Raiders offseason moves
Free agent losses
WR Derrius Heyward-Bey (cut to save money)
RB Mike Goodson (signed with the Jets as a FA)
TE Brandon Myers (signed with the Giants as a FA)
DE Matt Shaughnessy (signed with the Cards as a FA)
DT Desmond Bryant (signed with the Browns as a FA)
LB Philip Wheeler (signed with the Dolphins as a FA)
Mike Mitchell is a free agent and not expected back
Richard Seymour is a free agent and not expected back
DE David Tollefson was cut
Free agent signings
DT Pat Sims
DT Vance Walker
LB Nick Roach
LB Kevin Burnett
LB Jason Hunter
LB Kaluka Maiva
Khalif Barnes was the first unrestricted free agent to be re-signed.
Why? More team friendly contract, but he sucks. Not a fan of this re-signing. However, to be fair….he did start 9 games after recovering from a torn groin muscle.
These are some of the bigger names, but not all inclusive.
The Raiders had to make some very difficult decisions with Derrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Huff because they were over the salary cap so they had to let Wheeler and Bryant walk in free agency. And Mr Consistency, Lechler didn’t want to restructure his contract, but Raider diehards remain hopeful he could return.
The biggest losses are Philip Wheeler who seemed to always be around the ball last season and was one of the few bright spots for a defense that was putrid (18th in rushing yards per game allowed, 20th in passing yards per game allowed, and 28th in points per game allowed). However, Kevin Burnett was signed to replace him and he had a very good season with Miami last year. He registered 109 tackles, 5 passes defended and 2.5 sacks so it’s possible he can offset the loss of Wheeler’s production (109 tackles and 3 sacks).
Pat Sims is a veteran DT who played last year for the Bengals and will be needed to help offset the loss of Desmond Bryant (36 tackles and 3 sacks). Sims had 17 tackles in just 8 games and will be a much cheaper alternative than Bryant.
Roach is a solid, but unspectacular player who could replace Rolando McClain if he’s released to save even more money or if they can get a draft pick for him. Maiava had 53 tackles and 2 sacks for the Browns last season, but he might be more well known for being Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s nephew.
So, the defense is clearly being addressed as it should. Often last year they were putting the offense and Carson Palmer in a big hole as he had to try and rally them in the second half of games. But, the Raiders could use a veteran WR with DHB being let go. Denarius Moore is a promising player, but inconsistent. Jacoby Ford cannot stay healthy and Juron Criner is untested. Rod Streater had a surprising rookie season (39 catches, 584 yards, 15 yards per catch and 3 TD’s), but they could use a veteran that can provide consistent production.
With Myers leaving for New York, David Ausberry might be the default candidate at TE. Unless they plan on drafting one.And with just 7 receptions last year that might not be a bad idea.
The rebuilding has begun. Now, it’s just a matter of finding diamonds in the rough in the free agent market and fielding a team that can be competitive.
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