Category Archives: Free Agency
The Oakland Raiders finally made some Free Agency moves after what seemed like an endless first few day of the new NFL year.
Most recently, Oakland adds kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson. The two-time All-Pro brings the gamechanging and consistent return ability that this team has lacked for years.
More importantly, it is a two-year deal with a team option for the second year. Reggie McKenzie strikes again with a bargain free agent.
Besides the return game, Patterson could have ability to challenge Seth Roberts in the slot receiver position. First, Patterson will need to work on his concentratrion on catches and refine his route tree.
At the very least, Patterson brings the 4.42 speed that late owner Al Davis would’ve have drooled on. Thus, Patterson can serve as a fourth receiver to stretch the field via vertical passes. Essentially, this assumes Andre Holmes’ role in the offense over the past two seasons.
Patterson is also a former Tennessee Volunteer which RM loves.
Not to mention, the Raiders signed Marshall Newhouse over the weekend. He wasn’t a highly coveted free agent but he is a solid depth veteran on a cheap contract. Apparently, McKenzie helped evaluate Newhouse when he was in Green Bay.
Either way, I’d expect the Raiders to add a tackle in the draft since Menelik Watson bounced. Oakland needs help as Donald Penn is aging and Austin Howard has been inconsistence.
Speaking of players leaving, Malcolm Smith, D.J. Hayden, Stacy McGee and Nate Allen are among key players not returning to the team. Those guys all played hard for the Silver and Black, so I wish them luck.
All of those players can easily be upgraded, but it should be noted that teams wasted no time signing them. Clearly, they saw something that the Raiders did when they added them.
Hayden might actually do well with the Detroit Lions. He’ll have way less pressure there. Meanwhile, McGee and Watson will have to live up to their new starting expectations. Khalil Mack should be happy that Watson is in Denver now. That should equal more sacks.
As for Allen and Smith, neither lived up to the 2015 free agency hype. However, they were both constant pros who made plays at times. Not to mention, they helped change the Raiders’ losing culture. Hopefully, they can pull it together and remain solid NFL players.
Moving forward, the Raiders still have massive needs in the middle of their defense. Key targets like Dontari Poe and Johnathan Hankins should be on the Raiders’ priority list. Especially when you consider this DT draft class is not as good as last year.
At middle linebacker, this draft class is deep. The Raiders could draft a player here in the top of they draft. Either way, they should still add a savy veteran. Luckily, Donta Hightower, Perry Riley and Zachary Brown are all available. They’re the top players at the position. They have a ton of experience and they are all on the right side of 30. Considering all three are available, Oakland should be able to get whichever one they want. I’d expect Riley is the first priority since he joined the team last year. Then again, wouldn’t they have already signed him?
Nonetheless, stay posted for more Raiders free agency updates.
Raider Nation should be stoked that Free Agency begins next week. Our team finally has the cap space and winning culture to sign almost anyone that we want. However, remember that there are levels to attacking free agency. Check out some quick hits on free agents that the Raiders should consider.
Too Good to Get
This group of guys would be awesome, but they’re probably worth more than the Raiders would pay. they were each connected to rumors about getting the franchise tag, so their team should look to re-sign them. Then again, the Raiders are off their first playoff season in more than a decade. Could marquee players finally give us discounts? Guess we will find out.
These are the guys that fit the team need. They should be in the Raiders price range. Can Oakland make it happen for our Super Bowl Run?
These guys are great fits too. They don’t have the same name or production as anyone above, but they are more cost efficient. That is what Reggie McKenzie likes anyways.
If we have to give the money to someone or we must fill a roster need, then these are the guys you call. They have a different combination of question marks including age, price, scheme-fit and injuries. However, they might be worth a gamble if they are available late in the process.
Guys to Stay away from
I made an entire post for them. These are the guys who don’t make sense for our team and culture. They can leak anonymous connections to our franchise or have their agents call us, but we should probably not return that call. Check out the full list here:
Did I forget anybody? Let me know via Twitter.
*This list was composed via NFLTradeRumors.co’s Top-100 Free Agents list
Free Agency is finally here! Many of us are excited as the Raiders have nearly $40 million in cap space after a 12-4 playoff season.
Thus, the Raiders have been connected to many free agents already. Here are the top players that Oakland should avoid when Free Agency negotiations open on March 7.
Garcon is 31. He took a step back last season. Oakland has no need for an undersized receiver on the outside.
