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Friday Raiders mailbag 6/26: Intriguing position battles, free agent plans, more

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I had you, the readers, submit questions for the Friday mailbag. If you submitted, your question may be here. If not, perhaps you might still find a few answers.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It's mailbag time. I set out to help clear up some areas which readers wanted answers, at least as far as I see it.

Matthew asks: How many TE's will we have on the final roster, and how does Marcel Reece fit into the new offense?

Three pure tight ends. I expect Reece's role to change slightly with he and Mychal Rivera sharing the H-back role in the new offense. It's only a slight change because Reece was already a receiving threat out of the backfield.

Michael asks: 16 million left, how about giving Derek Carr, a new contract, to keep him as a RAIDER for a long time.

Actually, they have $20 million to spend. And per the CBA, teams are not allowed to renegotiate rookie deals until after their third year (see: Wilson, Russell). Even without that rule, it would be WAY too early to be committing long term money to Carr. He hasn't yet proven he is the long term answer at quarterback. After his third year, we should know one way or the other. As for the money, there are other players they can look to give new deals as well as some free agents they may look to add come training camp and preseason.

Brandon asks: Seems like we have a good chunk of money to spend, who else could the Raiders grab from the available Free Agents to make us better? OL? DB? RB?

I think they Raiders may have already made all the moves they are going to make for now. I expect them to stand pat until they see more from their own players and/or an injury occurs. Most teams are in the same situation, so many of the players on the market now will remain so until training camp.

Some of them are free agents because they haven't received an offer they liked from a team. They know if they just wait, an opportunity will open up come training camp - likely due to an injury -- and a team will step up to give them the deal they're looking for. They also know, that will be their best situation with regard to landing a roster spot or starting job.

Nick asks: Who is winning the starting positions at right guard and right tackle?

Currently the first team right guard is J'Marcus Webb and first team right tackle is Menelik Watson. Who wins those jobs ultimately remains to be seen. I don't think the coaches even know the answer to that one yet. They are letting the competitions play out.

Bogdan asks: Which udfa has the best chance of making an impact this year?

At this point, I give a nod to running back Michael Dyer. The running back position for the Raiders is not very strong overall and has uncertainties. Right now he is the fourth running back on the roster behind Latavius Murray, Roy Helu, and Trent Richardson.

Steve asks: Why is Jim Plunkett not in the HOF?

While I can't get into the heads of the HOF committee, I'd say it's because his overall body of work was not great. A better question might be why his coach isn't in the Hall of Fame. Since they are clearly not giving Plunkett the credit for those wins, Tom Flores naturally deserves it. Not to mention he was the first minority head coach in NFL history. The NFL and the Hall of Fame should recognize him as such and celebrate it.

Kenneth asks: who will be the [kick returner]? Where else will Taiwan jones see action other than gunner?

Trindon Holliday was signed as a free agent for that purpose. The team had drafted Andre Debose as a kick returner, but he suffered an Achilles injury and is out for the season. That's when they signed Holliday. Jones will be a reserve return man as well as gunner. He has been working at running back again, but I don't think he sees the field much on offense.

Das asks: What was up with Carr's finger and why is it shrouded in secrecy?

I wouldn't say it's "shrouded in secrecy". Jack Del Rio is simply not required to divulge anything about injuries, so he didn't. He did the same with injuries to other players. We don't really know what was up with the finger, but it appears to be just fine now, so we just move on.

559Raider87 asks: Is McGill really in position to take the starting CB spot from Hayden?

I haven't seen that, no. McGill ran with the first team during team sessions in minicamp a few times because T.J. Carrie was a bit banged up. D.J. Hayden was on the field with McGill. That being said, McGill showed up well, which could be why the coaches are confident in Hayden, Carrie, and McGill as their top three corners heading into training camp.

Joseph asks: What position competition intrigues you the most going into training camp?

The right side of the offensive line. Both right guard and right tackle are unsettled and I will be watching closely to see who wins those jobs. Can Jon Feliciano start as a rookie? Can former offensive tackle J'Marcus Webb switch to guard? Is this when we see Menelik Watson finally reach his potential? Many questions to be answered there.