One of the Raiders biggest needs entering the 2018 offseason is improving the talent at defensive tackle. Even after extending Justin Ellis to a three year contract worth more than $15 million, the Silver and Black should look to add another quality interior defensive lineman as they haven’t had a dominant player at the position since Richard Seymour.
One player the Raiders could have added to fill this void was former Jets defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson. That idea crashed and burned when ESPN’s Rob Demovsky reported Wilkerson agreed to terms with the Green Bay Packers. It was later confirmed to be a one year contract worth $5 million plus $3 million in incentives according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
Wilkerson may have been the prized defensive lineman that free agency had to offer, but there are plenty of other options for the Raiders.
The biggest name out there could be Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, as Miami is planning on releasing the five-time Pro Bowler, league sources told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. Suh, 31, never lived up to the expectations that came with the massive six-year, $116 million dollar contract he signed back in 2015. While he is past his prime, Suh is still a force and was the fifth-highest graded defensive lineman in 2017 by Pro Football Focus with a 91.0 overall score.
Another big name to keep an eye on is Seahawks defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson. His pass rush production has declined since his dominant 2015 campaign, but he still is a disruptive presence on the interior and received a Pro Football Focus grade of 83.8 last season. Richardson, 27, is four years younger than Suh and could be a more affordable option as well.
One player that the Raiders have reportedly shown interest in is Vikings defensive lineman Tom Johnson. At the age of 33, Johnson would simply be a short-term answer that isn’t splashy but is less expensive than bigger names on the market.
Falcons defensive tackle Dontari Poe, 27, is still an impactful player who would fit in nicely with the Raiders defensive line. Titans free agent DaQuan Jones would also provide value due to his versatility. Both defensive lineman made Silver and Black Pride’s free agent wishlist.
If the Raiders decide to address their need at defensive tackle in the draft, Washington’s Vita Vea and Michigan’s Maurice Hurst should both be available when the Raiders select at 10th overall.
Muhammad Wilkerson would have looked nice in Silver and Black, but Oakland still has plenty of intriguing options.