5 free agents the Raiders should sign

Updated March 12, 2018 - 7:11 pm

The Raiders will be looking to improve their roster as they head into free agency with approximately $25 million in cap space. Teams were allowed to contact and negotiate with free agents on Monday. Players can’t officially sign until Wednesday.

Here are seven players, in reverse order, the Raiders should consider signing:

7. Jordan Matthews, WR, fourth season, Bills

The Raiders could soon be thin at wide receiver if the team decides to part ways with Michael Crabtree, who is due $7 million in salary.

Matthews won’t be able to fill Crabtree’s role on the outside, but he can be quarterback Derek Carr’s security-blanket as a slot receiver.

Matthews had a down year in Buffalo with injuries, but proved in Philadelphia he can flourish as a slot receiver after recording 225 receptions in his first three seasons.

Writer’s note: The Raiders should give their former quarterback, Terrelle Pryor, a call if they decide to cut Crabtree. He’s a big receiver who can play on the outside. But it looks like Pryor is headed back to Cleveland.

6. Jerick McKinnon, RB, fourth season, Vikings

Raiders fans on Twitter collectively groaned at the possibility of the team signing running back Doug Martin. The negative reaction isn’t a surprise for a player who has rushed for less than 425 yards the past two seasons.

McKinnon, a versatile running back, presents a better option. He can catch out of the backfield, something the Raiders didn’t have last season, and could run between the tackles.

The Vikings, Eagles, Saints and Patriots all benefited from a multifaceted running back committee in 2017.

5. Tre Boston, FS, fourth season, Chargers

There’s still a chance the Raiders bring back Reggie Nelson, who played well with interim defensive coordinator John Pagano. Nelson also knows Paul Guenther, the new Raiders’ DC, from their days together with the Bengals.

If the Raiders let the 11th-year safety walk, Boston could be an affordable option and an upgrade. Boston won’t command a contract like fellow free agents Kenny Vaccaro and Morgan Burnett. But he will make a lot more after a breakout season on a one-year deal with the Los Angeles Chargers.

4. NaVorro Bowman, MLB, eighth season, Raiders

If the Raiders are considering bringing back one of their own free agents, Bowman has to be at the top of the list.

Pagano received the bulk of the credit for the Raiders’ late-season turnaround on defense, but it was Bowman’s presence in the middle of the field that allowed the interim coach to dial up heavy blitz calls.

Bowman, who joined the Raiders from San Francisco in October, was a reliable run-stopper and allowed Bruce Irvin to rush the quarterback. The former All-Pro linebacker turned a weak position into a strength for the Raiders.

T-1. Bashaud Breeland, fourth season, Redskins/Malcolm Butler, fourth season, Patriots/Trumaine Johnson, sixth season, Rams

Take your pick here with one of these coveted cornerbacks. If the Raiders are able to land one, they’ll come out winners this free agency.

The Raiders struck out in 2016 by handing cornerbacks Sean Smith and David Amerson lucrative deals. That tied up money didn’t allow the Raiders to be players in last season’s free agency.

The Raiders are back on the market and find themselves again desperately needing help at cornerback. The team can’t afford to rely on the draft with Gareon Conley, the 2017 first-round pick who hardly played last season, being the only quality cornerback signed for the upcoming season.

Butler is coming off a down year and was benched by the Patriots in the Super Bowl. But it wasn’t long ago that Butler was shutting down top wideouts on a weekly basis and saving Super Bowl XLIX for the Patriots.

Johnson is probably at the top of many cornerback-needy teams’ lists. The Rams placed the franchise tag on Johnson the past two seasons.

