As expected, the Raiders will not be re-signing Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers prior to the start of free agency, general manager Reggie McKenzie said Wednesday. They will instead go into the offseason with their three young corners in place as the hopeful future at the position.
"I'm going to let those guys hit the market and we'll see what happens there," McKenzie said via Bay Area News Group. "We like what our young corners have done. I think veterans like that are here on the team to bring those young guys along. And I think they kind of did that. Carlos was a savvy veteran that they leaned on. Tarell did a good job with those guys. I think it's their turn."
The young corners McKenzie is talking about are D.J. Hayden, T.J. Carrie, and Keith McGill. Hayden was the team's top pick in the 2013 draft at 12 overall, McGill was last year's fourth round pick and Carrie was a seventh rounder last year as well.
McGill was behind the curve much of the season and saw his only start in the season finale. Hayden and Carrie both saw a lot of playing time with Hayden starting 8 games and Carrie playing most of the season at nickel corner and starting four games. Carrie, as the lowest draft pick of the three, arguably had the best season of all of them. The team is very excited about his potential.
"I think they're ready now," McKenzie said. "I don't think you can just say those three names and expect to go through the full season. I still think you need one or two more. My point is, I don't think you need that old cagey, savvy veteran to help bring along. I think they're at a point now where they played, I've got Charles Woodson in the room, they got to understand that this is how we approach the game, this is how we're going to approach each play. I don't need that particular guy. If it's a guy that can come in and be a great starter, yes. If he can be a great backup, not only at the corner position but safety, D-line, every position we're going to upgrade."
Brown and Rogers both came over to the Raiders as former 49ers starters. They signed one-year deals and at the end of last season signs pointed to that being their only seasons for the team. Brown was good but not great and Rogers is 33-years old and lasted just 7 starts before being lost for the season with injury.
Also in the mix next season is third year corner, Neiko Thorpe who showed some potential in last year's camp but didn't see the field much on defense.
McKenzie is approaching the corner position just as you would expect at this juncture. He has young, drafted players in place and a want but not a desperate need for a couple other potential contributors.
The jury is still out on how much talent the Raiders have at the position, and certainly their durability, but they will be given the opportunity to take that next step.