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Raiders free agency 2019: What condition each position is in from critical to strong

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NCAA Football: Senior Bowl Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

We are now just a week from the start of free agency on March 13 and a few days from the start of the free agent negotiating period (March 11). To see where the Raiders stand going into it, we took a look at each position and gave it a condition. We also asked the readers where they think the positions stand. Here are the results, starting with the most critical on up to those which are in better shape.

Critical

Edge rusher

Starters: Arden Key, ???

Backups: James Cowser, Shilique Calhoun

Free agents: Frostee Rucker, Kony Ealy, Jacquies Smith

Poll results: Critical (88%)

Notes: Positions don’t get more critical than this. They must address it in free agency and the draft.

Free agent wish list: Trey Flowers, Za’Darius Smith, Ezekiel Ansah, Preston Smith, Dante Fowler Jr

Wide receiver

Starters: Jordy Nelson, Marcell Ateman

Backups: Seth Roberts, Keon Hatcher, Saeed Blacknall, Rashard Davis,

Free agents: Dwayne Harris, Brandon LaFell

Poll results: Critical (72%)

Notes: They need an big X receiver and a slot receiver right now, and Jordy Nelson is turning 34.

Free agent wish list: Golden Tate, Tyrell Williams, Adam Humphries, John Brown, Cole Beasley, Kevin White

Serious

Linebacker

Starters: Tahir Whitehead, Nicholas Morrow, Marquel Lee

Backups: Jason Cabinda, Kyle Wilber, Cayson Collins

Free agents: None

Poll results: Critical (54%)

Notes: Middle linebacker is (still) a must. They could use an outside linebacker as well.

Free agent wish list: C.J. Mosley, Anthony Barr, K.J. Wright, Preston Brown, Avery Williamson

Offensive tackle

Starters: Kolton Miller, Brandon Parker

Backups: Donald Penn, David Sharpe, Justin Murray, Jamar McGloster

Free Agents: TJ Clemmings

Poll results: Critical (43%), Serious (28%)

Notes: They are sticking with Miller at left tackle, but a veteran starter is needed at right tackle.

Free agent wish list: Daryl Williams, Ja’Wuan James, Trent Brown, Ereck Flowers

Running back

Starters: ???, Keith Smith (FB)

Backups: Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Chris Warren III, James Butler, Ryan Yurachek

Free agents: Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin

Poll results: Unstable (33%), Serious (31%)

Notes: They may just have no starting running back going into free agency.

Free agent wish list: Le’Veon Bell, Tevin Coleman, Mark Ingram, Jay Ajayi

Unstable

Safety

Starters: Karl Joseph, Erik Harris

Backups: Dallin Leavitt, Tevin Mitchell

Free agents: Reggie Nelson, Marcus Gilchrist

Poll results: Unstable (59%)

Notes: They like Joseph as the future. After that?

Free agent wish list: Landon Collins, Adrian Amos, Clayton Geathers

Tight end

Starter: Lee Smith

Backups: Derek Carrier, Darren Waller, Paul Butler

Free agent: Jared Cook

Poll results: Unstable (54%)

Notes: Jared Cook will test free agency. He was their leading receiver. If he leaves? Woof.

Free agent wish list: Just re-sign Jared Cook

Cornerback

Starters: Gareon Conley, Daryl Worley, Nick Nelson (slot)

Backups: Rico Gafford, Montrel Meander, Markinton Dorleant

Free agents: Rashaan Melvin, Leon Hall, Bene Benwikere, Dexter McDonald

Poll results: Unstable (57%)

Notes: A slot corner is needed.

Free agent wish list: Ronald Darby, Kareem Jackson, Bradley Roby, Bryce Callahan, Darqueze Dennard

Defensive interior

Starters: Justin Ellis, Maurice Hurst

Backups: P.J. Hall, Eddie Vanderdoes, Gabe Wright

Free agents: Johnathan Hankins, Clinton McDonald, Ahtyba Rubin

Poll results: Unstable (41%), Stable (34%)

Notes: One more tackle would solidify the rotation.

Free agent wish list: Muhammad Wilkerson, Henry Anderson

Stable

Quarterback

Starter: Derek Carr

Backup: AJ McCarron, Nathan Peterman

Poll results: Stable (53%)

Notes: Rumors have swirled all offseason about whether Carr is the long term answer. Jon Gruden has said Carr is his franchise quarterback, and if he gets through the draft with Carr still on the roster they may just buy it. McCarron got a vote of confidence as the primary backup.

Offensive guard

Starters: Kelechi Osemele, Gabe Jackson

Backups: Denzelle Good, Denver Kirkland

Free agents: Jon Feliciano, Chaz Green

Poll results: Stable (60%)

Notes: It was a down season for what was previously one of the best duos in football, mainly because Tom Cable’s zone blocking scheme. There has been speculation Osemele could be cut to save money on the cap. That would be unwise and obviously would shoot this position into serious condition. Re-signing Good to a 1-year deal was a smart move for depth.

Center

Starter: Rodney Hudson

Backup: Cameron Hunt

Free agent: Jon Feliciano

Poll results: Strong (56%)

Notes: Center is the only position that was voted by the readers as strong, obviously because Hudson is one of the best in the league. But facing losing backup center Jon Feliciano, I was unable to to diagnose it as strong.

Strong

None

Notes: Not right now, but with some smart moves in free agency and the draft, that could change before they head into training camp.