2019 Offseason: Top-10 “Best of the Rest” in Free Agency

Deep playoff runs and championships are rarely built through free agency. We see the salary cap go up every year and the amount of money that gets thrown around never fails to impress. The always ridiculous “legal tampering period” (seriously, that needs to go away) started on Monday. The first wave of free agency will always have the most eye-popping numbers. Although not a free agent, the Raiders kicked things off by dealing for Antonio Brown ($16.7 per year, for three years). In free agency, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock then turned around and made former Patriot Trent Brown the league’s highest paid tackle ($16.5 for four years). The latest signing helps the secondary: Lamarcus Joyner, who can line up in the slot or deep at free ($10.5 per year, per ESPN).

There’s still money to be spent and plenty of holes to fill on this Raiders’ roster. Below are my top-10 players that need a new home and would make sense for Las Vegas Gruden’s. These names appear in ranked order from “most attractive” to the “least”. I also added each player’s respective age at the start of the 2019 season in parenthesis. Last quick note: Players like Adrian Amos and Earl Thomas would obviously be at the top of this list. With Joyner’s signing, I’m not sure the Raiders continue to poke around the safety market, despite Joyner probably working more exclusively out of slot corner going forward.

RB Le’Veon Bell (27) — The positional value isn’t there with Bell, but I think there’s an argument (despite running backs not mattering) for his skill set and age. When he’s healthy and on the field, at only 27, he still has a case as the league’s best back.

EDGE Preston Smith (26) — Young pass-rusher who hasn’t quite hit his stride at this point and will probably fetch more than the Raiders are willing/able to spend given the position he plays, deserved or otherwise.

WR John “Smokey” Brown (29) — Borderline-underrated deep threat that would be a solid compliment opposite the other Brown. Averaged 17 yards per reception in 2018; quarterback change in Baltimore killed him.

LB Jordan Hicks (27) — Injuries are the story with Hicks. He stood out on a talented Eagles unit when he was available.

EDGE Za’Darius Smith (26) — Ascending player who is coming off his best season as a pro. Good for his wallet, but probably takes Oakland out of the running.

EDGE Shaq Barrett (26) –Enough production and figures to cost less than the names that precede him. Chase the value; Barrett will make some general manager look smart.

EDGE Justin Houston (30) — Released when the trade market wasn’t there. We know how productive his career has been rushing the passer. Oakland, or somebody else, needs to get on the phone and hand over some money so he doesn’t end up in New England.

EDGE Markus Golden (28) — Connection with the Raiders current position coach; Oakland may already be dipping their toes.

OG Quinton Spain (28) — Kelechi Osemele was shipped off to the Jets. Raiders may prefer to play with the pieces they already have, or simply opt to draft (can’t imagine trusting Tom Cable), but Spain provides a better option if they’re okay with the investment. Former undrafted player that has turned into one of the more consistent interior linemen.

RB Spencer Ware (27) — Personal favorite who’s an all-around back that has shown the ability to carry the load when called on. Above-average receiver. On the list assuming that they’re not players for Bell in the end.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive


1 thought on “2019 Offseason: Top-10 “Best of the Rest” in Free Agency

  1. Barrett and or Golden might be a nice piece. Depends on what Spain cost and would he be better than Feliciano to sign. Ware might be a nice RB to add. Providing they arent bringing back muscle hamster.Also, anyone know how much cap we even have now after 3 pretty large signings?

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