This piece is the third installment of predictions on the future of the Raiders. Below are the free agents that last pointed to the Raiders and my guesses as to the likelihood of their resigning with the Silver & Black. To be clear the percentages are completely made up and subjective. Let me know what you think in the comments or via Twitter where you can find me @AsherMathews
Phillip Adams, CB – Likelihood of being resigned: 75%. Adams can be a solid backup and showed some promise when he was thrust into a starting role late in the season. Unfortunately, his skills were unable to be fully gauged as he suffered a concussion that put him on IR for the last week of the season. That injury concern may actually be an advantage for the Raiders as they can use that in negotiations with Adams’ agent. Adams is the kind of guy that GM Reggie McKenzie will try to build a team around – young, flashes of talent but inexpensive.
Khalif Barnes – RT – Likelihood of being resigned: 30%. Barnes was initially brought to Oakland to compete to be the team’s left tackle but settled in a right tackle where he’s been slightly below average. Barnes is a false-start machine, which drives coaching staffs crazy, because he lacks a good first step and so struggles with speed rushers on the edge. He’s not getting any faster and by the time next season starts he’ll be 31. McKenzie is likely to look elsewhere for his right tackle for 2013.
<—- Desmond Bryant – DT – Likelihood of being resigned: 85%. Bryant has become a favorite of the coaching staff and his number of snaps has increased every week. Part of that is due to Richard Seymour being unable to play for the last 8 games of the year but Bryant has also made his mark on the field, providing more pressure than either Seymour or Tommy Kelly was able to do. I’ve previously predicted the Raiders to move to a 3-4 and Bryant would do well as a DE in that scheme I think. He’s also seen time at NT this season on 3rd and long downs when the Raiders have lined up in a 3-3-5 and where the NT needs to provide good pass rush versus simply clogging the middle. He’s young, versatile and he’s been productive for the team under the current coaching staff.
Duke Calhoun – WR – Likelihood of being resigned: 5% – Calhoun was no real lock to make the roster after this last training camp and the team will now begin transitioning to growing their own receivers like Rod Streater and Juron Criner. It’s unlikely Calhoun is able to provide a convincing argument to stay in Oakland.
Cooper Carlisle – LG – Likelihood of being resigned: 50%. Carlisle is not the most gifted player, physically, but he’s been amazingly consistent for the Silver and Black. In his time with the Raiders, Carlisle has only missed one game due to injury. He manned the right guard position for the majority of his time but switched to left guard when the team signed Mike Brisiel. He proceeded to play every game and, while he wasn’t spectacular, he was solid. With that injury-free history McKenzie may look to resign him but the team has young Tony Bergstrom waiting patiently in the wings and LG is where he’s most likely to fit in.
Andre Carter – DE – Likelihood of being resigned: 60%. Carter wasn’t what the Raiders were hoping for when they signed him but he has provided some good pressure on the QB and probably won’t break the bank. He comes from New England so he knows the 3-4 and can rush from a standup linebacker position. In fact, his production came from that position so a shift to a 3-4 likely would increase his chances of being resigned
Jamie Cumbie – DT – Likelihood of being reassigned: 1% – Cumbie was a long shot to make this year’s roster before he was injured and had to be put on injured reserve. There’s a possibility he would be resigned but the team came to an injury settlement with him so it’s unlikely to happen.
Coye Francies – CB – Likelihood of being resigned: 20% – Those who follow me on Twitter know that I predicted that Francies was going to be cut almost every week and every week he proved me wrong by not only staying on the team but also by continuing to be on the active roster and get playing time. However, the only plays I remember him in were for the wrong reasons – like when he was returning a kickoff and inexplicably tripped himself up on an open field. Or when he ran into Phillip Adams on a return and took them both out. Francies kept his spot on the team because he played special teams but he is too limited to be resigned next season.
Omar Gaither – MLB – Likelihood of being resigned: 45% – Gaither acquitted himself fairly well after joining the team towards the end of the season. He wasn’t asked to play on passing downs so that isn’t as difficult a role as an every down middle linebacker but he still played well enough that the team was able to be stout against the run and the Raiders D held opponents to an average of only 13.7 points per game over their last 4 games.
Matt Giordano – FS – Likelihood of being resigned: 35% – Giordano got a lot of playing time with Huff playing at CB exclusively but he wasn’t much of a difference maker and he consistently took poor angles. He also seemingly got injured every time he was victimized for a big play which had to have been noticed by the coaching staff. Giordano has some history with both McKenzie and Allen prior to this year but he was a stop-gap this year and is unlikely to be back.
<—- Mike Goodson – RB – Likelihood of being resigned: 70% – Goodson was one of the bright spots on the team. He averaged 6.3 yards per attempt on his 35 carries and he also scored a receiving TD on a 64 yard catch and run on a screen pass.
