The Raiders are in a very good situation this year in terms of their own free agents. That mainly because they have made sure to lock up their players either a season ahead of time or extend them during the season.
One such instance figures to be Derek Carr, who has a year left on his rookie deal, but who is now eligible to receive a long term extension.
This list is those players who, should they not be re-signed, would become a free agent in March along with the level of priority I project the Raiders place on re-signing them.
Denico Autry (RFA)
With Mario Edwards Jr missing most of last season with a hip injury, Autry was the team’s top interior pass rusher. He is known for his ability to bat down passes at the line and was third on the team in sacks (3.0) behind Khalil Mack (11.0) and Bruce Irvin (7.0).
The Raiders are in a good situation with Autry. They can lock him up long term if they like or just slap a tender on him to keep him in Oakland next season. I expect at very least Autry will receive a round two tender for next season.
The team’s longtime long snapper finally saw the playoffs this past season. He was the longest tenured player on the team to have never seen a playoff game. A steady hand at the position, though he will turn 36 before next season begins, so the Raiders could look to find his replacement. On the other hand, Sebastian Janikowski’s contract goes through 2017, so perhaps holding onto Condo on a short term deal would be a good idea.
A 1000-yard runner in 2015 as the team’s workhorse, Murray started to fall off late that season and saw his overall numbers come down with the additions of DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard. I would imagine the Raiders would make Murray an offer of what they believe is fair market value, which should be lukewarm.
Brought in last offseason as a special teams ace and lived up to it. He also showed in the past couple games that he can play a decent bit of safety. Teams always need good special teamers. They should look to hold onto Trawick.
Perry Riley Jr
An upgrade at middle linebacker has been needed for some time. Riley provided that last season, though that isn’t saying a whole lot considering what the Raiders had in place at the time he was signed off the street. Free agency comes before the draft. Re-signing Riley would not be expensive and it would ensure they go into the draft covered in case the guy they like isn’t available to them.
On a team that has struggled as much as the Raiders did with their interior line, McGee actually looked like the best of defensive tackle they had in a few of those games. He hasn’t seen a lot of action, so his market doesn’t figure to be great, but best to bring him back to compete at the position. They need all the help they can get.
Now and then, he shows receiving skills that beg the question ‘Where’s that been all year?’ But make no mistake, he makes the team over others each year because of his special teams work. He tested the market last offseaon and received no interest and returned on a one-year deal. I could see that happening again.
Smith has struggled much of this season. An upgrade is needed. I could see them bringing him back to compete for a spot, but it would either be on a low cost, risk free deal, and possibly after he’s already been allowed to test the market.
I like Rivera as a receiver. He still has his issues with blocking and I think he always will. That’s why he wasn’t even active on game day early this season until Lee Smith was lost for the year. There is probably a team out there that can better utilize his skillset.
Each offseason since the new regime came in, they have made an offensive lineman their biggest investment. It’s right tackle’s turn. If they can’t reel in a big time tackle in free agency, then a return by Watson on a 1-year deal could be in order.
He played well in relief of Karl Joseph last season. This after his long term deal was torn up following an injury plagued 2015 season, and re-signing on a one-year deal. He will do what he has done several times, which is look for a long term deal somewhere, or perhaps a place where he can compete for a starting spot. He is talented enough not to be relegated to special teams duties as he was in Oakland most of this season.
Exclusive Rights Free Agents
Those on the team who are ERFA’s will return unless the Raiders decide not to make them an offer. They are SaQwan Edwards, Gabe Holmes, Seth Roberts, and Denver Kirkland.
After four years with the Raiders, he said this week he wants to go somewhere he can compete for a starting job. That isn’t Oakland. McGloin is a confident and competitive guy. He may get his chance somewhere and the Raiders will wish him well.
Prior to last season, the Raiders declined his 5th year option. He was moved to the slot to see if he could resurrect his career. It didn’t go all that well and then he was injured and lost for the season. Time to move on from the new regime’s first ever first round pick.