Jackson went to Cal and grew up in L.A. He should’ve been a Raider two seasons ago when we created a hashtag for him. Instead, he chose to kick it with Wale and RGIII. This ship has sailed, but we’re not salty.
He’s 27 and has value as an inside and outside threat. However, he did not show much with New England. Thus, he is on the open market for a reason. Not worth the snaps investment.
Peterson will be an all-time great. However, his 1.9 average last season did not do him any favors. A checkered past with questionable fatherhood decisions and his age make this an absolute no-go. I don’t care if we should have had him instead of JaMarcus Russell.
Young and big back with zero ability to avoid hits. He also lost his ability to hit the second gear and make explosive runs. If we wanted that, we would have kept Latavius Murray.
Charles has missed more games than he has played in over the past few seasons. Plus, Oakland has their receiving backs in Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.
One of the best linemen in his time, but he is 35. He is not even an upgrade over Donald Penn.
Even Alexander did not see his double-digits sack performance in 2016 coming. The Raiders do not need to be on the wrong side of his career projections as the edge is 34.
Another all-time great. He was still effective during his time in Green Bay. However, he is 37 and the Raiders need to invest money and reps elsewhere.
Big corner who has been on a steady decline. Raiders should pass.
Our tight end position is enough of a mess without adding a journeyman tight end who is on the wrong side of 30.
He was never the same player in Jacksonville that he was in Miami. Is an end or a tackle? Is he any good? Plus, I didn’t forget that he dissed Oakland for the Jaguars. Boy Bye.
Rodgers might make sense if the Raiders want a big-back for insurance behind Washington and Richard. However, this NFL Draft class is stacked with backs.
Former Pro Bowler with injuries. Over 30. His previous team did not bring him back after only one season. He is also a career left tackle who is probably not willing to switch to the right side. Clady is also more of a zone blocker, so he does not fit in Oakland.
I feel he was a product of his environment in New England. There is a reason the Patriots eased his use towards the end of the season.
He only played 60 percent of the snaps in New England last season. Long is 30, and a hybrid edge rusher with a legacy to the franchise. It makes too much sense to happen, just like last offseason.
An aged, veteran corner. Eh.
Stay tuned to see if the Raiders negotiate with any of these free agents that could end up being big busts. Either way, Oakland can not make any deal official until the league new year begins on March 9.
The above players were from a list of the Top-100 Free Agents, per NFLTradeRumors.co.
The Oakland Raiders caught everyone’s attention by signing corner Sean Smith, lineman Kelechi Osemele and linebacker Bruce Irvin.
Unlike past years, it was a refreshing feeling to sign the players that the Raiders were connected to. Best of all, the Raiders signed versatile and hardworking players without overpaying.
I’ll admit the Raiders even exceed my own fanatic expectations. Clearly, the Raiders are building something that people will buy into.
Osemele said the team is committed to the trenches. Smith said the power is shifting in the AFC West. Irvin is busy trying to recruit other free agents like Eric Weddle and Donald Penn.
The self-proclaimed Baby Reggie is finding ways to spend the leftover $34 million.
Raiders need to sign Donald Penn
Speaking of spending, the Raiders need to resign Donald Penn. Do not get it twisted.
Penn is a huge reason behind last season’s resurgence. He held down the left tackle position the past two years.
Granted, I do not like paying Osemele $12 million as a guard. He started six games at left tackle for the Ravens. He has enough athleticism to do the same for the Raiders. However, why not continue Penn in the role if the price is right?
The price should be right considering he said Oakland is the lead to keep him, even after they signed Osemele.
Raiders must fill other holes.
The Raiders are going hard at Weddle. They need at least one safety via free agency. Hopefully Weddle is that guy considering he is the best available.
The Raiders still need some help at offensive line, running back and middle linebacker. A pass rusher might also help.
Oakland could fill those needs in the draft. However, they are hot so why not ride out the momentum?
Chris Long, Jerrell Freeman, Rashad Johnson and Geoff Schwartz are names to keep an eye on.
The Oakland Raiders regime consistently adds competition to their roster through Free Agency. The Raiders will continue this trend by addressing each need with a capable starter or solid backup.
This formula helps steady the blue-worker culture of Jack Del Rio’s roster. It saves owner Mark Davis money by not cashing huge checks for any single Free Agent. Plus it gives general Manager Reggie McKenzie freedom in the draft.
