Starter: Rodney Hudson
Depth: Lamar Mady, Tony Bergstrom
The Raiders made a change at center this offseason. They let Stefen Wisniewski leave as a free agent and spent big money to lure Rodney Hudson from the Chiefs. Mady and Bergstrom return to compete for the backup role.
It was a gamble to let Wisniewski go, but one that paid off. Hudson is one of the best centers in the NFL and is still just 25 years old. He becomes the biggest free agent target the Raiders new regime has signed in their three years in Oakland.
Even after somewhat of a down year by Wisniewski, in part due to injury issues, the position would have been 'Stable'. But when you have the money to spend and the ability to upgrade a key position like center, you do it. Especially if that means weakening a division rival in the process.
The former second round pick started every game the past two seasons for the Chiefs and was rated as the third best center in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. He is playing at a Pro Bowl level and after the Raiders made him the highest paid center in the league (for about a month), he should jump squarely on the Pro Bowl radar.
Who his backup will be is somewhat difficult to pin down. Currently working behind him are Lamar Mady and Tony Bergstrom. Rookie Jon Feliciano played there in rookie minicamps so we know he is capable. For Bergstrom and Mady, their best chance of making the roster will be showing they can be a utility backup at center and guard. Mady is the only player on the team with any previous game experience at center, having played some snaps there in college.