Cornerback has been a sore spot for the Oakland Raiders since the days of Nnamdi Asomugha and Stanford Routt. It’s a major sore spot once again with the cutting of David Amerson and Sean Smith and TJ Carrie leaving in free agency.
So Amerson and Smith were getting bombs dropped on them throughout the 2017 season. All the while, 2014 seventh-round pick T.J. Carrie emerged as the team’s best CB. But they allowed him to leave via free agency for almost $8 million a year. The Raiders flirted with Trumaine Johnson early in free agency but wouldn’t match the $14.5 million a year he received from the Jets.
They shied away from the cornerback position the first two days of free agency despite having only Gareon Conley, Antonio Hamilton and Dexter McDonald on the roster with Conley being the only promising one. The Raiders seemingly gunshy from signing Amerson and Smith to big money with neither having made a single Pro Bowl beforehand. Carrie and Johnson have also yet to make a Pro Bowl before signing their big contracts.
For their patience, the Raiders have a chance to sign a potential upgrade over Carrie for what would figure to be a better price later in free agency.
According to Pro Football Focus, Melvin is the No. 17-rated CB in the NFL (Carrie is at No. 21) for the 2017 season. His superior height (6-2), length, and speed would also serve him well the the Raiders’ bump-and-run scheme.
Melvin’s story is actually similar to Carrie’s. Both had to fight for a roster spot as Melvin went undrafted in 2013 and Carrie went in the seventh round in 2014. Then both worked on their craft to exponentially improve to get in line for bigger contracts. So there’s no case to say the Carrie makes up for anything with his heart and/or competitive fire.
The Raiders need to address the CB position urgently and Melvin is perhaps their last, best chance to do that in this year’s free agency. After that, they would have to turn to the NFL Draft.
Anything can change on a dime at this time so it is a good idea to keep up with things on Raiders free agency tracker.