Ranking the Biggest Free Agency Priorities for Oakland Raiders

Steven SlivkaCorrespondent IIIFebruary 22, 2013

Ranking the Biggest Free Agency Priorities for Oakland Raiders

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    General manager Reggie McKenzie doesn't have much money to spend this offseason, but at least he'll have more than he did last year.

    Some of Oakland's players from last season are now free agents, and McKenzie would be wise to re-sign them.

    However, there are other options if he cannot.

    With the draft less than two months away, it's important for McKenzie to give some free agents some looks so he knows where the team's biggest needs are come draft day.

Wide Receiver

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    The Raiders are in need of another wide receiver on their team.

    They don't have the money to go after a big-name receiver like Mike Wallace, Greg Jennings or Dwayne Bowe, but there are still other serviceable names that can make them better.

    Plaxico Burress is a name that comes to mind. He's big, has plenty of experience and is still looking for a job.

    I think he'd be a great teacher to Oakland's young receivers.

Defensive Line

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    Oakland's defensive line was awful last season.

    Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour didn't live up to their bloated contracts, but Lamarr Houston and Desmond Bryant were great.

    Bryant is a free agent, and the Raiders need to re-sign him.

    The Raiders' draft will be all about defense, but Bryant is a guy who needs to be a top priority in the offseason.

Offensive Line

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    Right tackle Khalif Barnes is a free agent, and right guard Mike Brisiel didn't live up to the money he made last season.

    Releasing Brisiel would free up nearly $3 million next season, and Tony Bergstrom would be a nice (and cheaper) replacement.

    There are still options available like Will Beatty and Gosder Cherilus if the Raiders choose to go that route.

    I'm sure they'll address their offensive line problems in the draft, but it's nice to have a backup plan in free agency.

Secondary

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    Oakland's secondary was more than awful last year, and if it wasn't for the defensive line, this unit would have been the most disappointing.

    The Raiders will be sure to draft a cornerback in the third round of the draft, but there are also some options available in free agency.

    Marcus Trufant and Kelvin Hayden would make the Raiders better just by stepping on the field, and Oakland could still draft a solid corner in the process.

    Michael Huff will be moved back to his natural position at free safety and anyone else the Raiders bring in will be an instant upgrade from last year's unit.

Linebackers

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    Philip Wheeler must be re-signed this offseason.

    He was without a doubt Oakland's best defensive player in 2012 by recording 109 tackles and two forced fumbles.

    If the Raiders decide to franchise tag him they will have to pay him $9 million next season.

    That is a lot of money for a guy who's only had one solid season in his brief NFL career, but the Raiders really don't have a choice.

    The linebackers were the only consistent unit of the entire team in 2012. They need to keep that unit together.