The Hue Jackson era has begun in Oakland. It got off to a good start with the hiring of Al Saunders as offensive coordinator. Saunders is an outstanding coach who has previously worked with Hue Jackson. This means continuity for the Oakland Raiders.
Al Davis and Hue Jackson still have a lot of work to do in preparing for the 2011 season. Once the NFL labor issues are resolved, the Raiders need to make an all out assault on free agency, beginning with bringing back some of their own free agents.
The Raider free agents that need to be re-signed are as follows:
CB Nnamdi Asomugha
DE/DT Richard Seymour
RB Michael Bush
TE Zach Miller
OLB Kamerion Wimbley
LG Robert Gallery
CB Stanford Routt
FS Michael Huff
The unrestricted free agents who could make a major impact in silver and black that the team must take a hard run at are as follows:
DT Haloti Ngata – Coming in at a ready 6'5" 345 lbs, this two-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle is an unstoppable beast on the football field. He is a double-team block waiting to happen and extremely disruptive to any offense. Ngata is a versatile, athletic lineman who can play both DT and DE. He would be key in allowing the Raiders to play both a 3-4 and 4-3 front. Ngata does an excellent job of stopping the run and getting after the passer as evidenced by his 63 combined tackles and career high 5.5 sacks. He would allow the Raiders to correct a previous error: Oakland passed on Haloti Ngata in the 2006 draft in favor of Michael Huff. I like Michael Huff and he has improved his play, but Ngata is a difference maker.
NT Cullen Jenkins – Jenkins is a talented defensive lineman whose career, like Tommy Kelly's, started as an un-drafted free agent. Jenkins is a defensive end with the size of a defensive tackle. Jenkins has 164 tackles, 29 sacks in his seven-year career. He is an excellent run stuffer, a needed commodity in silver and black.
NT Aubrayo Franklin – At 6'1" 317 lbs, Franklin is a solid run stuffing nose tackle. One of the most important aspects of running a 3-4 defense is landing a player who can play the nose tackle position. Franklin has excelled to the point that he was the 49ers franchise player. The former fifth-round pick from the 2003 draft was under paid; the franchise tag garnered him $7 million per season. Franklin is not your prototypical nose tackle. He uses technique and not girth to hold the point of attack. He would be key in allowing the Raiders to play a 3-4 front.
LG Logan Mankins – Mankins is one of the top five guards in football. Until his holdout due to his contract this year, this ironman had not missed a game in six years. Mankins is the Patriots' best lineman. Though I'm not a Pats fan, I have to acknowledge and appreciate the production. He consistently receives the highest praise a lineman can receive: he goes through games virtually anonymous. Mankins plays with nastiness and a physical demeanor. He understands blocking schemes and plays with solid technique. In the event that the Raiders lose Robert Gallery to free agency, Mankins would be a nice upgrade. The addition of Mankins as well as re-signing Gallery would significantly improve the Raider offensive line.
C Jonathan Goodwin – Centers are the quarterbacks of the offensive line, calling out blocking assignments pre-snap. Securing a center to solidify the middle of the o-line is the next step after landing a dominating left tackle. Goodwin is a good-sized center with above-average quickness and the agility and body control for inside blocking. He is a good knee-bender who can keep his pad level down to perform leverage blocks and the footwork to finish blocks. He understands blocking schemes and angles, and provides the line with both intelligence and seasoned leadership. His addition would fill an area of need in silver and black.
RT Tyson Clabo – Clabo entered the league as an un-drafted free agent in 2004. Since signing with Atlanta in 2006, this massive tackle at 6'6" 331 lbs has started all 53 games he has played in. He has above-average athleticism and more than adequate quickness. The fact that he has the versatility to play both guard and center adds to his value. He is not a natural knee-bender, but he works hard to keep his pad level down on leverage blocks. He has the mass, strength, and nasty disposition to consistently get a push when drive blocking. Clabo also has enough balance and body control to sustain and react as a pass-blocker. Perhaps playing twice a year against a certain team that plays in the state of Colorado where he spent two years on the practice squad would help land him. He has held down the right side since 2006 in Atlanta. Clabo could solidify the right side in Oakland.
