Oakland Raiders Re-Sign Khalif Barnes: Will He Be a Starter?
Barnes has been in Oakland since 2009 and has had chances to sign elsewhere as a free agent before, yet he continues to end up back with the Raiders.
In his time in Oakland, Barnes has been in and out of the starting lineup and in 2012 he struggled to stay healthy. In the nine games he did play last year, he shared the struggles of the zone-blocking scheme with the rest of the offensive line.
Barnes stands at 6'6" and weighs in at 321 pounds. A man with that size should be better off with the return of the power-blocking scheme that new offensive coordinator Greg Olson will implement.
The Raiders' offensive line thrived under the scheme when Hue Jackson ran it for two years. Maybe we could see Barnes get another touchdown reception, as seen in the picture. That may be a stretch, but you get the point.
With Jared Veldheer holding down the left tackle position, the Raiders are still looking for the answer at the right tackle position. If the Raiders stay where they are in the draft, they could possibly take Luke Joeckel in the first round and solidify the offensive tackle position for years to come.
Another solution for the Raiders at right tackle was free agency, but the Raiders lack the cap space and appeal-- following a 4-12 season-- to attract many quality free agents to fill all the team's needs.
Reggie McKenzie most likely re-signed Barnes as insurance if the Raiders can't get anyone better to come in and play the position. At least Barnes has chemistry with the rest of the offensive line, having been a Raider since 2009.
After watching how poorly Willie Smith filled in for an injured Barnes last year, maybe it won't be so bad having Barnes back in Oakland as the starting right tackle.
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