The Oakland Raiders are in desperate need of a starting cornerback. Last year’s struggles in the secondary could be blamed on the injuries to the cornerbacks which put more pressure on the safeties. With so many veteran corners on the free-agent market, it may be smarter for Oakland to look there for a replacement.
Before everyone gets on me about how the Raiders don’t have the cap room, Oakland has to fill out its roster somehow. I have confidence Reggie McKenzie will make the necessary cuts and restructure contracts to give the Raiders some leeway. Also, the depth of this year’s class of cornerbacks means there are cheaper options who are better than what Oakland currently has at the position.
Most notably there are a couple of cornerbacks on the market who have started in the past, but either because of age or a new defensive system fell out of favor. The most notable player that fits into that criteria is Quentin Jammer, who would do wonders for the Raiders. Jammer has played his entire career in the AFC West and knows the division well. Oakland could also look at Jammer’s former teammate Antoine Cason, whose six-foot, one-inch frame would help against some of the bigger receivers.
If Oakland decides not to go after one of the medium-names in this year’s class, there are numerous role players who can make an impact for the Raiders. Players like Marcus Trufant or Drayton Florence fit into this category and although may no longer be every down players, still are better than the options Oakland has at cornerback.
The Raiders have to address their secondary woes and with limited impact defensive backs in the draft, the answer is in free agency. There are so many cheaper alternatives for Oakland on the open market that McKenzie should pursue when free agency opens up next week.