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Raiders Dive into Free Agency, Sign Brisiel, Bartell

HOUSTON, TX - CIRCA 2011: In this handout image provided by the NFL, Mike Brisiel of the Houston Texans poses for his NFL headshot circa 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by NFL via Getty Images)
Handout/Getty Images
Oakland RaiderContributor IIIMarch 16, 2012

Taking their first steps into free agency, the new Oakland Raiders regime of GM Reggie Mckenzie and head coach Dennis Allen started out strong by signing two players at high-need spots, according to an Associated Press report in The Washington Post.

The Raiders first landed ex-Texans guard Mike Brisiel, marking their first signing in free agency. Brisiel, an undrafted free agent out of Colorado State, signed with the Texans in 2006 and had a successful tenure as a starter until breaking his leg during the 2011 season.

Without a doubt, he will compete for a starting spot on Oakland's offensive line and most likely lock up the starting right guard spot barring anything unexpected.

A short time later, word came out that the Raiders had landed former St. Louis Rams CB Ronald Bartell, with the two sides agreeing on a one-year deal.

Bartell, a seven-year veteran who started 66 games prior to sustaining a neck injury in 2011, is another solid signing. He will likely lead the pack for a starting position in Oakland's empty secondary.

Both of these signings are good first steps for the Raiders, who still have many holes to fill on both sides of the ball after purging a number of players to clear cap room.

Look for Oakland to make more signings and use some of that newfound cap space as free agency progresses.

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