Everyone knows the Raiders have holes on defense.
And now it seems as though there are about to be a few more.
Kirk Morrison, Thomas Howard, Jon Alston, and Ricky Brown, all line-backers, all happen to be restricted free agents this year.
And it is near certain the Raiders will not retain all of them.
One of the Raiders' biggest weaknesses on defense over the years has been defending the run. And many have credited that to the fact that they lack a true middle line-backer.
Unfortunately, the Raiders also run a defense which requires athletic line-backers who can at least keep up with a running back in pass coverage.
So the big brutes everyone loves at line-backer are a no go in the Raiders defense.
Here en-lies the problem. The Raiders need a line-backer with the strength and size to be effective against the run while also having the athleticism not to become a liability in pass coverage.
The Raiders need a big fast athletic brute in the middle.
Such players are rare and few and far between, which is the main reason the Raiders have been unable to find a line-backer more suitable than Kirk Morrison to play the middle.
So what about Karlos Dansby?
At 6'4'' 250 lbs. he has the strength and size to fair better than Kirk Morris did against the run. And he also has nearly if not as much speed as Kirk Morrison. Unlike many line-backers his size Karlos Dansby has the speed to succeed in a man oriented defense.
He is versatile as well with the instincts to do it all: from rushing the passer, to reading the QB and making interceptions, to jarring the ball lose from running backs.
And he has the experience. Next season he will be 29 with experience playing all three line-backer positions in the 4-3.
Dansby could fit in with the Raiders in a number of scenarios.
On one hand he can simply replace Morrison as he leaves via free-agency.
Dansby could also come in as a middle line-backer while Kirk Morrison steps aside to play the strong side.
And in one of the least likely scenarios, with his extensive experience, Dansby could play one of the outside line-backer positions.
Unfortunately Karlos Dansby is set to be the one of if not the hottest line-backers in free-agency this year.
So he will have a steep price tag. But Al Davis has a history of paying free agents handsomely.
The only question is will the Raiders pull the trigger?