Usually when a good player is released by his team, there are questions that surround just about every NFL team as to whether they might be interested in adding that player. Such is the case with defensive lineman Tony McDaniel whom the Seahawks just released. But few if any teams have more as many one-degree-of-separation cases than the Raiders do with Tony McDaniel.
Starting with college, he attended Tennessee which is Reggie McKenzie's alma mater. McKenzie has shown some interest in players who went to Tennessee in his time as GM, including drafting tight end Mychal Rivera and signing Dan Williams as a free agent this offseason. The Raiders also drafted Anthony Morris who is a Tennessee native and attended Tennessee State.
McDaniel went undrafted out of Tennessee in 2006 and was signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars whose head coach was Jack Del Rio. McDaniel spent three seasons in Jacksonville going against current Raiders offensive lineman Khalif Barnes ever day in practice all three years.
From there he spent four seasons in Miami under head coach Tony Sparano who, as we know, was the Raiders head coach last year.
In 2013 he joined the Seahawks. His linemate in camp and for two games that season was current Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa. McDaniel was the Seahawks fulltime starting defensive tackle that season and they went on to win the Super Bowl. The MVP of that Super Bowl was Malcolm Smith who signed with the Raiders this offseason in part because the Raiders made former Seahawks linebackers coach Ken Norton Jr their defensive coordinator.
McDaniel's release was not because he was unwanted. It was a move the Seahawks had to make in order to be able to afford the new contracts they handed out to quarterback Russell Wilson and linebacker Bobby Wagner.
With $2.5 million due to him next season, McDaniel became a cap casualty.
There will be a market for the starting defensive tackle on a team that has been to the Super Bowl each of the past two seasons and is just 30 years old. The Raiders still have over $20 million available to them under the 2015 salary cap and though there doesn't appear to be a glaring need at the defensive tackle position, it makes sense to consider bulking up the position.
Currently their starting defensive tackles are Dan Williams and Justin Ellis with Mario Edwards expected to play some DT in certain sets.
With all of this said, there are just two very important questions that need answering: Does he fit what the Raiders are doing on defense? And is he looking to join a team with a shot at the Super Bowl? If the answers to those questions are yes and no respectively, all the other connections make Oakland the ideal destination.