greater options in the free agency market and draft.

David Ausberry

Another no brainer. Has not met the hype. Should be cut in favor of adding any other veteran tight end.

LaMarr Woodley

Woodley’s stock has been trending down over the past seasons as fast as Sears. Either way, there are plenty of other free agent veterans worth taking a shot on. Woodley needs to go back to being a stand up end anyways, as 2014 had him relatively ineffective.

Nick Roach

It was admirable for Roach to play more than 90 percent of the defensive snaps in 2013. It is clear it took a toll on him as he missed the season to concussion. The Raiders have a younger Miles Burris to compete for snaps on special teams or as a starter. Hence, they do not need Roach as they should address the Mike position in the draft or free agency anyways.

Earning their Keep

Antonio Smith

No doubt the 30+ year old is on the decline. Still he proved he had value last season in spots. Using him as a three technique pass rusher or run stuffing end should increase his shelf life and effectiveness. Cutting him should not be an option as he also has playoff experience.

Austin Howard

Another one of McKenzie’s free agency additions that was ehhh…. Howard playing out of position at guard may give him another season in silver and black. Besides that is one less need the team needs to fill.

Frankly this team does not need another overhaul. This new regime faces it’s first test by getting their own free agents to buy into them. Otherwise, let’s cut the dead weight and get more cap space!

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About Pete D. Camarillo

B.A. in Journalism from CSUN and Raiders fan since birth. Work featured on Fansided, Sports Out West, various other online publications and in print. Former Sundial Sports Editor and LA Clippers intern. Follow me on Twitter: @petecertified.

Posted on January 31, 2015, in Oakland Raiders. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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