5 Free Agents the Oakland Raiders Should Re-Sign This Offseason
5 Players the Raiders Must Bring Back
After finishing the 2013 NFL season at 4-12, the Oakland Raiders have a lot of work to do this offseason if they have any hope of being competitive next year. One place to start would be re-signing some of their valuable pending free agents.
Despite their disappointing finish to the season, the Raiders saw a number of players step up and prove their worth throughout the 2013 campaign. From little-known offensive linemen who showed grit and determination, to washed-up defensive linemen who shined in a new system, the Raiders certainly saw some promising signs pop up as the season went along.
The Raiders' job will be to make sure that they don’t let all of those promising players get away via free agency. Especially with much more salary cap space to work with heading into the 2014 offseason, they should have no trouble putting together worthy offers across the board. Even if they plan on being active in free agency, there’s no reason to let the players that performed well walk away.
The jobs of both head coach Dennis Allen and GM Reggie McKenzie could hinge on how much damage they do during the offseason. If they can bring in some key contributors while keeping the core of the roster intact, the competitiveness should go up. Assuming that’s the case, the only thing standing between them and a serious run at a Wild Card spot could be some solid quarterback play.
Here’s a look at five players the Raiders need to re-sign this offseason after proving their worth during the 2013 campaign.
CB Mike Jenkins
While Tracy Porter was a huge bust this season, Jenkins held his own as the veteran of the cornerback group. He was a bit of a liability at times, but made some plays and showed up big in a few games. If Jenkins can play with more consistency in 2014, he’d be a valuable piece of the Oakland secondary.
FS Charles Woodson
When Oakland re-signed Woodson, Raiders Nation was ecstatic to see one of the greatest players in team history return to the roster. The aging veteran was far from his former self in 2013, but still played a big role on defense. Unless he opts to sign somewhere that offers some Super Bowl potential, Woodson would continue to be an outstanding veteran presence for the Raiders.
DT Pat Sims
The Raiders couldn’t have had any idea how big of an impact Sims was going to have in 2013. A former third-round pick who never quite panned out for the Cincinnati Bengals, Sims finally found a good situation in Oakland. He dominated as both a run defender and pass rusher, playing an integral role as part of the Raiders’ overachieving defensive line. Re-signing him should be one of their top priorities.
OT Jared Veldheer
One of the most potential-laden pieces of the Raiders’ offensive line, it would be a huge mistake for the team to let him walk this offseason. Before partially tearing his triceps muscle and missing most of the 2013 campaign, Veldheer was considered one of the top up-and-coming left tackles in the NFL. The Raiders need some solid pass blocking, and need to pay the youngster whatever it takes to keep him in Oakland.
DE Lamarr Houston
After three seasons in Oakland, Houston finally emerged as a star in 2013. While he had his fair share of bad games, the majority of the time he was dominating tackles and wreaking havoc on opposing quarterbacks. He showed an outstanding ability to stop the run, and was the Raiders’ most consistent pass rusher. If the Raiders let him leave via free agency, it would be a huge blow to McKenzie’s waning credibility.