Here is how the Raiders can win the NFL offseason, as the official NFL new year begins with the opening of Free Agency. Expect them to hone in on the running game and pass defense in the 2016 offense. They worked on run defense and passing attack last year.
1. Resign Donald Penn
The Raiders need someone ready to grow Derek Carr and Amari Cooper on offense. Unfortunately, that guy is not in free agency. The closest thing is Russell Okung, but he is not worth spending big bucks on. Also, count the Raiders out of the bidding war for Osmele.
It seems unlikely Penn returns because the sides could have signed a deal during the season. However, he is the perfect two year stop gap as the team drafts his replacement.
2. Sign a linebacker
The Raiders can cut Curtis Lofton now or before the season. Either way the team needs to upgrade the linebacker position. These players could be found in the draft. However, this talent group is top heavy at the position. Add Danny Travathan, Jerrell Freeman or Bruce Irvin. Good age and plenty of experience. The Raiders got the cash to make this fast and easy.
They may also select a linebacker in the draft. Regardless, signing a starting caliber linebacker is a priority.
3. Grab some safeties
Forget your opinion on Nate Allen. Plus, Taylor Mays and Larry Asante are best as special teams. Therefore, the Raiders need to add at least two safeties via the draft or free agency.
The Raiders will make a run on a starting safety like Eric Weddle, Tashaun Gipson or George Iloka. After locking one up, they’ll add a fringe starter to the mix like Sean Richardson, Walter Thurmond, Hussain Abdullah or Michael Griffin.
4. Add a pass rusher or two
It is the old chicken or egg debate. What came first, the poor secondary or poor pass rush? I know the Raiders pass rush was decent last year, but expect the team to build on the strength. Del Rio and McKenzie both like building teams from the inside out.
Olivier Vernon and Malik Jackson spark a lot of interest for the Raiders. However, Oakland will probably pass on their high price tags. The Raiders should try adding someone like Jason Pierre-Paul on a fair market deal. That could move Khalil Mack into full-time linebacker duty. Either way that is an upgrade to the pass rush.
Otherwise the group can add some bargain bin veterans via the Justin Tuck role. How about Mario Williams or Chris Long? Both players could play all along the defensive line or rush the passer standing up. Charles Johnson might also be someone they add later in the process.
5. Add an offensive guard.
I am willing to believe this unit believes in John Feliciano. That is why they will not pay Osmele $10 million a yer to play guard. Osmele is not the answer at left tackle either, despite him starting a few games there last season.
The Raiders could still add a quality starter at the position. This could include Alex Boone, Jeff Allen or Ramon Foster. Otherwise they will probably take a flier on a veteran like Jahri Evans or Geoff Schwartz. This atleast gives them another year or two to develop Feliciano.
6. Bring in a corner
The Raiders will probably be linked to high end corners like Sean Smith and Prince Amukamara. However, they will probably see what they have in the trio of T.J. Carrie, D.J. Hayden and David Amerson. All three are young enough for another season of consideration. Adding some pass rush will help this group out.
Nonetheless, the Raiders will still sign some talent at the position. They’ll extend serious interest to Casey Heyward, Jeremy Lane, Morris Claiborne or Brandon Boykin early. Heyward is the best of that group by far, but the rest of the guys could prove themselves in the Raiders secondary. As a consolation prize, the Raiders may give Leon Hall, Antonio Cromartie, Kyle Wilson or Leonis McKelvin one last shot at playing time.
7. Add some skill players
The Raiders should express some interest in young position skill guys. The Raiders are more talented at running back and receiver than past years. However, they can still add a young player to push the incumbents at receiver or running back. Jermaine Kearse, Rishard Matthews and Marvin Jones should be in the Raiders spending. Anquan Boldin, Roddy White or Brandon LaFell might also bring their last bit of gas to the organization. The Raiders need another deep threat to replace Andre Holmes. Adding a big receiver could also spell Amari Cooper into the slot.
At running back it is much of the same. Some okay veterans and okay starters. The Raiders like Latavius Murray off of a Pro Bowl year. The team won’t overpay for Doug Martin or Lamar Miller despite how beast of a compliment they would be for Murray. Ronnie Hillman or CJ Anderson make sense as they are both young. James Starks or Arian Foster will be connected to the organization. No matter who they sign, the Raiders should also add a runner from the top five rounds of the draft. Unless they strike gold with Martin, Miller or Matt Forte.
