Many fans of Raider Nation are both a bit nervously skeptical and pleasantly optimistic. Allen has had no previous head coaching experience; but his expertise on the defensive side of the ball is intriguing for a team that ranked near the bottom in the NFL in most defensive categories last season.
While Oakland has many items to address in terms of new coaching personnel, there are other decisions that need to be made in terms of player retention. They have 15 players eligible for free agency in 2012, including 14 unrestricted free agents. The Raiders must pay close attention to this list because, as it stands now, they only have two picks in this spring’s NFL draft—one fifth and one sixth-rounder (though it’s possible they will receive a few compensatory picks from the league).
Because of the dearth of draft options in 2012, Allen and the Raiders will need to study their own free agents carefully and determine which players will be retained for next season and possibly beyond.
Here is a look at five Raider free agents Allen and the new coaching staff should consider re-signing.