C/G Scott Mruczkowski – Mruczkowski is a versatile offensive lineman who can play multiple positions. As a seventh round pick from the 2005 draft, Mruczkowski is listed on the roster as a backup guard; however, he stepped in to play 13 games at center in place of starter Nick Hardwick in 2009. Mruczkowski is a wide body coming in at 6'5" 310 lbs. He has enough mass and power to engulf a lot of defenders and the finesse to re-direct them. He understands blocking schemes and angles, does a good job of using his hands to finish blocks. His versatility would add depth to the Raider offensive line.
LB Barrett Ruud – Ruud is one of the most productive linebackers in the league as evidenced by his 120 tackles, two forced fumbles, and one interception. He is an above-average athlete who possesses good lateral quickness. Ruud is quick to locate the ball in traffic and takes good angles to the ball. He does an excellent job of wrapping up ball carriers and has the strength to finish. Ruud is efficient and doesn't have any wasted movement while reacting. He also gets good depth in his pass drops and reads the quarterback well. Ruud is an extremely durable player who combines instinct, toughness, and technique. His skill set could help improve the second level of the Raider defense.
CB Ike Taylor – Taylor is one of the most productive defenders on the league's best defense. He has an excellent combination of size, strength, and athleticism. He is a tall cornerback (6' 2" 195 lbs) with long limbs and very good physicality for the position. Taylor is a sound tackler who is at his best when the action is in front of him. He benefits from the Steelers' excellent pass rush in front of him, but he is an upper-echelon starting cornerback. If the Raiders could pair him with Nnamdi Asomugha, their cornerback tandem would be one of the league's best.
FB Le'Ron McClain – McClain (cousin to Rolando McClain) is one of the best fullbacks in the league at a somewhat dying position. He is a two-time Pro Bowl fullback. He is a good athlete with very good size (6' 260 lbs) and strength as both a run blocker and toting the football. He does a good job of taking on linebackers in the hole, and has the power to create movement and open creases. McClain takes good angles, and has the quickness, agility, and balance to secure and sustain his blocks. He is a terror to defenses on short yardage runs out of a heavy two tight end set. McClain has a desire to be more involved in the offense, and would be welcome and accommodated in Oakland.
FB Vonta Leach – Leach has prototypical dimensions for the fullback position (6' 255 lbs) and he understands his role as a blocking fullback in Houston's offense. He is a powerful lead blocker who can unload by rolling his hips to explode through contact and drive linebackers out of the hole. Leach stays in the lineup for pass protection and does an excellent job of picking up the loose rusher and squaring up to the hit. He can be productive on short swing or dump off passes out of the backfield. His skill set has been missing from Oakland since the departure of Jon Ritchie. A lead blocker would make the silver and black rushing attack better.
WR Chad Ochocinco – Ochocinco is a 10-year veteran with a good combination of size, deceptive strength, and athleticism. He is very fluid and runs crisp routes at all levels, though he was able to stretch the field more effectively in 2009 as compared to 2010. Ochocinco can make the acrobatic catch and is sure-handed, but he does not provide a lot after the catch. It also must be noted that his antics on and off the field can be very disruptive. Ochocinco had 72 receptions, 1047 yards, and nine TD's in 2009. In 2010, he had 67 receptions, 831 yards, and four TD's. There have already been rumors about Ochocinco coming to Oakland. He is a veteran wide receiver who would fill a huge need.
A receiver I would not want to see in Silver and Black is Terrell Owens. Bringing in TO would be the equivalent of rolling a hand-grenade into the Raider locker room.
The Oakland Raiders are building momentum for 2011 and adding one or more of the names on this list would help them continue to build.
Dude, really Jeff?
NO JARED GAITHER?! he's a big name LT that would be our cornerstone for a decade. He will follow Saunders and Hue to Oakland... watch it happen.
@JeffLittle32 excuse me, not benched, but moved to RT and not getting paid for my talents.
@JeffLittle32 i read something about him being better about a month ago. I will look again.
