Oakland Raiders must address offensive line in free agency
The Oakland Raiders have done a good job at addressing some of their holes on defense, but that strategy has neglected the issues on offense.
Oakland needs some help on the offensive line if it wants to utilize the power running scheme of Greg Olson. The issue is the Raiders still have not signed two starters from last season, Khalif Barnes and Cooper Carlisle. There is not enough depth for Oakland not to sign a free agent offensive lineman and it is unlikely the Raiders find a starter in the NFL Draft unless they select one at No. 3.
If the Raiders should start anywhere, it should be with re-signing Carlisle to anchor the middle of the offensive line. The 13-year veteran has been an important cog in the Raiders’ line for six seasons and will be a helpful leader in the transition to a new scheme. It also helps to have some continuity on the line and bringing back Carlisle would definitely bring continuity.
It is not like quality offensive linemen aren’t on the market. While some of the bigger names may have signed already, there are still numerous starter-quality linemen that unsigned and it would be beneficial for Reggie McKenzie to pick up the phone and reach out to them.
The most intriguing target for Oakland may be Eric Winston, who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs. Winston can be a starting left tackle for Oakland and be a physical force in the power running game. If Winston is too expensive, the Raiders can pursue the numerous other former starters with at least six years in the league that are on the market.
Oakland cannot continue to neglect the offense in favor of their defense because the offense still needs pieces to be a true threat and at the moment the offense is lacking those players.