Some people have a tendency to think that the Raiders have lost their best defensive player and their best offensive “weapon” to free agency this year. Well I, for one, am not some people and I don’t agree with that at all. To be the best defensive player, you should make an impact on the field, a la Richard Seymour. Nnamdi Asomugha, on the other hand was more non-existent than impactful, which is why his contract was vioded in the first place.
To be an offensive weapon, you should be getting in the end zone and scoring points, which Zach Miller did very little. I contend that the best offensive weapon right now is Darren McFadden. The second deadliest, even if Miller were still in Oakland, is Jacoby Ford. Miller is a security blanket, the guy who gets the ball when nobody else is available – a role that a lot of NFL players could fill. That said, let’s look at some players whom the Raiders could sign with the money that they didn’t spend on Zach Miller.
Two of the players (Kevin Boss and Malcom Floyd) on my original list were written about earlier by Levi. You can check that article out right here.
Le’Ron McClain Baltimore Ravens FB
McClain is a two-time Pro Bowler as the AFC’s fullback. Both of those seasons (2008 & 2009) he was also named an All-Pro. Trouble is he desires to be a bigger part of an offense than Baltimore is willing to give him. So, I had the crazy idea that the Raiders should sign him and convert the 6’0” 260 pound fullback into their new tight end in the event that they can’t sign Kevin Boss. McClain has the hands for it with 21 catches in each of the last two seasons and he is one heck of a blocker as well.
UPDATE: The Raiders have missed their opportunity for McClain as he has signed a one-year contract with their divisional rival, the Kansas City Chiefs.
Brian Waters Kansas City Chiefs G
If Waters has a downside it is that he’s 34. But the upside is he can still play and he’d bring a ton of experience to a mostly inexperienced line. As a five time Pro Bowler and a two time All-Pro, Waters is certainly one of the best remaining available linemen in free agency. Plus he fills a need for the Raiders at guard. Despite his age, Waters was ranked 67 in NFL Network’s top 100 players of 2011.
Derrick Dockery Washington Redskins G
Dockery had a solid 2009 campaign, but when Mike Shanahan came in with his zone blocking scheme, Dockery did not adjust to it well. Thus the 6’6” 330 pound 30-year old is currently looking for employment. The Raiders should seriously consider Dockery because he can play multiple line positions from left guard to right tackle, the positions in which he was the primary back-up as a rookie in Washington.
Andre Carter Washington Redskins DE
Defensive end isn’t a big need for the Raiders this year, unless they find out that Trevor Scott is not the same guy after tearing his ACL. Carter had 11 sacks in 2009, but couldn’t find a way to get pressure on the QB after converting from a 4-3 DE to a 3-4 OLB when Washington changed their scheme. He would thrive in a back-up role with the Raiders and would keep the starters on their toes.
Rocky McIntosh Washington Redskins OLB
I don’t mean to flood you with former Redskins, but as it turns out, Albert Haynesworth is not the only guy who doesn’t fit in the Mike Shanahan system. It doesn’t mean these are bad players or washouts, it just means that some teams are going to get bargain players at decent prices. McIntosh is a decent 4-3 linebacker, another Redskins casualty of the conversion to 3-4 defense. His coverage skills fit for the available WILL linebacker spot with the Raiders.
Kirk Morrison Jacksonville Jaguars MLB
I’m still intrigued by the possibility of Kirk Morrison returning to the Silver and Black with a new role at weak-side linebacker. Some of you think he’d be jealous of McClain or that his connection with former teammates would undermine McClain as a leader. I disagree. I think Morrison is a consummate professional who could teach McClain a lot of things and would be a valuable commodity.
Jason Allen Houston Texans CB
I know, I know, who wants any player from the Texans secondary? But not so fast, because Allen was grabbed off of waivers by Houston in November of last year in a move of complete desperation. You know who else was claimed off of waivers in November of last year – another former first round pick, Raiders defensive end Jarvis Moss. Allen is the prototypical Al Davis cornerback, 6’1” 200 pounds with 4.39 forty time.
And now, for good measure, a list of Don’t Touch free agents: OL Brian McKinney, CB Carlos Rogers, WR Braylon Edwards, and TE Alge Crumpler.
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Dockery is sitting out there and we get scrubs signed to come in and try to help compete?! fantastic Al. This is clearly not the work of Hue Jackson. He would see that Waters would be a perfect. hey, here's a thought? sign Waters AND Dockery instead of Smiley and Satele? no, that makes too much sense does it not? I mean, i realize that we're still about 10 million over the cap, but Al has how many months until he has to be at 120 million? he can no doubt get this done. these guards wouldn't garner huge contracts, that's for sure.
It's quite possible at this point that we'll just stick with Carlisle/Smiley or Satele/B. Campbell(if he's healthy)... wouldn't that be great? this may have the look of the 2006 OL if we stick with these guys.
there is 2 more OL that i might add that are sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring...
Leonard Davis 6'6 355 lbs: like Waters, he's old, but he can get the job done in an almost pure power blocking scheme. he's been in one throughout his entire career!
Bryant McKinnie 6-8 335(real weight unknown): he's a solid LT. hasn't quite lived up to his top 10 draft status ... but many in MIN will miss him. He showed up out of shape at the Viqueen's training camp ... and they cut him loose for it. now this man that isn't injured at all, is just out of shape! easily fixed by the seasons start. in fact, what's more impressive, is that he hasn't missed ONE GAME TO INJURY his entire 10 year career. So he's dependable and experienced... hmmm... makes you curious. when was the last time the Raiders had somebody with both of those traits? Not to mention this man has paved the way for AP every year since he broke out onto the scene his rookie year. running left was not an issue.
The best part about McKinnie, is that he would be playing his 10 career division the NFC North. he's held his own against Peppers and Matthews ... he knows WHAT IT TAKES to win against those teams. we need someone like that.
Al could make this happen if he wants to. will he? it's looking doubtful at this point IMO. We might be stuck with this PATCHWORK AS USUAL OL. Al may think he's too far over the cap to try and bring in the guys that we're suggesting... what do you guys think? because i'm getting real SICK AND TIRED of this Raider off season. one of the worst in the history of the franchise so far.
@DARKKUSH Al had today to make the $120 million cap, not months
@DARKKUSH I am in agreement with Mckinnie. I think we should at least get him into camp and have a look! He isn't the nicest of guys and his discipline record is quite impressive. No Boat Cruises in the Bay Area should be written into any contract! But Hue says he wants to build this bully and he seems to fit the Bully mode! NFC is a seriously tough division and I don't think anything rushing on him in the AFC west compares.
I would move him into the do not touch category to lets have a look, what harm can it do category.
I would also add Leonard Davis to the list of we need to have a look at him. The former 2nd pick in the 2001 draft . His games played 153 and games started 153 for the Cardinels & Cowboys I think is impressive and shows durability. He will no doubt be fuming he has been cut! He'll have a chip on his shoulder.. that chip needs to be used! Just a question of affordability.