Once again, the Raiders have given out one-year deals to a pair of cornerbacks. I feel like I've seen this movie before. Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer were supposed to be good. Not so much. Then Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter were supposed to solidify the position, and they were okay but not the special little snowflakes I wanted to see.
Now it's Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers. Forgive me if I don't get too excited. Both of these guys have shown that they can play, and they will inject some much-needed physicality into the Raiders defensive backfield, but they are both on the downside of their careers and are stopgaps at best. Rogers is 32 years old and is already hurting. Who knows what he can bring to the team at all this season.
The Raiders have a young corner in D.J. Hayden who can be very good if he can ever stay healthy. That remains to be seen, but even if he is just fine the Raiders need to continue to load up on corners across from him. I am well aware that the Raiders drafted Keith McGill, but unless he shows me otherwise I see him as a future safety (which they need, so if he turns into Charles Woodson's replacement down the line that would just be tremendous) or quality depth at all secondary positions.
This team needs a young stud corner to pair with Hayden. They cannot keep messing with continuity of scheme by giving out one-year contracts to two old corners every single season. Who knows, maybe Jonathan Dowling or T.J. Carrie can step into the position and show that they should have been selected much higher than the seventh round. If that happened it would make Reggie look like a super genius.
Some cornerbacks who may be available in next year's free agency period are Walter Thurmond III, who just signed a one-year deal with the Giants, and San Francisco's Chris Culliver. Thurmond lasted way too long in free agency and frankly should have been signed to a long-term deal by the Raiders earlier this year. It's not too late to rectify that. Culliver gets burned on occasion in SF, but is usually left on an island and for the most part has been solid. Why not get both of these guys?
Next year's draft is the real gold mine for corners. The top guys available will be Oregon's Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Florida State's Ronald Darby and Michigan State's Trae Waynes. Ifo and Darby are legit shutdown guys, while Waynes is a big corner at 6'1" and was a major part of Michigan State's stifling defense last year. Waynes will be a junior but another season like 2013 and he may well come out early.
So what do you think, Raider fans? Where should Reggie make his investments in the next offseason?