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
NFL Draft Coming to Las Vegas in 2020 - Vegas Nation
The NFL Draft has been awarded to Las Vegas in 2020 as the Raiders move in. Michael Gehlken discusses what this means for the the city and the Raiders.
Vegas Nation: Osemele, Jackson miss practice on Thursday
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains the injuries to offensive linemen Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson, and who the Raiders have signed to the offensive line in response to those injuries.
Raiders vs Bengals Preview - Vegas Nation Mailbag
The Oakland Raiders will face off against the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. Vegas Nation Mailbag host Elaine Emerson and sports columnist Ed Graney answer all of Raider Nation's burning questions about the upcoming game.
Vegas Nation: Raiders' final game in Oakland could come on Christmas Eve
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken brings up how the city of Oakland's antitrust lawsuit could spell an early end for the Raiders' occupancy in the city of Oakland.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fire GM Reggie McKenzie
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes what changes may come to the Raiders organization following general manager Reggie McKenzie's release on Monday.
Gruden on GM Reggie McKenzie's firing
Raiders head coach Jon Gruden reacts to Raiders general manger Reggie McKenzie's dismissal on Monday.
Raiders Win Intense Game Against Steelers - Vegas Nation
The Raiders win against the Pittsburgh Steelers 24-21. Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and sports columnist Ed Graney go over the Raiders victory.
Vegas Nation: Raiders sign C.J. Anderson
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken lists the multiple players heading to the injured reserve list, the Raiders signing three new players to the active roster, and the new drills the running backs are running in practice.
Raiders vs Steelers Preview - Vegas Nation Mailbag
The Oakland Raiders will face off against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday. Vegas Nation Mailbag host Elaine Emerson and sports columnist Ed Graney answer all of Raider Nation's burning questions about the upcoming game.
Vegas Nation: Fumbles plague Raiders in loss to Chiefs
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken goes over Sunday's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, and highlights the uncertainty of many players returning from their injuries.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To The Kansas City Chiefs
Raiders fall to the Kansas City Chiefs 40-33. Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto, Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and sports columnist Ed Graney go over the Raiders loss to the chiefs.
Raiders players reflect on their loss to the Chiefs
Oakland Raiders' players Jordy Nelson, Jared Cook and Doug Martin reflect on what went wrong and talk about their performances in the team's loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Gruden, Carr on turnovers that cost the Raiders
Head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr spoke about the team's loss to the Chiefs following the game. The Oakland Raiders fell to 2-10 on the season when they lost to the Kansas City Chiefs at home, 40-33.
Vegas Nation: Leon Hall, others could miss game vs. Chiefs
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken goes over the team's final injury report before their game on Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Raiders Honor Canyon Springs’ Gus McNair as High School Coach of the Year
The Raiders honor Canyon Springs Head Coach Gus McNair as the 2018 Coach of The Year. The Raiders present a check for $1000 to the school and surprise players with the gift of new cleats. (Kenton King/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Vegas Nation: Kareem Hunt physical altercation video surfaces
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken describes the potential ramifications of the Kareem Hunt video that surfaced on Friday, as well as the Raiders' final injury report before Sunday's game against the Chiefs.
Vegas Nation: Hill poses threat to Townsend, Raiders special teams
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken presents the challenges rookie punter Johnny Townsend could face this Sunday, as he hopes for a bounce back game against one of the most dangerous returners in football: Tyreek Hill.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Raiders fall to Ravens 34-17
The Raiders fell to 2-9 on the season after losing to the Ravens in Baltimore. Ed Graney and Elaine Emerson discuss the Raiders needs going forward.
Vegas Nation: DeAndre Washington, Raiders promote causes with cleats
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken goes into depth about the NFL's 'My Cause My Cleats" campaign, and the cause running back DeAndre Washington chose for the promotion.
Vegas Nation: Gruden encouraged by rookie tackles
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken examines Sunday's performances of the team's rookie tackles Kolton Miller and Brandon Parker.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Fall To Baltimore Ravens
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken and Vegas Nation host Cassie Soto go over the Raiders 34-17 loss to the Baltimore Ravens.
Raiders Players Thanksgiving Dinner Donations
Donald Penn brought the tradition of "spreading the love" for Thanksgiving from Tampa Bay as said by Raiders offensive tackle Kolton Miller. Raiders players were donating turkey dinners to Oakland residents Tuesday night.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: How Will Raiders Perform Against Ravens
Raiders will face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and Review-Journal reporter Gilbert Manzano and Elaine Emerson go over what to expect from the game.
Vegas Nation: LaFell moved to IR, Hatcher returns
The Raiders move wide receiver Brandon LaFell to the injured reserve and re-sign preseason standout Keon Hatcher, as Michael Gehlken reports the corresponding moves from Alameda, Calif.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Beat Cardinals 23-21, Earn Second Win of Season
Raiders Kicker Daniel Carlson hit the game winning field goal as time expires to hand the Raiders their first road win of the Season.
Raiders players talk about the team's win over Cardinals
After the team defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 23-21, the Oakland Raiders players spoke about the victory in the locker room.
Gruden, Carr discuss the Raiders 23-21 win
Head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr speak to media after the Oakland Raiders defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 23-21.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium (Raiders)
Raiders Adopt Student Resource Room At Robert Taylor Elementary School In Henderson
Former Raiders player Leo Gray and Robert Taylor Elementary School principal Kim Basham talk about the new resource room at the school on Sept. 25, 2018 in Henderson, Nevada. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
More information on design of Raiders' practice facility in Henderson
Officials plan to finish the Raiders' Henderson headquarters by spring 2020. The planned facility would be home to offices, training facilities and 4 1/2 football fields.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like