I personally think it was more of a fake injury. I'd be pissed to if i got benched for a movie star less talented than me.
It's no excuse for not playing, though. makes him look bad as a person, but not as a player.
REGARDLESS.... low risk, high reward. we can throw Cable's guy Kwame Harris kind of money at the dude and he'll be happy. put LOADS of incentives in the contract... that's nothing like what he has in BAL currently.
Clabo would be my other choice. getting these 2, veteran receiver you mentioned, and draft Wisniewski ... and this team is going places.
@DARKKUSH I like Jared Gaither. He could land in Oakland. He wasn't mentioned because a back injury is what kept him out of six games this year. It could also be the reason he is available in free agency. Are you stating that you KNOW his back is fine? Really?
& Vincent Jackson OVER Ocho Cinco HANDS DOWN!
Getting V.Jackson away from the Dolts would be such a cool cou, i just could not stand the delight of it!!!
Resigning Zack is KEY! as well as Seymour, Namdi etc.....
Well said and a good name for you, SPARTICUS, U-R INDEED!
1 Nation, RAIDER NATION!!!!!
Why do we need to sign a new FB? We have a great FB in Reece.
I would love to see us sign Clabo and/or another Falcons O-Lineman in Harvey Dahl. Carl Nicks is also a potential Free Agent if we can't get Mankins or re-sign Gallery.
@LDizzle @Snoopy @JeffLittle32 If we can find a great blocking FB then that is fine with me. But only if it is a rookie from the later rounds / undrafted or a very cheap Free Agent. I do not agree with signing FB like McClain or Leach because I think they will be wanting (and probably deserving as well) to be paid as the highest paid FBs or close to it, and I don't think they will see a lot of time on the field and be a waste of valuable cap space (presuming there is going to be a cap).
@Snoopy @JeffLittle32 @nilbymouth You are thinking of Lorenzo Neal. He actually never played a game for the Raiders as he went down with injury in the preseason and retired. But if the Raiders could have gotten him earlier in his career, he would been a tremendous asset. And just an FYI, most teams have a fullback like Reece (well, not EXACTLY like Reece) that can catch the ball out of the backfield as well as more of a blocking fullback. The Raiders had Oren O'Neal and Justin Griffith and that was the roles they were supposed to have.
Very tru, All great back have a great lead blocking full back. when Tomlinson lead was gone (forget his name) LdT's play went with him. He's been nothing like the old runner since him.
Thats why i was so excited when he briefly played for us but he wasn't anything like what he had been.
I love reece too but a proven fullback, if we can get him can fight it out with reece...
@nilbymouth @JeffLittle32 Well Enough, huh. I'm little lost. Are you saying that you feel acquiring a fullback is waste or time? That a lead Blocker is un-important? That a solid, proven Lead blocker will cost to much?
The goal at this time of the year is to improve your team and well enough isn't what you want. Fullbacks are NEVER overpriced. We aren't talking about guys drafted prior to 5th round. Don't get me wrong, I like Marcel and appreciate his talents. Reece is a talented player that came to squad as an un-drafted free agent. In regards to his blocking there is a big difference between getting in front of a defender and eliminating a defender.
The top five rushers in the nfl 1) Arian Foster 2) Jamaal Charles 3) MIchael Turner 4) Chris Johnson 5) Maurice Jones-Drew. Let me introduce you to the unsung and unheralded guys that were instrumental in that happening Vonta Leach, Mike Cox, Ovie Mugheli, Ahma Hall and Greg Jones.
@JeffLittle32 I think Reece played well enough as a blocker to not need to sign a Free Agent FB to an overpriced contract. I saw Reece on more than a few occasions picking up free blitizers and was often a key blocker on McFaddens long runs.
And I say overpriced because we could pick up a "lead blocker" in the late rounds of the draft or an undrafted free agent rookie if that is all the skills he needs. Because he wouldn't replace Reece as a pass catcher and very unlikely to pass him in FB running plays also.
