With the release of Coye Francies and Travis Goethel earlier this week there comes two open slots for the Raiders to fill. They have tipped their hand on one free agent that they are interested in by bringing in Offensive Lineman Andre Gurode for a visit. He is currently in Napa at the Raiders training camp, reported by our own Levi Damien who saw Gurode working out at the facilities. The visit is yet to be confirmed by the Raiders.
Andre is a Guard/Center who most recently was a member of the Chicago Bears. This would make sense as a signing if the Raiders were hoping that he could be a utility man back up that is capable of multiple positions and also as a possible starter at either Guard position. Versatility along the offensive line is very important to Reggie McKenzie, it is something that he learned to value from his time in Green Bay who also covet versatile offensive linemen and Gurode fits that bill.
Mr. Gurode is a veteran lineman who was originally drafted by the Dallas Cowboys back in 2002 out of the the University of Colorado. He was considered the best interior lineman in his draft class back then and was picked early in the 2nd round. He was very successful with the Boys having made 5 straight Pro Bowls from 06-2010 before being released in 2011 because of up and coming player Phil Costa emerging to take his place and a slow return from off-season knee surgery that year.
After his time in Dallas was over Gurode signed a one year deal with the Ravens who he played for in the 2011 season but was not re-signed. After that he was an injury replacement for the Bears from November 27th until December 11th. He did not play for any other team in 2012.
We all knew that the Raiders were not done shopping for players and Gurode would be a valuable asset as a backup that can play anywhere along the interior line. Currently the Raiders only have Alex Parsons' as a backup Center so Gurode would be likely to compete with Parson's to be the primary backup to starter Stefan Wisniewski if signed. He also could come into play as a competitor for one of the two starting Guard spots if he were signed though so keep that in mind too.
The Raiders need to bring in at least two more fresh faces for the roster after cutting ties with Francies and Goethel, Andre is a great place to start the search. It will be interesting to see who else the Raiders go out and target, including later on after teams starting cutting players to get down to their opening day roster. It was originally reported that Travelle Wharton was the player in for a visit but that was a mistake as it was actually Andre Gurode, I apologize for the confusion.