The Raiders have had to go bargain shopping at the position the past two seasons. That ends this year. They have 2013 first round pick, D.J. Hayden pegged for a starting spot and nabbing a premium veteran to start across from him. Also key would be bringing back Tracy Porter to man the slot. But, there is no guarantees Porter will be coming back.
Here is the list of those most likely to be targeted in free agency:
Alterraun Verner 25 - Could be the most sought after free agent cornerback this year. He is young and very talented with his best years ahead of him. Verner started every game for the Titans the past two seasons. After a solid first season as fulltime starter in 2012, he took it up a notch and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl. He had an impressive 5 interceptions and 23 passes defended. He's always had great tackle numbers as well, averaging 69 tackles per season. For a team which struggled with tackling last season as the Raiders did, that's an important skill.
Sam Shields 26 - Former Packers undrafted free agent while Reggie McKenzie was there. Reggie loves his undrafted free agents and Shields is one of those success stories. He was one of the best corners in the NFL in 2012 when he took over as the starter late in the season. He was the fulltime starter last season and had 4 interceptions, 17 passes defended, and 61 tackles (51 solo).
Walter Thurmond III 27 - A native of West Covina Califormia, this extremely talented cornerback was drafted in the fourth round of the 2010 draft out of Oregon. His career was upended with a broken leg in 2011 and then last season he was suspended four games for violating the league's substance abuse policy. His injury is not a concern but his character is something Reggie McKenzie would have to use his gut when considering whether to sign him. If McKenzie thinks Thurmond's problems are behind him, his talent is certainly worth it.