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Three defensive free agents the Raiders should look at

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NFL: San Francisco 49ers at Chicago Bears Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

With the Super Bowl fast approaching it’s time to look forward to the Raiders’ offseason. As such, here are three 2018 NFL free agents that Oakland should pursue.

CB Prince Amukamara

While it would be great to sign Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson, he will probably receive a contract paying him north of $12 million annually, which might be a little too steep for general manager Reggie McKenzie.

Instead, McKenzie should look at Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara. He is only 28 years old and has been fairly consistent at the cornerback position tallying Pro Football Focus player grades between 75.5 and 81.2 since 2012.

The former Cornhusker hasn’t shown great ball skills, with just one interception over the last three years, so he would fit perfectly with the Oakland secondary room.

But in all seriousness, Amukamara would provide a solid and consistent presence on the field to help the Raiders build much needed depth at the position. He could be a solid No. 2 to hopefully pair with slot corner TJ Carrie, if they re-sign him, and a No. 1 corner yet to be found. Maybe that will be Gareon Conley, a different free agent or a high draft pick.

Amukamara would come at a reasonable price tag, probably around $7-8 million per year which would easily be affordable if Sean Smith and/or David Amerson aren’t around in 2018.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Atlanta Falcons Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive end Adrian Clayborn

Regardless of whether or not Bruce Irvin is a cap-casualty this offseason, pairing another pass-rusher with Khalil Mack is a necessity.

Adrian Clayborn is coming off a career season in 2017 with 10.0 sacks and will command a hefty salary. But that salary should not be a deterrent with the Raiders’ pass rush in desperate need of an upgrade if they want to contend for a Super Bowl with Jon Gruden.

Health has been an issue early in Clayborn’s career. He has had season-ending injuries in 2011 and 2014, but has since been able to stay healthy and work his way back to an elite level. He also has the ability to move inside if Oakland wants to get creative on third down situations.

The Raiders have an incredible opportunity to take full advantage of Mack by adding an extremely talented weapon opposite of him. He won’t come cheap, but the team must add talented pass rushers via free agency and the draft. So why not acquire an elite one?

Safety Tyvon Branch

Tyvon Branch is coming off a season-ending ACL injury. Consequently, the Raiders should be able to land him for a reasonable price and, most likely, a one-year deal.

The former Oakland fourth-round selection would be an immediate upgrade in coverage at the safety position. Reggie Nelson constantly got beat deep and was slow to the football last season. One thing about Branch, is he has never lacked speed and has great coverage skills when healthy.

At this point, Branch might not be an every-down player after his injury riddled career, but he would be a great addition to help in coverage against tight ends, fill in if any injuries occur and mentor Joseph or possibly any new additions via the draft.

Branch is nearing the twilight of his career. It’d be great to see him return to the city of Oakland while he still has some juice left and make an impact on a playoff hopeful team. His return would be great for the play on the field, for Raider Nation and for Branch himself to come back where his journey began.

Poll

Which of these free agents do you see as a good addition to the Raiders defense?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    Prince Amukamara
    (2030 votes)
  • 34%
    Adrian Clayborn
    (2705 votes)
  • 10%
    Tyvon Branch
    (865 votes)
  • 29%
    None of the above
    (2327 votes)
7927 votes total Vote Now