Now through six weeks of the regular season, the Oakland Raiders have shown to be a relatively competitive team, despite what is a disappointing 2-4 record.
Although injuries can never be used as an excuse in the NFL, had the Raiders not experienced the number of injuries they have at key positions, or had the necessary quality of depth to step in at which, their record could be very different at this point.
Teams adding players that will contribute this far into the season, either by way of trade or free agency signings, are fairly rare.
At the same time, given the significant struggles at some important positions currently missing starters, like that of the offensive line, the Raiders must look into the players still available on the free agent market.
With the team now heading into its bye week, any players added would have more than enough time to learn and adjust to the roles they will be assigned.
Here are five free agents the Oakland Raiders must consider signing this week.
Although injuries have been an issue everywhere on the Raiders’ offensive line, it is the resulting struggles on the interior that have affected the running and passing game the most.
Seemingly every running play between the tackles is stopped either at the line of scrimmage or in the backfield, giving some talented Raiders running backs little to no chance to gain positive yardage.
While offensive line talent comes at a premium in the NFL, there are still veteran players like Jake Scott on the open market that could make a difference in offensive line situations like the one the Raiders currently have.
At this point, Scott could probably win a starting job, then moving to a depth role as the starters around him get healthy.
Continuing to address what is a massive problem on the offensive line for the Raiders, another option is a versatile player like that of Frank Omiyale.
Omiyale is an eight-year veteran, capable of playing either tackle or guard spot up front.
That veteran ability would be key for a team like the Raiders that seems to be constantly shuffling their starting group week after week.
Much like Scott, Omiyale would challenge for a starting spot upon signing, and then provide quality depth when the Raiders’ regular starters are able to get healthy.
Reports circulated last week about the Raiders holding workouts for quarterbacks, including former No. 1 overall selection, David Carr.
While the Raiders could certainly opt to sign Carr, or any other quarterback they may have worked out thus far, Vince Young would make a lot of sense.
If a backup quarterback is ever forced into action, the hope is that they can pick up where the starter left off, and run the offense in the most similar way possible.
Signing an athletic veteran like Young would better mirror the quarterback style that Pryor brings, and with which the Raiders have effectively tailored the offense around.
With some impressive performances through six games, the Raiders defensive unit has exceeded the expectations of many.
Despite which, the depth on the defensive line still remains an issue worth monitoring, and one that could be addressed through the current free agent market.
Adding a veteran player like that of Justin Bannan to take on a rotational role at defensive tackle could be valuable as the season wears on.
Bannan has experience in several different defensive fronts, and that versatility would fit in well with a Raiders defense that is seemingly trying to incorporate more 3-4 looks every week.
Either way, adding a defensive tackle for depth purposes should be something the Raiders look to do relatively soon.
Again addressing the depth on the defensive line, the Raiders should also constantly be keeping an eye on who is available at defensive end.
Although the pass rush has been surprisingly productive at times this season, adding players that can contribute in the line’s snap rotations can never hurt.
Mark Anderson can be considered somewhat of a pass-rush specialist, and in a role doing so on limited snaps, he could still be productive.
Again, at this point in the season, super stars will not be found on the free agent market. Instead, teams can find the kind of players capable of filling much-needed depth spots like Anderson could certainly do for the Raiders.