A partial view for the offseason

As the title states, this will be a partial view, because much will be determined by how the draft shakes out. Free agency has been somewhat determined, as we have seen what our cap situation will be, more or less. The one thing that I cannot do, obviously, is see what trades will be considered, and made. However, that doesn't preclude an early view of what I would hope to see from the offseason.


Let's start with ours, shall we?

Adams - Re-sign to another 1 year deal; he has to show that he can stay healthy before getting any kind of long-term contract.

Barnes - Re-sign to another 1 year deal; if someone better is found in draft/FA, he is a solid backup.

Bryant - Re-sign, priority. He will be cheaper to sign now to a 4-5 year deal than if it is drawn out.

Burnett - Re-sign; didn't see enough to say he's a true keeper, but another year should be enough.

Calhoun - Nice to know you.

Carlisle - He will likely not get many other offers, due to age, and the team should be able to re-sign him if needed, based on draft/FA/improvement of Bergstrom and Nix.

Carter - I'm thinking the same as Carlisle; let it wait until after the draft/FA; he waited half of last season for an offer.

Francies - Another player easily replaced by someone with more upside.

Gaither - Re-sign, 2-3 years. Came in off the street and was an immediate improvement, picking up the scheme quickly. If nothing else, a solid backup in an extremely thin position.

Giordano - I like the way he plays, but was burned often; should be able to find someone that can fill the roster spot that has more upside, for the same contract.

Goodson - Re-sign, 2 years. Showed well, outplaying McFadden last season; question is whether he can produce in a new scheme. Betting that he can, or at least contribute as third-down back and ST guy.

Hagan - Good team guy, but not part of the future.

Hanson - Re-sign, 2-3 year deal; he has proven to be a solid nickel/dime DB, who can occasionally relieve a starter.

Hurd - There has to be a reason that he has been kept this long.

Lechler - It will be hard to see him go, but he is simply too expensive for a team trying to work out of salary cap issues.

Leinart - Would only be the third QB; don't see him wanting that.

Mitchell - Lots of differing opinions on this guy; I have to say that he hasn't shown me enough consistency or cover ability to be brought back.

Myers - Last season was nice, but he won't be able to command a heft contract; re-sign for 3 years.

Parsons - Another year, but he has to get a stronger base to stay.

Ross - Re-sign to a shorter deal, 2-3 years. It looks like he can play, but will have to prove he is not injury-prone to get a bigger deal.

Seymour - Can't see that he has anything left, at his age and with his health issues; best that he can hope for is a short-term deal for minimum money as a situational player.

Shaughnessy - Re-sign 2-3 years, with more incentives than base. Too early to give up on him, after he showed such promise; if he can step it up consistently, he'll get paid.

Spencer - Nice to know you.

Stewart - Looks too small for a PBS system; I liked how he played, and his effort, but he doesn't look like he's a fit.

Wheeler - Re-sign, priority. I'd say a 4 year deal, he is the glue for the LB corps.

That does it for our free agents, now to look at some of what's out there. I have to keep in mind (and wish others would as well) that we are still trying to clear cap space, so we are again looking at mid-level players that can help, not guys that will command a big contract.


RB - LeGarrette Blount or Jackie Battle. Neither is going to command big contracts, but look to be able to provide solid playing time, and occasional starts. Both also fit into a power game.

TE - Dante Rosario brings a decent mix of blocking and catching ability to the table; a capable fill-in until/unless Gordon or Ausberry step it up.

OT - Barry Richardson. Again, depending on where they see Bergstrom playing, at the least this will give a solid back-up to Barnes, and even push for more playing time; competition is a good thing.

OG - Eben Britton. Especially if Carlisle isn't brought back, good depth or potential starter to allow more development of Nix or Bergstrom.

DE - Junior Gallette. Should be able to step into Carter's spot, and has a nice upside. Is a RFA, so Lawrence Jackson is another option.

DT - Glenn Dorsey or SenDerrick Marks. Dorsey may be more of a starter in a 4-3, as he was miscast in a 3-4. Marks is more of a solid rotational player that will give depth in an area sorely in need of it.

MLB - Larry Grant. I see him as a real challenger for a starting position, and gives more ability to shift into 3-4 looks.

DB - Tony Carter. Looks like he may be the keeper in Denver, so I'd also settle for Tracy Porter; either will provide competition and at the worst solid depth at a position that was destroyed by injuries last season.

S - Corey Lynch. Played well in relief, and will improve ST play.

None of these guys are, or would be, 'sexy signings', the flashy, attention-getting free agents that we have seen for too many years in Oakland, as Al swung for the fences. Those types of signings are what got us into the mess that we are trying to get out of, salary cap hell. Another year or two of good management of free agent signings, continuing to trim/trade dead wood, not writing contracts that hogtie the cap, and solid drafting, and we will be able to look at those players that teams spend on to put them over the top.

Obviously, all of these guys cannot be brought in, due to those cap considerations already mentioned, but bringing in a few will let us dictate more of what we want to do in the draft, as well as giving us what we have not had for years: depth. We saw last season what happens to teams without quality depth when injuries hit. Yes, it was an aberration to see that many injuries, but it is part of the game, and teams that can deal with them by having decent backups are the ones that contend.


There are always those who don't fit, whether being overpaid, not productive, not a fit in a scheme, whatever; these are players that need to be dealt with that are currently on the roster.

Brisiel - Will probably be back, to see how he can perform in a different scheme. If he is outplayed, he will likely be cut or traded.

Ford - This is an interesting case, in that he has been injured for quite some time. Do the Raiders take a chance that he will be the same player, or do they make room for someone else? This could be another part of the WR corps shake-up, to get better production, and for players to realize what this business is about.

Goethel - Will likely be cut to make room for a free agent that will be able to stay healthy; may be brought back on the practice squad.

Heyward-Bey - Will have to restructure or be cut. His production is nowhere near his contract; although it isn't his fault where he was drafted, and he has worked hard and not been a problem, he is simply not good enough to be paid what he is getting paid. I wouldn't be surprised to see him be the first shake-up of the WR corps, and get cut.

Huff - Has pretty much only been an average player with occasional flashes; he will need to re-structure or look at his position being filled through the draft.

Kelly - Will have to re-structure or be cut, there really isn't any other option. I don't think that he has played poorly, but his contract is an albatross. There are players named above who could bring much of what he has, at a much lower price.

McClain - Can't see him returning. There are other options available, whether in the draft or free agency, that will do more, cost less, and not be a distraction.

Palmer - Is going to be the starter next year, but will be asked to re-structure to provide cap relief. I believe that he will, and will be happy with the players that will be brought in.

Smith - Can't see his making it to next year; he was a disaster in pass defense.

As for the draft, I will say only this right now: in the past, I would have looked to trade our first-rounder, but not this year. I would definitely be looking at two players; in order, Star Latulelei and Luke Joeckel. I would prefer Star, for the simple reason that a player like that will absolutely be someone that a defense is built around: big, strong, commanding double teams, and able to give a push up the middle. He would be the linchpin in both 4-3 and 3-4 looks; bringing back Bryant, and with a player or two added for depth, a nasty DL to contend with. I especially love thinking of how it could help free up Houston...

I like Joeckel as well, to lock in bookend tackles, one way or another. That would give Barnes the option to move inside, to help create one tough PBS offensive line. Still, I am a defensive guy, always have been, make no apologies for it. I'd rather have Latulelei. My draft post will be coming later, as more shakes out this offseason.
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