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The Raiders should make a push to sign left guard Matt Slauson.
The Raiders re-signed Khalif Barnes and restructured the contract of right guard Mike Brisiel this offseason. Both guys will probably end up being starters like they were in 2012, but they will not be given the starting jobs outright.
Lucas Nix and Tony Bergstrom should also be in play at right guard, but they will have to prove they deserve more playing time in training camp.
The spot that remains wide open is the left guard. Cooper Carlisle was the starter at left guard last season, and he’s a free agent again. Carlisle was the oldest player on the team last season who wasn’t a kicker or punter. Carlisle is two years older than Andre Carter, Richard Seymour and Carson Palmer.
Although Carlisle didn’t have his worst season in 2012, he struggled in the power-blocking scheme the two years prior. The Raiders are going back to that scheme, which makes it less likely Carlisle is re-signed.
Brian Costello of the New York Post reported early in free agency that the Raiders were interested in Matt Slauson, who has started every game for the Jets at left guard for the past three years. The Raiders’ new offensive line coach Tony Sparano also coached Slauson when he was the offensive coordinator for the Jets in 2012.
Slauson would be an ideal signing, but there are other teams bidding for his services.
Slauson allowed just one sack, four hurries and nine pressures on the quarterback in 2012 according to ProFootballFocus (subscription required). That’s borderline amazing considering that Slauson’s quarterback was Mark Sanchez for most of the year, and the one sack he allowed was actually of Greg McElroy.
If the Raiders don’t bring in Slauson, they will likely add even more depth at the position through the draft and hope that one of Nix or Bergstrom can compete for the job on the left side. The Raiders are probably not interested in getting a lot older at the position, which rules out a lot of the other available free agents.