Oakland Raiders: 12 Free Agents and Their Odds of Signing with Oakland
The Oakland Raiders seem to be coming off of their second solid offseason in a row. They filled some needs at key positions but they still have a few positions to tighten up.
Depending on the CBA, there can be as many as 508 free agents, so there could be a very large game of musical chairs this offseason. With there being so many free agents this offseason, the Raiders will have plenty of choices to go about filling the remaining team needs.
Outside linebacker, wide receiver, offensive tackle and maybe corner are the Raiders' main needs. So here is my attempt to put down odds on the Raiders getting the top free agents at these positions Las Vegas-style.
Turn the page to have a look.
The Raiders do need a No. 1 receiver and they love deep threats. Randy Moss is both at the same time and this is a good time to get Moss because he won't cost so much these days.
He definitely has some game left. How many receivers can do what he did to Darrelle Revis in 2010?
He was a Raider before. But his first stint with the Raiders hurt his cause more than anything as it was hard to get him to "want to play."
The odds here open at 50-1.
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Braylon Edwards is one of those height, weight and speed guys that Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis covets. His hands are the weakness of his game but he has improved dramatically in that area.
Edwards finished 2010 with 904 yards on 53 catches for 17.3 yards per catch with still-learning quarterback Mark Sanchez. He could very well be the game-breaking receiver the Raiders need, as he showed signs of it in New York in 2010.
But I believe the Jets are going to do what they need to do to keep Edwards in house. Edwards will come at a steep price because of that and the Raiders have other free agents to sign.
Therefore, the odds open at 20-1.
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Sidney Rice is a known deep threat throughout the NFL whose season was ruined by injury in 2010. Rice showed that he could be a top-notch target for the Vikings in 2009, so it all depends on his health.
Rice seemed to be the reason why quarterback Brett Favre wasn't the same in 2010, so the Vikings should look to keep him. This is why I see Rice's price tag being among the highest of free-agent receivers in 2011.
This is too rich for the Raiders' blood so I open the odds at 18-1.
Chad Greenway is a beast of an outside linebacker on a defense that opposing teams annually can't run on. Put him in the Oakland Raiders starting lineup and opposing teams will find it hard to run on them as well.
Is it that simple?
It never is!
Greenway is going to cost some big money and the Vikings are likely to give it to him—at least, if they're smart they will.
This opens the odds at 16-1.
Tyson Clabo is a mauler at right tackle!
The Raiders can use a mauler as they have gone to power blocking.
Going into the draft, Clabo was a man that everyone including myself had coming to Raider Nation. But with the selection of Joseph Barksdale from LSU in the draft, it doesn't look much like that will happen.
Left tackle Jared Veldheer could be on his way to the right side also.
12-1 odds here.
This one could work!
Santana Moss would be a legitimate weapon for Oakland Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell. If the Raiders want a receiver, Moss would be a good choice as he has had a 1,000-yard season with two near misses with Campbell in Washington.
He also played in an Al Saunders-coordinated offense for a time while in Washington. The only thing that stops Davis from making the move to me is his belief in the receiver corps as it is.
This opens the odds at 8-1.
Matt Light has been a fixture at left tackle for Tom Brady and the Patriots for years and hasn't failed them. One thing the Patriots are known for is letting guys go a tad early instead of a tad late.
Therefore, the Patriots selected Nate Solder in the first round of the draft instead of giving 33-year-old Matt Light another contract. Light has a year or two left in him, so he can help the Raiders tremendously.
He can protect the blind side of quarterback Jason Campbell until the Raiders draft a left tackle in the 2012 draft.
Can you say stopgap?
Can you say more leadership to go with Richard Seymour?
He's actually a great player too. The only question is his asking price.
6-1 are the odds here.
They say that you can always go back home. Oakland is home to linebacker Kirk Morrison.
Morrison is a good linebacker that can play the run, tackles well and can cover in space too. The only problem he had in Oakland is he's not a middle linebacker, so finding the football before it's too late didn't happen.
Do you remember his rookie year in 2005 when he had 91 tackles from his outside linebacker position?
Then the Raiders made a mistake in moving him to middle linebacker and the Raiders' woes against the run continued.
Davis has a chance to do this one over and it won't be too expensive!
The odds are 4-1 here.
Vernon Gholston is a height, weight and speed demon at 6'4", 265 pounds, running a 4.5 40-yard dash. He's also an outside linebacker and the Raiders need one in the worst way.
It's hard to see why things didn't work out too well in New York. Did he just not see the field enough because the Jets have a great linebacker corps? Was there too much pressure trying to wear No. 56 in New York?
Or is he just not that good?
I'm sure Davis would love to find out what he and the Raiders' new defensive staff could get out of him. They just franchised their most recent reclamation project in Kamerion Wimbley, so he may be the perfect teammate for Gholston.
Gholston shouldn't cost too much because he has recently been pronounced a bust in New York. At worst, he would make a good backup defensive end in the Raiders 4-3.
For that, I'll open the odds here at 3-1.
Johnathan Joseph is an outstanding corner who learned a little something from Rod Woodson. Woodson was interning for the Cincinnati Bengals in minicamp and a portion of training camp in 2010.
He won't come at a cheap price but shouldn't be as expensive as Nnamdi Asomugha. Therefore, I expect Davis to at least give him a look if Asomugha goes elsewhere, because Davis loves his corners.
Joseph is a good one, too, who could stand to learn some more from Woodson.
Yes, I know I have talked about Jared Gaither coming to Oakland more than a little bit.
But this is about the odds of free agents coming to Raider Nation.
I believe the odds of Gaither becoming a Raider are very good, so he's in this one too. First off, there is a lockout so there won't be a lot of time to learn a new offensive system.
How about the same system he played in last year under Saunders in Baltimore?
It's also the same system Hue Jackson brought from Baltimore, where he was mentored by Saunders. Please don't take this as a diss on fan favorite Jared Veldheer, because he can be a great player at guard or right tackle.
But with the Raiders' vertical game, a special left tackle is needed and Gaither is that kind of guy. Gaither held his man out with the same vertical game going in Baltimore and you can clearly see the offense suffered when he was replaced by Michael Oher.
A different team and the same system are in his favor coming to Raider Nation. The only thing that can stop him is the CBA not allowing players to become free agents after four years.
Pick-em is the betting line here.
When you have an All-Pro player that's become a free agent, that has to be the one you have the best odds of signing. Asomugha will be the most sought-after free agent in 2011, so Davis is going to have to pay the man.
I know things don't look very good now because of all the money teammate Stanford Routt just got. There were also the comments he made about getting more players for the price of one Asomugha.
But Davis loves his corners.
He also doesn't like losing great players.
This one is also pick-em.
What the Raiders do in free agency could very well determine the outcome of this coming season. There are plenty of guys out there that can come in and help the Silver and Black at that.
But much of how things will go depends on the CBA and if the lockout is lifted. Davis has done a good job so far of controlling what he can control but it remains to be seen just how much more he can control.
One thing is for certain though: Raider Nation is watching, as am I.