Derek Hagan – WR – Likelihood of being resigned: 15% – Hagan came in and did what he does – he was able to move the chains when he was thrown to but did nothing too explosive. He slowly lost snaps and targets and by the last game of the season he was down to only 7 offensive snaps. That doesn’t bode well for his chances of being resigned.
Zach Hurd – OL – Likelihood of being resigned: 5% – Hurd is a player from a previous regime that has a very low chance of being resigned by this front office.
Joselio Hanson – CB – Likelihood of being resigned: 70% – Hanson was a good pickup by McKenzie and fits a need as a slot cornerback. His contract for 2012 was $825,000 so he’ll likely get paid more than that but even a good sized raise isn’t breaking the bank and Hanson showed a good nose for creating and recovering turnovers.
Rashawn Jackson – RB – Likelihood of being resigned: 1% – Jackson was a long shot to make the roster anyway and was playing for a practice squad position, essentially. He went onto IR and came to an injury settlement agreement and is extremely unlikely to return this year.
Shane Lechler – Punter – Likelihood of being resigned: 50% – A lot of people would say this is too high but if Lechler is willing to take a smaller contract to stay in Oakland, I think it may happen. He had a down year but he still was noted by Allen as being a bright spot in some games. He’s a consummate professional and a leader in the lockerroom. He’s been in Oakland his entire career and would certainly like to stay in the Bay Area if the price is right. It will come down to numbers and if both the team and Lechler have enough interest in each other, they can make it work.
Matt Leinart – QB – Likelihood of being resigned: 25% – He was in Oakland because of Greg Knapp who was fired after the season. He didn’t impress in his time playing even with his prior knowledge of Knapp’s system and Terrelle Pryor showed enough that the team should give him the inside track to being the backup QB in 2013.
Mike Mitchell – S – Likelihood of being resigned: 40% – Mike Mitchell has not had any spectacular season since he was a surprise 2nd round pick. He played in many different games and started a few finishing with a decent 41 total tackles. However, his production is not such that he won’t be able to be replaced by a younger, cheaper option with more upside.
<—- Brandon Myers – TE – Likelihood of being resigned: 90% – Myers came into the season with a whopping 32 receptions in his first 3 seasons. This year was his contract year and he picked a good year to break out. In fact he was the team’s leading receiver with 79 receptions for 806 yards and 4 TDs. He wasn’t explosive, really, with his longest play being only 29 yards but he was very consistent, a good move-the-chains option and QB Carson Palmer said he had the best hands on the team. As long as he’s not wanting top dollar he has a very good chance of being resigned.
Alex Parsons – OL – Likelihood of being resigned: 70% – Parsons was the primary backup on the offensive line most of the season. He played well at C in Stefon Wisniewski’s absence and also plugged into RG when Mike Brisiel was out with an injury. He seems a good bet to be resigned if he’s not asking for too much.
Brandian Ross – S/CB – Likelihood of being resigned: 55% – GM Reggie McKenzie has a long history with Ross. He was one of the leaders in Green Bay when the team signed him as an unrestricted free agent in 2011. In fact, another team wanted to sign Ross from the Packers’ practice squad and Ross said that it was Reggie McKenzie convinced him to stay with Green Bay. Obviously McKenzie likes Ross. Also, Ross won’t be expensive and he played well in his one chance to start – week 17 versus San Diego – when he played every down and played well enough for a longer look next season.
Richard Seymour – DT – Likelihood of being resigned: 10% – Seymour had some production when he was in but he’ll want top dollar and he is no longer worth the money he’ll be looking for.
Matt Shaugnessy – DE – Likelihood of being resigned: 50% – Shaugnessy is coming off an injury and wasn’t anything amazing this year but that may actually work into the Raiders’ favor as it may bring down his value in negotiations. Shaugnessy is not a pass rusher but he’s stout against the run. If the Raiders convert to a 3-4 he would project as a solid defensive end.
Shawntae Spencer – CB – Likelihood of being resigned: 20% – Spencer has had two seasons draw to a premature close due to season ending injuries and even when he was in he didn’t show incredible coverage skills. He had a tendency to play very far off the line of scrimmage and give up a great deal of underneath routes which really sustained opponents’ drives.
Jeremy Stewart – RB – Likelihood of being resigned: 55% – Stewart looked solid enough to get a second chance in his limited carries. However, that was in the zone blocking scheme and with a new offensive coordinator coming in there isn’t any guarantee his running style will be as good a fit. However, good players can excel in any scheme and while it’s too early say that Stewart is good he’s shown enough promise to be resigned for the right price.
<—– Philip Wheeler – LB – Likelihood of being resigned: 95% – Wheeler was the defensive standout of the year, the only player to have over 100 tackles on the team. He played well against the run and at least decent in coverage as well. He was one of the sole members of the team that had success against the opposing tight end which has been a Raiders weakness for years. He was recruited by new GM Reggie McKenzie and unless he’s asking for an incredibly high amount of money he is likely to come back again next year.
All photos by Levi Damien