5 Still Unsigned Free Agents Oakland Raiders Should Contact
Although we are now well into minicamps, and training camps are just around the corner as well, it does not mean that further additions cannot be made.
In fact, the veteran free-agent signings made between now and the beginning of the regular season, given the low costs they come at, have the potential to carry the most value.
Taking a look at the Raiders’ roster, there are still several positions that could stand to be upgraded either in the starting lineup or further down the depth chart.
Here are five still unsigned free agents the Oakland Raiders should contact.
DE John Abraham
Looking at the free-agent market, John Abraham is easily the top remaining pass-rusher, and his addition would instantly help what is the Raiders’ most glaring weakness.
In four of the last six seasons with the Atlanta Falcons, Abraham has reached double-digit sacks, including a career-high 16.5 in 2008.
For many, age will be the prime concern of him continuing play at such a high level, but even last season, in what was likely a more limited role, Abraham still put up 10 sacks and six forced fumbles.
Up until this point, it has been a relatively foregone conclusion that John Abraham would be well out of the Raiders’ price range. While that certainly may have been the case early in the offseason, the longer he stays on the market, the more his price will come down.
As the Raiders continue to look for ways to address their pass rush, expect the odds of them pursuing John Abraham to only increase the longer he remains unsigned.
DE Trevor Scott
The Raiders have already seen one former player make his return to Oakland this offseason. Why not one more?
Trevor Scott may not be as big of a name as John Abraham is in the free-agent market, but he could certainly bring some much-needed speed to the Raiders’ pass rush.
The reason Scott remains unsigned is due to the slowed sack production over the past few seasons, but much of that can likely be attributed to the recovery from a torn ACL in 2010.
Now fully healthy, the Raiders would be getting the kind of versatile pass-rusher they have come to covet. Scott is capable of getting after the quarterback from both the defensive end and linebacker position, and as Raiders fans know, he brings extra value on special teams as well.
Given both that versatility and the cost it would take to sign him, Trevor Scott makes as much sense as any free-agent pass-rusher for the Raiders to pursue as the offseason goes on.
DT Sedrick Ellis
While the Raiders have added a few players on the interior defensive line, losing just as many to free agency and roster cuts makes the depth an issue there.
Sedrick Ellis, a former No. 1 pick out of USC, would make a lot of sense for the Raiders to address this, even if only for rotational purposes.
Should Ellis get to the point in his late-offseason free agency visits where multiple teams are bidding for his services, it would only help the Raiders’ chances that Dennis Allen was part of the Saints’ defensive staff during a few of his seasons there.
More than anything else, defensive tackle is one position where the Raiders need to add as much competition as possible. Giving a former first-round pick in Sedrick Ellis another chance at success would be well worth the low-cost risk he would come at.
DT Sione Pouha
So far this offseason, the Raiders have made a point of adding players who are going to help their troubles defending the run. The best run-defending defensive tackle on the free-agent market is the former New York Jets NT Sione Pouha.
Pouha will not offer much as a pass-rusher, so generally he will only appeal to 3-4 teams as an NT. At the same time, that doesn’t mean he can’t bring value on early downs in a 4-3 front for a team like the Raiders.
Like the other players on this list, the fact that Pouha remains a free agent likely means that he will come at an affordable cost when he finally does sign. If his medicals check out, the Raiders should be one of the teams looking to add him before training camp.
WR Brandon Lloyd
Another of the areas with the most question marks on the Raiders’ roster is at wide receiver. Although there are certainly plenty of names with some very high potential, the group lacks an established veteran presence, and Brandon Lloyd could give them just that.
Yes, Lloyd is coming off of a relatively disappointing season with the Patriots, but he is not the first receiver to struggle in a transition to that offense, nor will he be the last.
Known for his precise route running and spectacular catches, Lloyd would instantly compete for one of the Raiders’ two starting wideout positions, allowing Jacoby Ford to be used exclusively in the slot.
Like many other free-agent signings at this time of year, the price Brandon Lloyd would now come at makes him a low-risk, high-reward player. At receiver, the Raiders could use that in a big way.
Dan Wilkins is an Oakland Raiders Featured Columnist. You can follow him on Twitter here.