Reggie McKenzie has done it again — he has signed another cheap but valuable free agent this offseason in Joshua Cribbs.
Not only will Cribbs step in and immediately help the Oakland Raiders‘ special teams unit, but he will become a leader in the locker room. With the lack of depth at wide receiver, Cribbs should also be getting some valuable playing time at slot receiver. Cribbs will be battling with oft-injured Jacoby Ford as the return specialist for the silver and black.
Last season, the Raiders’ wide receivers were injury-plagued as all four starters went down at one point. With the departure of Darrius Heyward-Bey, the Raiders’ receivers unit lost even more depth this season. While the Raiders do have talented players in Rod Streater, Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford, they still need a proven leader like Cribbs to help them become professional athletes.
Cribbs is one of the greatest return men in the history of the NFL, so he should have the leg up in the competition to return kicks against Jacoby Ford. With a new quarterback in town, the Raiders need the best field position that they can get, which makes the Cribbs addition so important.
Now that Raiders rookie quarterback Tyler Wilson is looking like a future starter in this league, it is up to the former college-quarterback Cribbs to teach Terrelle Pryor how to make the switch to another position. The coaching staff will insist all offseason that there is a competition at the quarterback position, but it is highly unlikely that Pryor will win the starting job, let alone the backup job.
With Pryor’s elite speed and size, it makes too much sense for him to make a switch to wide receiver like Cribbs did when he first entered the NFL.
Raiders nation must applaud McKenzie for once again finding an under-the-radar talent. It would not surprise me if the new Oakland Raiders show improvement and shock some teams next year. Gone are the days of Rolando McClain and JaMarcus Russel — the new Raiders are high-character guys who will hustle every play.
Jorge Contreras is an Oakland Raiders writer for RantSports.com. Follow Jorge on Twitter @jraycontreras