By Gil Alcaraz IV @GilAlcarazIV on March 14, 2014
After a disappointing first four days of free agency, it’s time for the Oakland Raiders to make a serious effort towards upgrading their roster heading into 2014. Especially after a disastrous situation with Rodger Saffold, GM Reggie McKenzie and Co. need to rehab their image and show that they’re serious players in the market.
Here are five players they could target as free agency rolls into its first weekend.
With Vance Walker and Pat Sims both headed for free agency, it’s not out of the question for the Raiders to look for replacements at defensive tackle before the draft. While Williams is obviously past his prime, he still has some upside as a three-technique who can turn in an impact play from time to time. Assuming he comes at a reasonable price, Williams would be a solid signing for the Raiders.
As we’ve seen since his release, Peppers is facing an ice-cold market. Not only is he on his last leg, but he also appears to value himself higher than any NFL team does. However, once that gets to his head, the veteran defensive end might opt to settle for any franchise willing to table an offer. The Raiders can’t necessarily depend on LaMarr Woodley to stay healthy, so having a capable backup makes sense.
After the Saffold debacle, the Raiders are still in need of a legitimate left tackle. They could choose to give Menelik Watson an opportunity, but that seems illogical. Instead, the Raiders should go for Penn, a former starter who was recently released by the Buccaneers. Not only is he a big, physical run blocker, but he’s a capable pass blocker who isn’t going to be a serious liability on the blind side.
With three of their top four cornerbacks gone and a rookie slotted as their top cover man, the Raiders might want to address the position soon. They’ve shown interest in Brandon Browner, but he has apparently signed with the Patriots. So instead, they should stay local and convince Brown to move across the bay to help Oakland resurrect their secondary.
Unless the Raiders are happy going into the draft with only Matt McGloin, Terrelle Pryor and Trent Edwards under contract, they need to find a legitimate starter to pencil into the top spot on the depth chart. While Vick is well past his prime, he can still lead an offense and brings more potential to the Raiders offense than any of the other passers on the roster right now.
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