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.
Follow Me on Twitter @Raidersblogger #### Search TFDS on Facebook