It seems like the one free agent who has been connected with the Raider this entire offseason has been Tracy Porter. The cornerback was coached in New Orleans by Raiders head coach Dennis Allen and as soon as Allen was named to the position, the speculation began that he would reach out and try to bring his former Super Bowl hero corner back to Oakland as well. And now we are hearing that meeting will finally happen as first reported by Vittorio Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Saints would like to re-sign the 26 years old corner, but before he makes that decision, Porter has decided to see what the market bears. He was in Cincinnati this weekend and did not sign a deal. His next stop will be Oakland where the Raiders hope to keep him from leaving without getting his name on the dotted line.
The Raiders have already signed one corner this offseason in Ron Bartell. But Bartell, while being pegged as an odds on favorite to start, was signed to a one year deal due to his having recovered from a bad neck injury threatened to end his career. He will either be a stopgap or the Raiders will be his stopgap. Either way, the team still needs a long term solution and they would find that in Porter.
The four year corner has played his entire career with the Saints after they chose him in the second round of the 2008 draft. During that time, he has started nearly every game in which he has played. He has 7 career interceptions plus the huge interception returned for a touchdown versus Peyton Manning and the Colts to give the Saints the Super Bowl victory.
That same season in 2009 when the team won the Super Bowl was also Porter's best season as a pro. That season he had 4 interceptions and 12 passes defended in the regular season with one returned for a touchdown.
The Raiders are still obviously actively searching to find another corner to give them two starters. They cut both of their 2011 starting cornerbacks, Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson and are clearly not comfortable heading into next season with just second year players Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa along with Packer castoff Brandon Underwood.
Porter along with the recently signed Bartell would solidify the position and allow the team to begin focusing on other positions of need. For that reason, if the team is going to sign him, it will likely happen very soon.