We now move to the all-important defensive end position. It is a position at which the Raiders have not had a dominating player for quite some time. And it is arguably in the most need of attention this off-season.
Both starting defensive ends from last season are set to become free agents. The one who the Raiders need to make a serious effort to re-sign is Lamarr Houston. If they can bring him back, they will simply be desperate to bring in someone for the other side. If Lamarr were to leave as a free agent, the Raiders would be beyond desperate at the position. Either way, they should be fairly active in free agency trying to fill the defensive end vacancy.
Here are those free agents who fit the bill for the Raiders:
Michael Bennett 28 - The Seahawks don't have a lot to spend this off-season and being a Super Bowl team built on defense, their players will be in high demand. Bennett could top the list of high-demand players. The Raiders should be among his suitors. He started all 16 games in 2012 for the Buccaneers before heading to Seattle last off-season on a one-year deal. He had a career best 4 forced fumbles and his 8.5 sacks was a half sack away from matching his career best, set in 2012.
Michael Johnson 27 - The Bengals have money to spend but are notoriously cheap. There seems to be a significant difference in opinion between the two sides regarding Johnson's value. The Bengals offered a five-year deal worth $40 million last year, but he rejected it -- they then added another year and gave it to Carlos Dunlap. Johnson could smartly test the market and if he does, you can bet the Raiders will give him a look.
Justin Tuck 31 - The Raiders are in a position where they are looking to go young and build for the future. Tuck being 31 doesn't really mesh with that, but there is something to be said for a player like him at this stage of his career. First of all, he just came off a season in which he had 11.0 sacks from the left end spot. The last time he had numbers like that, he was in the Pro Bowl. Lamarr Houston plays right end so Tuck could come right in and start opposite him. Tuck should have a couple good seasons left and that is likely the kind of contract he would sign -- a couple years, not break the bank. And what the Raiders get is a Super Bowl winning, former All Pro pass rusher who can either be a fulltime starter, or a solid rotational guy.