Breeland might be the biggest mystery after playing No. 2 behind shutdown corner Josh Norman in Washington. Can he play like a No. 1 corner? He’ll certainly be paid like one.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at reviewjournal.com/Raiders and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact Gilbert Manzano at gmanzano@reviewjournal.com. Follow @GManzano24 on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation: Gruden Gives "Final Exams"
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders improvement throughout training and how Gruden has been pushing the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Deciding On Opening Day Kicker
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken and Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney go over he Raiders choosing an opening day kicker and Doug Martin's potential.
Vegas Nation: Mandatory Mini Camp
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Raiders beat writer Micheal Gehlken and Review-Journal sports writer Ed Graney go over day one of the Raiders mini camp.
Vegas Nation: Derrick Johnson standing out at OTAs
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders OTAs and how the team is adjusting to new coaching style of head coach Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Week Two Of OTA's
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the start of week two of the Raiders OTA's.
Vegas Nation: NFL Owners Meeting Day 2
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the NFL owners meeting.
Las Vegas Stadium construction site drone footage
The Raiders set up a drone at the Las Vegas Stadium construction site on May 20, 2018.
Las Vegas Stadium Milestones
Las Vegas Stadium Milestones as of May 16, 2018.
Vegas Nation: NFL Owners Meeting Day 1
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Review-Journal sports writer Gilbert Manzano go over the NFL owners meeting.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Participate In First Day Of Practice
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the Raiders first day of practice.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Minicamp
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over the Raiders minicamp and questions surrounding the Raiders picking defensive lineman Maurice Hurst from Michigan.
P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst and Jon Gruden Talk About Mini Camp
P.J. Hall, Maurice Hurst and Jon Gruden go over the Raiders Mini camp.
Reggie McKenzie On Final Day Of NFL Draft
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie talks about the Raiders final draft picks.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Final Draft Picks
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Review-Journal reporter Gilbert Manzano go over the last day of the draft pick for the Raiders.
Gruden On Day Two Of Nfl Draft Picks
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden discusses the teams second day draft picks.
Raiders trade again, draft DT P.J. Hall and OT Brandon Parker
Raiders trade again and draft DT P.J. Hall and OT Brandon Parker. The team moved back again Friday, this time exchanging the No. 41 overall pick for the No. 57 selection. It then selected former Sam Houston State defensive tackle P.J. Hall. The Raiders parted with No. 75, trading up 10 spots to select former North Carolina A&T offensive tackle Brandon Parker.
Gruden On Bryant Joining Raiders, Bryant On What He Has Left To Prove
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden talks about what Bryant will bring to the Raiders and Bryant talks about what he has left to prove.
Gruden, Miller On First Round Pick
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and first round pick Kolton Miller talk about the NFL draft first round pick for the Raiders.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium can help economic boom, expert says
Study after study has concluded that stadiums aren’t effective economic development drivers. But a leading urban growth researcher says Orlando and Las Vegas are exceptions because of the strength of their regions’ tourism economies. The Raiders are building a 65,000-seat, $1.8 billion indoor stadium at Interstate 15 and Russell Road using $750 million of public money authorized by the Nevada Legislature. Las Vegas has a leg up on many cities, because it has an airport at which business people can catch a nonstop flight to virtually any domestic destination. Panelist Cathy Tull, chief marketing officer of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said the presence of out-of-town media for playoff games featuring the Vegas Golden Knights has given the city media mentions that money can’t buy. Another issue receiving the panel’s attention is the need for mass transit with all the teams, venues and anticipated visitation they will generate. Panelists also discussed the prospect of attracting big events like the Super Bowl, the NFL draft and NCAA tournaments.
Reggie Mckenzie On Raiders First Draft Pick
Raiders general manager Reggie Mckenzie on Raiders first draft pick.
Vegas Nation: First Round NFL Draft Pick
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond, Review-Journal writer Gilbert Manzano and Raiders beat writer Michael Gelhken go over the first round of the NFL draft picks and the Raiders choices.
Vegas Nation: NFL Draft preview
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken breakdown the Raiders offseason moves as well as what they could be looking at in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Wide Receiver
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken look at the wide receiver position for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Raiders secondary
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken look at the Raiders secondary for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Running Back position
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken look at the running back position for the upcoming NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Join Vegas Nation for NFL Draft updates
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken will provide updates about everything surrounding this year's NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: NFL Draft: Defensive Line
Vegas Nation video host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken discuss the defensive line and what can happen in the 2018 NFL Draft.
David Humm's life celebrated at South Point
Raiders owner Mark Davis, former Nebraska coach Tom Osborne were among those who paid tribute to David Humm during a ceremony at South Point Arena in Las Vegas on April 6, 2018. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review Journal)
Vegas Nation Stadium Show
Ed Graney, Rick Velotta and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the progress on the Vegas Stadium and how it will affect some of the players and staff.
Vegas Nation: Gruden hoping free agents can establish culture
Michael Gehlken reports from the NFL Meetings in Orlando, including what the Raiders are doing there as well as what Jon Gruden meant by "throwing it back to 1998."
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like