We are now well into the free agency period and the Oakland Raiders have yet to sign a single player.
We have resigned CB Nnamdi Asomugha, P Shane Lechler and CB Chris Johnson.
We claimed QB Bruce Gradkowski off waivers from the Cleveland Browns.
We have released S Gibril Wilson, FB Justin Griffith, T Kwame Harris, DE Kalimba Edwards and WR Ronald Curry.
As of today only C Jake Grove has been lost through free agency.
Our restricted free agents include LB Jon Alston and LB Ricky Brown.
Our unrestricted free agents include S Rashad Baker, G Cooper Carlisle, WR Drew Carter, LB Isaiah Ekejiuba, DT William Joseph, WR Ashley Lelie, CB Justin Miller, TE Tony Stewart, QB Marques Tuiasosopo and LB Sam Williams.
Of our free agents only a few of them would be nice to have back. Jon Alston, Ricky Brown, Rashad Baker, Isaiah Ekejiuba, and Justin Miller. Those players are not key starters, nor should they be signed to play as starters, but the are good role players, and if they could be resigned at a low cost, they can prove valuable to this team.
The rest of our free agents are either too injury prone, or simply not worth any money to us, and as such, they will most likely be wearing another uniform next season.
Looking at the free agency market, I have to say that I am very happy that we have not signed anyone. The pickings are very slim and the costs are far too high. Guys like Albert Haynesworth and T J Houshmandzadeh were given far too much money, and the reward factor is slim.
I do however like the prospect ofÂ two players on the market. OT Khalif Barnes and S Jermaine Phillips. Barnes would be a nice pickup at a decent price, and if Phillips can stay healthy, he has proven to be a good safety.
The rest of the free agent market is either going to cost far too much for their value, or would not be much of an upgrade to this team.
It is looking more and more that the Raiders will wait until the draft and try to make some deals with teams inquiring about players like DT Terdell Sands, OT Cornell Green and DE Derrick Burgess. All three players are expected to be released or dealt before the new season, and of the three, only Burgess has the prospect of fetching a decent return. The savings against the cap on the three would be roughly 6.8 million, and that would leave us some room to spend on draft picks, undrafted players, and free agents.
We will have lost quite a few players before the draft in April, as it apears that Al Davis and the coaching staff are unwilling to over spend on the free agent market. Once again, I agree with this course of action, but it will leave us with quite a few holes to fill.
One interesting situation that may arise, is if WR Michael Crabtree is to fall to the Raiders at #7 in the draft. This is looking likely as Seattle picked up TJ Houshmandzadeh, and Crabtree will not be doing any proday workouts due to surgery. I believe that the Raiders have put stock in aquiring an offensive lineman, however, if Crabtree was to fall to us, I would bet that he will be too difficult to pass up. I for one, have said all along that the Raiders need not spend big money, or high draft picks on a wide receiver, UNLESS that guy happens to be Michael Crabtree.
Only time will answer this quandry.
In closing, I would like to see the Raiders stay quiet in this free agent market. The only deals worth making, are the ones that come at a low cost, and with a young prospect. We need not spend big money on aging players, injury prone players, or guys that have some attitude issues. We do not need any more questionable guys that will crumble once the going gets tough, and we certainly cannot over spend, like we have done in years past.
Follow the KISS rule, and focus on the draft.
About the Author
Written by Lee Tremblay