Will the Oakland Raiders make a splash in free agency?
One side emphatically blows the “yes” trumpet. “Jon Gruden needs more pieces” they banter while pounding the table.
The other side defiantly voices the “no” opinions. “Reggie McKenzie didn’t spend last year, it won’t be different this year” is the mantra.
No matter which way the pendulum swings, it never hurts to see what’s available. Below you’ll find the top dollar and bargain free agents the Raiders could give a look-see.
Jarvis Landry — The 25-year-old had great chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr at the Pro Bowl, didn’t he? He’d give the Raiders younger version of Michael Crabtree, but is paying top dollar for a possession wide receiver wise?
Terrelle Pryor — A Raider return for the 29-year-old former quarterback? As a Brown, Pryor showed off the size and speed elements of his game that make him so intriguing. But as a Redskin, he floundered. Jon Gruden can rejuvenate Pryor.
Ja’Wuan James — Miami could exercise its club option on the former first-round pick and for good reason. He’s only 26 and manned the right side effectively. If he hits the market, he’s a perfect candidate to replace Marshall Newhouse.
Greg Robinson — Resurrecting the former No. 2 overall pick under Tom Cable’s tutelage. The 25-year-old needs in all areas of his game, but is still young to learn. Robinson fits the reclamation project bill that’s a Raider staple.
Bennie Logan — Built in the classic mode of a big run stuffer, the 28-year-old lived up to his one-year prove it deal with Kansas City (52 total tackles, 1.5 sacks). Logan banked on himself and will make bank with either the Chiefs or a new team.
Denico Autry — 28, an in-house free agent, Autry showed his pass rushing chops but must improve his ability to sniff out and stuff the run. But his ability to be disruptive in the middle likely generates offers from other teams.
NaVorro Bowman — Another player the Raiders should keep. Even at age 30 and an eyebrow-raising medical history, the veteran captained an improved run defense when he came aboard in October.
Preston Brown — A classic thumper at middle linebacker, Brown is a tackling machine. However, he is limited athletically and isn’t going to rush the passer or be an asset in coverage.
Rashaan Melvin — Has the size (6-foot-2, 196 pounds) teams covert for an outside corner and was both solid against the pass (three interceptions, 10 pass deflections) and run (36 total tackles).
Aaron Colvin — Excelling as an inside corner shadowing slot receivers, Colvin is stuck behind Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye. Colvin’s best shot to show off his overall skill is elsewhere.
Le’Veon Bell — The ultimate pipe dream. Entering his prime at age 26 Bell is a workhorse back every team in the league would love to have. Hard to see him leave Pittsburgh, but if he hits the market, Oakland will be chasing.
Jeremy Hill — The reclamation project. Still only 25, the big tailback is in dire need of a change of scenery. New Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther can provide all the intel on his Bengal tailback.
Trey Burton — He’s going to land a starting gig somewhere as he’s got age (26) and the athletic ability to be a foundation piece in the passing game. Burton could supplant Jared Cook as the starter if he were inked.
Troy Niklas — The 25-year-old was a highly touted blocker coming out of Notre Dame and the 6-foot-6, 270-pounder hasn’t disappointed in that regard The Raiders need a blocking tight end now that Lee Smith is a free agent.