@nilbymouth Why? Because the Raiders are a running team and a lead blocker would improve the running game. I like Marcel Reece and never said that the team should get rid f or replace him. Reece is a converted WR and not a lead blocker. Reece isn't going to move a linebacker out of the hole at the line of scrimmage, he isn't going to pick a free blitzer or lead McFadden or Bush into the end zone. The Raiders need a lead blocker and haven't had one since Jon Ritchie.
The player you left out that is going to be a free agent the Raiders SHOULD definitely sign is the Chargers' wide receiver Vincent Jackson, who is also a former pro-bowler. Jackson held out most of the year so he obviously did not have the numbers he did in prior years, but when he played, he was electrifying. Philip Rivers is a good quarterback, but his numbers are due in large by his great receivers, and Jackson, in my opinion is the Chargers best receiver. I would take Jackson over Ochocinco, who is on the downward side of his career, wheras Jackson is still young and his potential is off the charts. Vincent Jackson would elevate the Raider receiving corps to an elite level, and if we resign Zach Miller, the Raiders would strike fear into the secondarys of every team in the league. As far as your list on offensive linemen, I would sign Logan Mankins and Jonathon Goodwin. Strengthening the offensive line is imperative for the Raiders, and if the oline improves, so does the offense, and we all saw what great strides our offense had this year, and that was with poor contribution form the Wide Receivers and an offensive line that gave up way to many penalties and was very inconsistent....
@JeffLittle32 @Spartacus Yea i feel the same way. AJ Smith is just as bone headed as Al ... why do that to a guy that held out for half the season last year? to prove you're right? all it does is create a HUGE ELEPHANT in the room and you're less 1 superstar. let the man walk right on up to Oakland for revenge babeh!! best served cold son..
@Spartacus I completely agree with you about Vincent Jackson. He woul be great to have. However, I strongly feel that the Chargers will franchise tag him. In the event that there is a franchise tag in 2011.
This list is cool, but mostly a pipe dream. Most of the guys on this list will likely be re-signed by their respective teams. What ceej1979 said about Ngata probably will go for mosy of these guys. I doubt maun on the list will actually hit the open market, if any.
Ngata has to be the biggest defensive end of all freaking time by the way!?
Imagine what he would do as a DT? Or a NT? Where guys can't run away from his side?
Put Ngata at NT, and he'd be ridiculous.
I figure he'll probably move to NT once Kelly Gregg slows down?
I don’t think the Ravens are realistically going to let Ngata walk. He’ll get a huge deal. Highest paid defensive lineman in the league I imagine.
I doubt Ruud will leave either. They’ll pay him a lot.
Franklin could walk. As could Jenkins. They’re both quality linemen.
Oakland can’t sign everyone, but I’d be very very happy if we started next year with:
1: Logan Mankins
2: Chad Onchocinco
3: Another defensive lineman
I think that’s realistic.
Mankins wants money, so Oakland will be an obvious possibility
Chad O loves Hue Jackson.
I don’t get a lot of the worries about taking Chad. He’s a loud mouth. But fundamentally, he’s a good guy. He never gets involved in things off the field, is one of the hardest working players in the league, and has been a popular player in the Bengals organisation.
Oakland need a quality vet at WR. Someone who can run a quality route, and catch everything that’s thrown at him.
A lot of Oakland’s problem with passing aint the receivers hands. They just can’t run routes at an elite level.
Guys like Reggie Wayne and Greg Jennings, catch as many balls, as they run perfect routes.
How many times does Greg Jennings catch a ball, where he has nobody ANYWHERE bear him? Like he has 6-7 yards of space.
That’s just perfect route running.
How many time does Campbell have a 25 yard throw, where the guy’s wide open? Maybe 3 times a season.
Aaron Rodgers has that about 4 times a game
@ceej1979 I would rather have VJax, Gaither, and draft Wisniewski ...
we need a CORNERSTONE LT ... there's no better in FA or the draft than Jared Gaither. the man is a superstar. He can be had for a reasonable price too... especially coming off an injury. Mankins will demand a whole hell of a lot ... and i doubt he would want to come to Oakland anyway.
Clabo + Gaither + VJ(or Chad Johnson, as he's changing his name back again) + drafting Wisniewski = Championship football team.
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