The young players in the Raiders secondary have performed well for at the end of this terrible year, but the Raiders will still need to add a veteran into the mix next year. Here are some possibilities!
There are not many super star corners in the league anymore and when teams find them they usually don't let them go. There are some serviceable starters out there in free agency next year though and hopefully the Raiders will be in the market for one.
Sam Shields, Green Bay- Sam Shields is a player that was converted from WR to CB his senior year at the University of Miami. He came into the season as a starter in Green Bay but while he was injured he lost his job to a great rookie CB named Casey Heyward.
With the emergence of Davon House as well in Green Bay their defensive backfield is loaded with young talent making the 25 year old Shields expendable. He has great hands and ran a 4.26 40 yard dash. He has been learning the position with the help of former Raider great Charles Woodson.
Sam would definitely be a quality starter the Raiders may be interested in if the Packers let him hit the open market. He is a little small at 5'11 but he is not afraid to stick his nose in there and make a play. He probably would be a fairly cheap contract and is a very talented raw player.
Domique Rodgers-Cromartie, Philadelphia- Rodgers-Cromartie was sent to the Eagles from Arizona for Kevin Kolb but has not performed like they thought he would. He does have 43 tackles and 3 INT's this year though so he hasn't been all bad.
If Rodgers-Cromartie hits free agency he will be considered the best corner available. He is only 26 and has already accumulated 5 seasons of experience. At 6'2 he has the size to compete against even the biggest receivers. He will be getting a large contract from somebody, but I actually think that somebody will be the Eagles.
Tracy Porter, Denver- Porter got paid 4 million dollars this year to play 5 games. That is not a real great return on Denver's investement but injuries do happen. With his lack of playing this year he may just be a little cheaper next year and Denver did well enough without him to not bother resigning him.
Porter is most known for his super bowl winning interception when he was with the Saints. He is very talented and would be worth a look but I would be weary of signing him to a long term deal. He is 25 though so he could have plenty of good years left. He is also a little short at 5'11 but he is a starter if healthy for sure.
Nnamdi Asomugha, Philadelphia- Nnamdi can only be classified as a disappointment to Philly fans. He is due $15 million next year and the Eagles won't pay that. However Nnamdi has left the door open to taking a pay cut to stay in Philly and he has been quoted as not wanting to play anywhere else.
If he were to be cut by Philly I would absolutely love to see him back in Oakland. He should've gotten the money that Stanford Routt got from the Raiders. He is getting older at 32 though and there are nasty rumours going that he doesn't care about the game like he used to.
I think that those rumours are hogwash though, Nnamdi cares about people more than most and wouldn't give up on his teammates like that. If he wants to come back home in the off-season my arms would be wide open.
Brent Grimes, Atlanta- Brent Grimes is a very interesting case. He had a couple of good years in 09 and 10 with 11 INT's over that two year span. Atlanta franchise tagged him last year after being unable to get a long term deal figured out. Unfortunately for Grimes and Atlanta he then proceeded to be injured for the season. He did get 6 tackles in the one game he played this year.
Atlanta probably will be forced to let him try the open market due to having to figure out his current value among the league. He is not as young as I thought as he will turn 30 next year. I think he is a good CB but at that age and coming off a major injury he is a huge risk for whatever team signs him.
Other players left off of this list are Quinton Jammer, Aqib Talib, and Derek Cox. Out of these three corners Aqib Talib would be the player I would be most interested in however he has had serious off the field issues. Quinton Jammer has been a good corner for a long time but he is getting old now and would not be a long term fix. Derek Cox is just ok.
I really hope that the Raiders add "The Honey Badger" Tyrann Mathieu in the draft though. Despite his off field issues I think he would be a steal in the 3rd round or maybe even 4th round of this years draft. If he He could still really climb up draft boards if he shows up big in interviews and workouts at the Combine. He is actually my number one want for CB next year.
Which Corner would you be most interested in the Raiders signing?
Sam Shields- Green Bay (145 votes)
Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie- Philadelphia (105 votes)
Terry Porter- Denver (32 votes)
Nnamdi Asomugha- Philadelphia (159 votes)
Brent Grimes- Atlanta (25 votes)
Other-Please name in comments (22 votes)
488 total votes