This offseason is probably Big Reg's last chance. He's got the PERFECT opportunity to overhaul the roster-63,000,000 in cap room, full compliment of draft picks in a LOADED class and and few players who merit re-signing. Here's my big board, both of free agents and prospects:
Schaub had a rough year, but he's proven in the past that he's a capable QB. He can be relied on to hold up the fort until we find that elusive QB of the future. And unless you like Michael Vick (bleh) he's clearly the best option out there.
A mixed bag RB class. Maurice Jones-Drew was dominant in the past, but slowed down hard this year. Knowshon Moreno is coming off a 1,000 yard, 10 TD season but it's questionable whether he could succeed without Peyton Manning opening things up with the passing game. Our own Rashad Jennings played well but in a small sample size and without defenses keying in on him like they had to his predecessor McFadden. The closest to a sure thing is Ben Tate, who has maintained an impressive amount of production on limited carries playing behind Arian Foster. His talent is undeniable, and there are few question marks to him. Unfortunately, this makes him the most sought-after back and it's unlikely the Raiders are the highest bidder. Most likely, they re-sign Jennings.
No sure things here. Eric Decker is a good receiver, but his numbers are probably inflated playing with Peyton Manning. Hakeem Nicks caught nearly 1,000 yards, but with zero touchdowns and many drops. Aside from his 14 touchdown season last year, James Jones has never done anything to merit being anything more than a number 2 receiver. Anquan Boldin is old. And Jeremy Maclin is coming off of an ACL surgery, which could severely diminish his explosiveness. All in all, a class not worth the risk.
If Jimmy Graham doesn't get extended immediately by the Saints, I'd love to see the Raiders make a run for him. He's only the number one tight end in the NFL in every receiving statistic. Even his blocking is top-notch. Just an amazing player. But if they can't get the big name, Dennis Pitta is another solid option.
If the Raiders could re-sign Veldheer, and acquire one of the other tackles above, I'd be happy. Veldheer has proven to be a fine left tackle in the past, and paired with Monroe or Albert would make life hell for opposing edge rushers.
Another solid group. Richie Incognito had the whole controversial Jonathan Martin episode, but has produced well on the field throughout his career. Slausen has almost silently been among the best guards in football since entering the league, as has Wade Smith. Asamoah is a legitamate superstar OG who would fit in any system.
Brandon De-La Puente
A deep class of offensive lineman. Alex Mack, a Bay Area native, would be a killer signing for the Raiders. Not only would this move Stefen Wisnewski to guard, where he's best, it would also give the Raiders a superstar to anchor the o-line around.
A position ripe for the picking. Between Jared Allen, he of 20 sacks, Justin Tuck, and Greg Hardy, the Raiders shouldn't have a very tough time finding Lamaar Houston a buddy on the defensive line. Michaels Johnson and Bennett would be solid pickups as well.
A solid group, but no one who really jumps out at you. Hatcher had a superstar caliber year, but at 32 is unlikely to stick around very long. Starks and Soliai are stout against the run but extremely inconsistent pass-rushers. Joseph is an all-around player who gives his all on every play, but doesn't have the athletic ability or skill of most standout DTs. One most note, however, that they all are an upgrade over Vance Walker.
The amount of superstar talent available at Linebacker makes one drool. 6 pro bowl, all-pro types. Any one of these players would be a huge upgrade for the Raiders.
Only one image can describe this group:
Jyrus Byrd jumps right off the page. After him, most are in the same mold-in the box sorts of safeties Bernard Pollard, Donte Whitner, Brandon Meriwheather.