8. Draft the best player available
The Raiders have no need to reach for a position in the draft. McKenzie does a good job at letting the draft play out. He will do the same by drafting the best overall talent in the draft.
Expect any player the Raiders draft to compete for a starting position. I predict the team will use two of its’ first three picks on defense. That is only if a really good running back or tackle falls into a position they can not resist.
9. Bring back key players
Keep Denico Autry, Seth Roberts and any other players they like from last season. That includes guys who might become career back ups like Tony Bergstrom, Khalif Barnes or Matt McGloin. I’m not oppossed to keeping Matt McCants, Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Taylor Mays, Neiko Thorpe or anyone else that got significant time last year. If someone else does not value them, give them at least a shot in camp. The Raiders need these guys for role positions, and they played with lots of heart in 2015.
Finally, sign Aldon Smith. Make it Happen. He is too talented to let go.
- Sign Donald Penn
- Sign Danny Travathan
- Sign Tashaun Gipson and Sean Richardson
- Sign Jeff Allen
- Sign Jeremy Lane
- Sign Chris Long
- Sign Jermaine Kearse and CJ Anderson
- Draft: T. Decker, Robert Nkemdiche, Paul Perkins, Scooby Wright, Best corner, best receiver, best corner or safety.
- Rankins or Nkemdiche are my favorite pickers here. However this is not a bad spot for Jason Spriggs, Ronnie Staley or Taylor Decker depending on Pro Days.
- If Nkemdiche or Jaylon Smith land here they are two talented to let fall past the Raiders in round two. Otherwise Kenny Clark, Dorian Thompson or Deion Jones could fit here.
- Paul Perkins is my favorite of the second tire backs in this class. Great pass catching option. Otherwise C.J. Prosise or Tyler Ervin comes into play here also.
- Best linebacker, linemen or corner in this spot depending on the rest of the draft. A good defensive player like Wright might find himself here.
- Draft remains the same through next 3 rounds. Just add some athletes. Maybe a high ceiling guy like Rashard Robinson.
Ultimately, the Raiders will continue their trend upwards with this draft. They add plenty of B and C plus signings before killing the NFL Draft. This team would definitely compete in the NFL Playoffs.
Finally, free agency. The Oakland Raiders bring the second most cap to the party at just over $70 million.
The team will look to build on last year’s success by adding starters and players who can immediately compete. Although the Raiders found key players at key positions, they still have many wholes on their rosters.
Below is a list of free agents the Raiders should target. Omitted are their own free agents. Notice the list is build from the inside out, because the team will build the trenches first.
These players are ranked based on age, dollars, injuries, scheme fit and play, as well as team need.
I get it. Antonio Smith was on the wrong side of thirty for a team that wanted to get younger. Still, a team with so many roster wholes can not afford to let a player with Smith’s leadership and production go. Even if he was a liability against the run, the ninja assassin would have brought value in pass rushing situations.
The Raiders let Smith’s three sacks and force fumble walk for nothing. Instead they opted to re-up with CJ Wilson last week. This might signal the Raiders are in play for a three technique such as Leonard Williams. They might also grab one at the top of the second round in Michael Bennett or Carl Davis. Regardless, the Raiders need as much talent and leadership as possible and letting Smith go just adds another roster whole.
So why did they do it then? I think it is clear Smith didn’t fit the new team’s scheme. Even more than that, maybe Smith was team Sparano. Smith was one of the biggest advocates for the interim coach last season and maybe he didn’t buy into the JDR regime. I thought Reggie McKenzie would have at least stuck to one of his key acquisitions from last season for at least another year. The team had nothing to lose playing Smith in a limited role
Whatever the Reason, cutting Smith just made the Raiders roster even more talent deprived. Further, Smith gave Raider nation a year of great media quotes and we thank him for that.
Neither too high of odds to be a long shot nor small enough to be the logical candidates, these players have the potential to land in Silver and Black. They might not be the Raiders first options, but they still have a chance of playing in Oakland. Depending on how the market pans out, why not bet on these guys signing with the Raiders?
1. Torrey Smith – Receiver
If the Raiders miss on Maclin and Cobb, Smith would be the next best target. Even if he fits the Raiders’ old philosophy of chucking the ball deep, Smith has proven he can be a number one receiver. Raiders should feel comfortable giving him big bucks if he is available.
