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.