If you were waiting for the “sexy signings” and the “splash money spending” on big-name free agents this season, well, Oakland wasn’t the place to find them! In fact, it wasn’t until five days after the start of NFL free agency that the first player acquired by the Oakland Raiders put a pen to paper and signed with the Silver and Black.
Looking back retrospectively, it’s been a pretty subdued free agency for the Raiders, not losing any big names nor gaining any. So with that being said, I’ve put a list together of the three top free agents the Raiders have been able to acquire so far.
Top 3 pickups for the Raiders in 2017
No. 3 Cordarrelle Patterson, WR
One of the best things about signing Patterson is that he’s versatile. Patterson has not only caught 132 balls for 1,316 yards and 7 touchdowns over the course of four seasons but he’s also rushed 31 times for 333 yards and 4 touchdowns to go along with his 4,075 kickoff return yards and 5 touchdowns.
If the Raiders’ offensive and special teams’ coaches can cook up some creative ways to get him the ball then he can quickly become another juggernaut piece the Raiders can add to their arsenal of weapons.
No. 2 E.J. Manuel, QB
We all know Manuel isn’t going step in and take Carr’s starting job, yet after last year’s debacle at the quarterback position following Carr’s injury, it became evident a veteran backup with upside was needed.
Remember New England Patriots’ fans were hoping to go at least 2-2 during Tom Brady’s four game suspension? Well, their number two quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo stepped up and went 3-0 before exiting week four with an injury.
After an underwhelming performance by Matt McGloin last season and Connor Cook not quite ready for a starter role, a change was needed. Manuel at worst can be better than McGloin and best case he might start a quarterback controversy so it’s a win-win.
No. 1 Seth Roberts, WR
While Roberts isn’t a new acquisition the fact that the Raiders re-signed him was key for the Carr-led offense; especially with the departure of Andre Holmes.
The fact is that when Roberts was catching touchdown passes the Raiders won games. Just look at a seven-point win over the Tennessee Titans as well as one point wins over the Baltimore Ravens and New Orleans Saints, and the game winner over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. So while Roberts does have a drops issue it can’t be a coincidence the team won those games.
These small but speedy flashes of possible greatness warrant him coming back and maybe, just maybe, can become the true third and slot threat the offense will need in a Super Bowl run.
I know I’m going to catch some heat for not listing tight end Jared Cook but here’s why he doesn’t make my cut in so many words.
Cook ranks 31st according to “Football Outsiders List of Top Tight Ends“; to show the significance of this, incumbent tight end Clive Walford ranked 33rd, a mere two spots lower than Cook.
Also a lot of Cook’s production came during the three playoff games where he racked up 229 receiving yards and two touchdowns of his 606 total receiving yards and three touchdowns throughout the entire 2016/17 season. Walford on the other hand was able to rack up 375 total receiving yards and three touchdowns while playing two fewer games than Cook. I have no doubt Cook will make an impact for the Raiders and I hope he proves me wrong, but for now he sits just outside my top three free agents signed.