The Raiders had one of the worst offensive lines in 2018. To fix that, Oakland signed tackle Trent Brown this past offseason. It was an expensive move but it had to to be done.
Last season, the Raiders offensive line wasn’t the strength it was the two years before. Due to injuries and lack of development, Oakland graded 26th in pass blocking efficiency, not the worst in the league, but close to it. Other than center Rodney Hudson, most of the line was a liability.
Tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker struggled in their rookie year. Gabe Jackson was solid, but didn’t take the step into the upper echelon of guards. Kelechi Osemele wasn’t effective and there was no Cinderella story coming from the bench. The Raiders depth at guard and tackle was non existent.
With no immediate solutions on the roster, Oakland peered into the free agent pool and focused on Brown, who played an important role in New England’s road to the championship last season and hit free agency knowing what he was worth. He found the perfect suitor on the Raiders.
Brown knew how much money he wanted and the Raiders were willing to pay him. Next thing you know, the veteran tackle signed a four-year $66 million contract and reset the market while doing so. It was an expensive signing and probably the Raiders overpaid for his services but it was the cost of doing business and something needed to be done if improvement is expected.
Oakland allowed 52 sacks last season, an unacceptable amount if the team wants to keep quarterback Derek Carr upright and make good use of all those new shine weapons they got for their aerial attack. Coaching won’t help much so the Raiders got the most dependable tackle they could in the market.
Putting cost aside, Oakland knows what they got on Brown. He is not an elite player, but he can be counted on to provide steady protection. He was the 32th ranked tackle in PFF’s rating system, far from excellent but possible the most competent free agent tackle.
It could be pointed out that there were some good prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft and some of them might end up becoming All-Pro, but if the Raiders didn’t like anyone coming out from college, why would they have forced a pick.
Brown has to show he’s worth the contract he signed with the Raiders. The team depends on him to do so as he was the best available offensive tackle this past offseason.
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