2. Brandon Graham- Edge
Raiders could do worse than an under 30 pass rusher. He’s never had more than six sacks in a season but he has some versatility. Raiders won’t pay him big money but if they miss on other edges, Graham could be a last option.
3. Mike Lupati- Guard
Lupati is big and knows how to open running lanes. Having played his whole career on the otherside of the bay makes it a convenient move for Lupati. The Raiders’ need offensive line help, and Lupati is still 27. Oakland may still look for help at interior linemen in the draft, but having Lupati means they won’t have to draft a guard.
4. Antonio Cromartie- Cornerback
The past few times Cromartie has hit the open market the Raiders have been interested. Eventhough he is not the same athlete as he was early in his career, he knows how to be a starting cornerback. Cromartie probably goes to the Jets but the Raiders should try to get the veteran in Oakland. The Raiders need players who can create takeaways.
5. Rahim Moore- Safety
Moore led the Broncos in interceptions when Del Rio was the coordinator in Denver. Still don’t think Moore is the answer for the Raiders as they need someone more capable of playing in the box.
Even if every top player wanted to sign with the Raiders, the team would not have enough money or playing time to offer them. Hence, here are some players who could make a big impact with the team even if they are not commanding the same attention as other positional players in the market.
1. Antrel Rolle- Safety
Rolle is no longer young or explosive enough to be a marquee signing. Still he knows how to lead and play football. He is looking for one last pay day and maybe the connection to Just Tuck helps get the deal done.
2. Trent Cole- Defensive end
Cole is no longer the dominating pass rusher he once was. However, Cole could be a great situational player for the Raiders to add. They went down that path with Woodley and Tuck last year, so signing Cole would not be a surprise. Especially if they miss on some of the other top pass rushers available.
3. Ray Maualuga- Middle Linebacker
With ties to Ken Norton Jr. at USC, I am surprised this has not been rumored already. As an old school, run-stuffing linebacker, Maualuga will not be high in demand. That said, the Raiders need a Mike linebacker and signing one under 30 could really help the future of the Raiders’ defense.
4. Kareem Jackson- Cornerback
The Raiders are in the need for a number one quarterback. Jackson is probably not that like Darrelle Revis, Williams, or even Cromartie. But he could still contribute a ton for the Raiders. He is more scheme versatile and cheaper than Byron Maxwell. Plus Jackson is only 27.
5. Nick Fairley- Defensive Tackle
No one is sure what Fairley is. Is he the overweight guy with off the field issues? Or is he the player capable of dominating games that he has occasionally flashed? Either way, Fairley would normally be the best defensive linemen in a class that didn’t have Knighton or Suh. Hence, Fairley will fly under the radar and that could work out for the Raiders if they miss on Knighton and Suh.
In closing, all of theses players would be more than consolation players for the Raiders. Each has a lot to contribute still and would be position upgrades. If the Raiders are not considering them, they should.
What is the difference between a long shot and a dream? Simple, dreams can come true although unlikely. Versus a long shot is a foregone conclusion that it won’t happen but if it does than that is cool. Here are some long shot free agency signings for the Raiders.
1. Brian Orakpo- Edge Rusher
Orakpo has missed more games than he has played the past two seasons. He is still a great pass rusher and that might be enough for the Raiders to take a chance. Unless the Raiders give him a fat one year contract, I expect him to get over valued by another team or take a big one year deal to stay in Washington
2. Orlando Franklin- Guard
Franklin transitioned from tackle to guard last season for the Broncos. It was a successful transition, but he still won’t be worth the contract he will get. The Raiders learned from last year’s Austin Howard experience about paying a guard tackle money, so they will probably let him sign else where.
3. Byron Maxwell- Corner back
Really good No. 2 corner backs have a way of cashing out to be number two corner backs but they usually flame out. Maxwell will probably do the same. Hopefully the Raiders are smart enough to not offer the big money other teams will as he is a product of a great Seattle defense.
4. Malcolm Smith- Linebacker
Having Smith’s former position coach as our defensive coordinator easily links the Raiders to Smith. But if Ken Norton Jr. was so high on the young former Superbowl MVP wouldn’t he have not made him a reserve? Either way, I think Smith coming to the Raiders is a long shot because is he a inside backer, outside backer, starter, or reserve?
5. Michael Crabtree – Wide Receiver
Drafting the guy we passed on for Darius Heyward-Bey? Long Shot, even if he played his whole career on the other side of the bay.
While anything could happen in free agency, these players signing with the Raiders would be a surprise