Starters: Sean Smith, Gareon Conley, TJ Carrie (slot)
Backups: Dexter McDonald, Antonio Hamilton, Shaquille Richardson, Darius Hillary
Free agents: TJ Carrie
It was a rocky season for Sean Smith in his second season with the Raiders since he was a big money free agent addition in the 2016 offseason. He came off the bench half the season and routinely got burnt for big yards. His two interceptions both came in the same game in which he also gave up a couple big catches.
Carrie was the most consistent presence in the secondary while Smith and fellow starter David Amerson struggled and especially after Amerson was lost for the second half of the season to a foot injury.
Conley was the team’s top pick at 24 overall. He suffered a shin injury in minicamp that had him out all of training camp. His first game was week two and the next game he aggravated the injury and was lost for the remainder of the season. He showed great promise in his limited snaps.
McDonald saw his most extensive playing time last season since the team made him a 7th round pick in the 2015 draft. He appeared in 15 games, starting 6. He was primarily pressed into service due to injury, but also for when Smith fell out of favor.
Hamilton is mostly a special teams player who was also pressed into service in the season finale due to injuries. Richardson and Hilary were signed to futures contracts last month.
It’s possible this time a month from now the only “starter” left is Gareon Conley. I say put starter in quotations because he has only played in two games, with no starts. The team already released David Amerson, could very well let Sean Smith and his $8.5 million salary go, and there has been no indication they will make a serious effort to bring TJ Carrie back.
If one of them is gone, they need to sign someone. If both are gone, they will need to sign and/or draft two. If they shock everyone and bring both back, depth will be needed. With a pretty good looking group of cornerbacks that figure to be available this offseason, getting one of them is a must. They already hosted Vontae Davis on a free agent visit.
What condition do you think the cornerback position for the Raiders is in?
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