While we have reached the point in the offseason where transactions have stagnated, there are still quality players available on the free agent market. Below are five players who the Raiders should at least take a look at.
Tre Boston, Safety, Age: 26
To be honest, I’m surprised Boston hasn’t been signed yet. In the last two seasons, he has accumulated eight interceptions and the Raiders player with the most interceptions in that time period is Lamarcus Joyner with four. Boston could be the ball hawk Oakland has been looking for.
After drafting Johnathan Abram, the Raiders don’t necessarily need a safety, but who knows what is going to happen with Karl Joseph. If the team does move on from him, Boston could fit perfectly in Oakland’s nickel package as the free safety when Joyner moves to slot corner. This would lead to an intriguing camp battle between Boston and Erik Harris.
Derrick Morgan, EDGE, Age: 30
Morgan battled injuries and had an underwhelming campaign last season, but in 2016 and 2017, he combined for 16.5 sacks. We all know the Raiders struggled to get after the quarterback last season, so it might be worth kicking the tires on him and seeing if he has anything left in the tank. Worst-case scenario, Morgan servers as a veteran leader for young players such as Clelin Ferrell, Arden Key and Maxx Crosby.
The last few years, he has played outside linebacker in a 3-4 defensive system, so he’ll have to prove that he can play with his hand in the ground in Oakland’s 4-3 system. However, he did start his career as a defensive lineman and his size (6’4” 261lbs); suggest the transition shouldn’t be too difficult.
Nick Perry, EDGE, Age: 29
Similar to Morgan, Perry has suffered from the injury bug the past few years and that’s probably the biggest concern with him as he has yet to play full season in his career. With that being said, in 2016 and 2017, he had 18 sacks and again, it’s not like the Raiders have a plethora of pass rushers. Anybody who signs this late likely wont get a large contract, so if Perry can’t stay healthy or just isn’t performing, a one year deal shouldn’t have too much of a residual impact.
Also similar to Morgan, Perry has primarily played as a 3-4 outside linebacker, so he will have to prove that he can be an effective 4-3 defensive end. If I’m calling the shots and had to pick between the two, I’d lean towards the Perry, but either one would be a welcomed addition.
Ryan Schraeder, Offensive Line, Age: 31
I thought Oakland was going to add an offensive lineman in the draft, but that didn’t happen. Pass protection was a big problem for the Raiders last season and they still have a need at guard. Schraeder has been a tackle for his entire career, but a move to guard might be what he needs to continue playing. Adding him would also give Oakland another option at tackle if Kolton Miller doesn’t show enough improvement.
Last year was a good one for Schraeder, as he posted a PFF grade of 63.7 overall and a pass-blocking grade of 62.9. As is the common theme with the players on this list, 2016 and 2017 were much better seasons for him. In 2017, he posted an overall grade of 70.6 and a pass-blocking grade of 72.3. The 2016 season was even better for him, as his grades were 83.4 and 76.0. If he is willing to make the transition to guard, the Raiders should take a chance on Schraeder.
Bryan Anger, Punter, Age: 30
Yes, I included a freaking punter on this list. Incumbent Johnny Townsend managed just 43.2 yards per punt last season and newly signed Punter A.J. Cole had a career average of 42.2 yards per punt at NC State. Meanwhile, Anger has averaged 46.2 yards per punt in his career.
Currently, the team gets to carry 90 players and has two long snappers on the roster. The Raiders can get rid of one long snapper or cut the player who is the longest of long shots to make the roster and have a three-player position battle to fill a need. Even if Anger doesn’t make the team, the likelihood is low that the player Oakland has to cut makes the team.
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