Handful Of Familiar Free Agents Are Still On The Market, Could The Raiders Pounce On One?

The NFL free agency period has all but dried up, but if Jon Gruden is still shopping the aisles, there are a few familiar names still on the shelf.

All are maybe a long shot, but some have already been linked to the Raiders and others might be worth keeping an eye on.

The Raiders were going to bring in Brian Cushing for a visit, but then they signed Derrick Johnson and canceled Cushing’s visit. Maybe down the road Cushing could become an option again if the Raiders aren’t satisfied with their situation at linebacker – and it’s hard to imagine that they are.

Junior Galette was talking to the Raiders at one point, but when Arden Key showed up, the door may have been slammed shut on Galette. Nevertheless, Gruden was envious of the Eagles rotation of pass rushers in the Super Bowl – maybe another for him isn’t out of the question.

At this point, Jeremy Maclin is more of a name recognition than anything else, but who can blame him for not posting better numbers in Baltimore’s run-heavy offense? Maclin caught 87 passes for 1,088 yards in 2015, but has tailed off since. It’s notable that the Raiders preferred to give up a third-round pick for Martavius Bryant’s final year under contract rather than sign Maclin.

Dez Bryant is out there, too, but no one seems interested in adding the headache that comes with Dez.

The Raiders really don’t need a wide receiver, so Bryant and Maclin are probably the farthest free agents from Gruden’s mind.

The Raiders went hard after defensive tackles in the draft, but a strong rotation on the defensive interior is a necessity in the NFL.  A very good DT is still available in Johnathan Hankins, but the rumor is he’s asking for a lot of coin. At this point, defensive tackle isn’t a need in Oakland, but who knows – this is Gruden we’re talking about.

Are the Raiders looking for a running back that could potentially carry the load if Marshawn Lynch goes down? Doug Martin might be that guy, but DeMarco Murray could be an option as well. Murray is a veteran running back option that excels in pass protection. The question is, how well can he still run with the ball?

Eric Reid is a former first-round pick (2013) and posted 7 interceptions over his first two years in the league. He is only 26 years old and would fill a need in the Raiders secondary. Some feel the Raiders have enough resources at safety currently on the roster, but you won’t find that opinion here. Former Broncos safety T.J. Ward is still sitting in the unemployment line, too.

The Raiders were reported to be interested in Bashaud Breeland, but Carolina swooped in and gave Breeland a three-year, $24 million deal. The deal fell apart when Breeland failed a physical, but the consensus seems to be that he will be healthy in time for training camp. The Raiders need one more cornerback, but maybe Breeland, who is still only 26, will cost a little much?

NaVorro Bowman is apparently still on Jon Gruden’s radar and he would be a welcome addition to the Raiders even with Derrick Johnson in the mix. Maybe the Raiders like that Johnson is better than Bowman in coverage, but hopefully that didn’t inspire Gruden to put all his faith in a 35 year-old linebacker.

The Raiders didn’t pay a lot for Johnson, so as the finances are concerned, it’s hard to believe they view him as the absolute answer at middle linebacker.

twitter: @raidersbeat


1 thought on “Handful Of Familiar Free Agents Are Still On The Market, Could The Raiders Pounce On One?

  1. Ward came from a top-tier defense and I like Reid a lot too. Bowman is the obvious choice but with Johnson signing and our defensive draft picks, it might have put him on the back burner for now. Bowman and Johnson playing together though? I’d take that.

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