clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL Free Agency: Raiders work not done

New, comments
Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports

Tuesday the Raiders filled another large need on the team when they agreed to terms with free agent offensive tackle, Donald Penn. He is expected to step in as the starter at left tackle in place of the departed Jared Veldheer.

In total, the Raiders have signed eight outside free agents and re-signed three others. Those players are as follows:

OT Austin Howard
DE Justin Tuck
DE Lamarr Woodley
DT Antonio Smith
CB Tarell Brown
WR James Jones
OG Kevin Boothe
OT Donald Penn


OL Khalif Barnes
RB Darren McFadden
S Usama Young

What began as $66 million in cap space is now at an estimated $26.4 million. That leaves a good amount of money to spend and a few positions still yet to be addressed. Here are the positions which could still receive attention in free agency.

1. Nose tackle

The defensive line has seen a lot of attention since free agency began. They brought in two pass rushers in Tuck and Woodley and a right defensive tackle in Antonio Smith. The one position yet to be addressed is that of nose tackle. Pat Sims held down the position all last season and played quite well. He is still unsigned by a team and bringing him back looks to be the best option available.

Without Pat Sims, the position is currently manned by last year's sixth round pick, Stacy McGee. He may end up being something special but that remains to be seen. The Raiders need to either re-insert Sims as the expected starter or bring in someone else. There really are no players out there at nose tackle who could come in and start besides Sims. So, if they don't bring him back, the draft would be the next option.

2. Free safety

The team did re-sign Usama Young but he is not an ideal starter and some competition is expected. The obvious solution here would be to re-sign Charles Woodson. The Raiders and Woodson have been working on getting a deal done to bring him back for what would be his farewell season and there is a decent chance it could still get done. Woodson has said if the numbers aren't right, he would rather just retire, but with the money the Raiders still have left and most big moves already made, there is no reason they can't come to an agreement.

If the Raiders decide to move on from Woodson, there are still decent options out there. The top two are former Dolphin, Chris Clemons, and recent Falcons cap casualty, Thomas DeCoud.

3. Slot corner

The Raiders are in the midst of a near complete overhaul of their cornerbacks (again). D.J. Hayden is slated as a starter and they signed former 49er, Tarell Brown to start on the other side. That just leaves the middle of the field uncovered. That job fell to Tracy Porter but he was allowed to leave as a free agent and signed with the Redskins.

The top slot cornerback out there is former Giant, Terrell Thomas. The Raiders had him for a visit last week but he left unsigned. After him it is another former member of the Dolphins secondary, Chris Owens. Other options out there include Antione Cason, Josh Wilson, and Aaron Ross.

4. Quarterback

The quarterbck position is, of course, the most important on the team and one could argue it's the biggest need as well. But the market doesn't scream for urgency in signing anyone. The only players out there currently who could be worth signing are Josh Freeman and Ryan Fitzpatrick. But those players will have to wait to find out what happens with Matt Schaub. The Texans are reportedly trying to trade Schaub and his $10.5 million salary this season before they make the decision to cut him. It is unlikely they will have any takers and may wait until June 1 to release him so they can split up the cap hit.

There is plenty of time for the Raiders to make a decision at quarterback in free agency. At present they have Matt McGloin, Terrelle Pryor, and Trent Edwards. There is little doubt they will draft a quarterback and it could happen as early at their number five overall pick. Then it's just a matter of adding a veteran for competition.

5. Linebacker

One of the few positions the Raiders had starters in place, but depth is needed. They need a viable option at middle linebacker behind Nick Roach who wore down as the season went on. Miles Burris may or may not be that guy. Kevin Burnett also wore down as the season went on and his tackling was very suspect. He is still the projected starter but some competition would be a very good thing. Sio Moore had a great rookie season but there is no real option behind him.

The best options out there are middle linebacker Dan Connor, outside linebacker Akeem Jordan, outside linebacker Arthur Moats, and outside linebacker Erin Henderson.