By Kevin Saito @Kevin_Saito on April 20, 2014
At this stage of free agency, the top-tier players are long gone and the players left on the market come with some baggage. Teams who sign the last crop of FAs do so with some attached risk. But the Oakland Raiders, by signing Darren McFadden, showed that they're not against rolling the dice on a potential playmaker with performance-based, incentive-laden contracts. Here are five players still on the market who could still contribute to the team.
The Raiders are still in the market for a No. 1 receiver and Austin has showed that when healthy, he can be a force. A couple of injury-plagued seasons have tanked his production, and as a result, there has been zero interest in Austin on the free-agent market. He's still only 29 years old and can be a threat in any team's passing attack if he stays healthy. Matt Schaub needs weapons, and Austin can likely be had at a bargain rate.
A member of Seattle's Super Bowl winning team, Schofield is versatile, and with just four years in the league, he's still young. He failed a physical with the Giants in a scene reminiscent of the Rodger Saffold debacle, and had his contract voided leaving him on the free-agent market. Schofield is big, fast, versatile and could be a good role player for the Raiders. He's a player who might be worth taking a chance on.
At 32 years old and coming off of a season-ending knee injury in 2013, the New Orleans Saints gave up on Smith and released him. It's believed that the Patriots are in the running to sign him, so clearly there are teams out there that believe he still has some gas in the tank. While likely not an every-down force at his age, Smith could provide some depth to the defensive line. And he could likely be had at a bargain price.
A knee injury that wiped out his 2013 season is the likely reason Spencer has drawn no interest on the open market. But he's expected to make a full recovery -- which for the team that signs him is a very good thing. Should he regain his 2012 form in which he recorded 11 sacks, adding him to a defense that already boasts a handful of studs would give the Raiders some depth, rotational flexibility and one hellacious pass rush.
Though they've signed Carlos Rogers and Tarrell Brown to help bolster the defensive backfield, the Raiders are still fairly thin back there. He's under 30 and still has plenty of gas in the tank, though, he's inexplicably drawn little interest on the open market. Thomas could be a good addition for depth in nickel and dime situations, and has the experience to start in case of injury. Thomas might be well worth taking a flier on.
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