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