As foretold after day one, day two was more exciting. We saw every reported signing from day one made official, for a total of six new free agents added. There was also some news of free agents visiting and of course the continued pursuit of DeMarco Murray.
A few of the official signings were a bit anticlimactic due to their agreeing to terms having been reported earlier. But after the whole Rodger Saffold failed physical debacle last year, Raiders fans were a bit on edge at least about the fact that a whole day of free agency had gone by without at least Rodney Hudson's addition officially announced.
But that hurdle is cleared. Hudson is on board along with Malcolm Smith, Lee Smith, Roy Helu, Dan Williams, and Curtis Lofton.
That group gives the Raiders two fulltime starters in Hudson and Lofton with Williams as a rotational nose tackle who will start most games and play the bulk of the snaps at his position.
The Smiths and Helu are depth and complementary players. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Malcolm Smith is utility linebacker who you can plug in both at SAM and WILL or to allow for 3-4 alignments. Lee Smith referred to himself as a 'lunch pail' guy who does the dirty work and plays through the whistle "maybe now and then I might not hear the whistle blow." he joked. Helu is a very good receiver out of the backfield who adds a new dimension to the running back corps.
With those players now locked in, the Raiders continued their pursuit of spending the rest of their gobs of cash and filling as many holes as possible.
One such position is safety and they had former Eagles safety Nate Allen for a visit Wednesday. He even attended a Warriors game with Rodney Hudson who can now write off the tickets on the ‘Meals and Entertainment' square of his tax forms.
Jermaine Gresham was also in for a visit. The Raiders interest in him goes back to the early part of the negotiating period. Not sure what it taking so long, but there is yet to be a reason to believe it's a concern. But just in case, reports have the Browns interested in having him for a visit should things fall through in Oakland.
That's it then. No more news of the Raiders interest in other players... Oh, wait, there is that DeMarco Murray guy. The Raiders are among four teams interested in him, including the Cowboys who want him back.
Not making things better for the Raiders is Murray hopped on a plane to Philadelphia to visit the Eagles. And word is it was Murray's people who called the Eagles, which means he is most likely trying to get Jerry Jones to up his offer so he can re-sign with the Cowboys and if that doesn't work, the Eagles have the inside track on signing him.
Nothing is certain yet. If Jerry Jones doesn't budge and the Eagles interest isn't as genuine as Murray hopes it is, the Raiders still have a shot. They certainly have the most money to offer. By the way, he wants $8 million per season. That's a LOT for a running back in today's NFL. Even though it's still a million per season less than the Raiders just gave Hudson -- a center.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, the man Hudson is replacing -- Stefen Wisniewski -- is visiting the Seahawks where he could replace Max Unger who the team traded to New Orleans for Jimmy Graham.
Also Chimdi Chekwa signed with the Patriots.
There are still a few glaring holes for the Raiders to fill. Whether they sign Murray or not they will have plenty to add more players. Though at this moment, I am not sure exactly how much because the 2015 cap figures for each new player have not been released. They have needs at offensive guard, defensive end, wide receiver, and cornerback which have yet to be addressed.
They went after guard Mike Iupati, or at least looked into signing him, but he went to the Cardinals. A name to keep an eye on is recently released former Falcons guard Justin Blalock.
Defensive end continues to get the shaft despite an utter lack of pass rushing from the position last season. And no I'm not talking about Greg Hardy. His market is nearly non-existent as teams wait to see whether he will even be allowed to play next season.
All the top wide receivers went by the first day. But there are some decent options to bolster the receiving unit who should get a look soon I would think. Same with cornerback.
Signing Allen and Gresham would be a good start to day three. As would taking visits from players to fill the remaining need positions.
And hopefully I won't need Tommy John surgery by the end of it all.