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2014 NFL Offseason: Oakland Raiders

Draft Grades, Season Previews, Team Needs, Free Agents

Oakland Raiders (Last Year: 4-12)

Season Summary:
The Raiders were 3-4 at one point during the 2013 campaign, and coming off an upset victory over the Steelers, it appeared as though they'd be a factor in the playoff race. But things quickly fell apart, beginning with Nick Foles' record-setting seven-touchdown performance. Oakland decided to retain its front office and coaching staff, so maybe it'll have more success in 2014 with the quarterback it decides to draft this May.

Offseason Moves:
  • Raiders cut G Mike Brisiel
  • Jets sign WR/KR Jacoby Ford
  • Raiders sign CB Carlos Rogers
  • Raiders sign DE/DT C.J. Wilson
  • Raiders re-sign DT Pat Sims
  • Raiders sign RB Maurice Jones-Drew
  • Seahawks sign CB Phillip Adams
  • Raiders acquire QB Matt Schaub from Texans for late-round pick
  • Raiders re-sign S Charles Woodson
  • Buccaneers sign CB Mike Jenkins
  • Raiders sign OT Donald Penn
  • Raiders sign G Kevin Boothe
  • Raiders sign WR James Jones
  • Raiders re-sign S Usama Young
  • Raiders sign DE/DT Antonio Smith
  • Raiders sign CB Tarell Brown
  • Chiefs sign DT Vance Walker
  • Raiders sign DE/OLB LaMarr Woodley
  • Raiders sign DE Justin Tuck
  • Redskins sign CB Tracy Porter
  • Raiders sign OT Austin Howard
  • Giants sign RB Rashad Jennings
  • Cardinals sign OT Jared Veldheer
  • Raiders re-sign RB Darren McFadden
  • Bears sign DE Lamarr Houston
  • Raiders re-sign G Khalif Barnes

    Team Needs:
    1. Quarterback: Offensive coordinator Greg Olson got the most he could out of Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin, but the Raiders need to find some stability at the quarterback position for the first time since 2002 league MVP Rich Gannon led the franchise to the Super Bowl. One of Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel will be available at No. 5, though they may like someone else... Traded for Matt Schaub

    2. Left Guard: I wrote this in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft, but Lucas Nix was the worst starting guard in the NFL this past year. Oakland desperately needs to upgrade this spot, perhaps with a second-day selection. Signed Kevin Boothe

    3. Two Defensive Ends: Lamarr Houston, Oakland's best player, happens to be a free agent. He'll have to be franchised. There is also a need across for an upgrade across from him. Signed Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and LaMarr Woodley

    4. Two Cornerbacks: D.J. Hayden didn't play well as a rookie, but he'll be asked to start in 2014. Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and Phillip Adams will all be free agents, so the Raiders will need to find some new corners. Signed Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers

    5. Safety: The Raiders had the league's worst pass defense in the month of December, thanks in part to Brandian Ross' awful play at safety. Charles Woodson, meanwhile, is a free agent. He's a mere shell of his former self. Tyvon Branch will be back, but one more safety will need to be added. Re-signed Charles Woodson

    6. Running Back: Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden are both free agents. Jennings shocked everyone by performing well in 2013. Raiders re-sign Darren McFadden; signed Maurice Jones-Drew

    7. Middle Linebacker: Nick Roach did not get the job done this past season, as he happened to be a major liability against the run. Oakland needs a three-down linebacker to man the middle so that Kevin Burnett doesn't have to be on the field in passing situations.

    8. Defensive Tackle: Pat Sims is a nice run-stuffer, but the Raiders don't have anyone to rush the quarterback from the interior. Re-signed Pat Sims

    9. Left Tackle: Jared Veldheer missed a big chunk of the 2013 season with an injury, but he played well upon returning to the lineup. He's a free agent, however. Signed Donald Penn and Austin Howard

    10. Wide Receiver: Andre Holmes, Rod Streater and Denarius Moore have all flashed at one point or another, but none of those wideouts are capable of being No. 1 options. Sammy Watkins could be Oakland's first-round pick if all of the quarterbacks are gone. Signed James Jones

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2014 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Tarell Brown, CB, 49ers. Age: 29.
      Re-signed with Raiders

      Tarell Brown has been an excellent cornerback for the 49ers over the past few years. However, he missed some time with a rib injury this past season and lost his job to the emerging Tramaine Brock.

    2. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars. Age: 29.
      Signed with Raiders (3 years)

      Maurice Jones-Drew's 2013 campaign was easily the worst of his career, but two things to keep in mind: First, he was running behind an offensive line with no talent whatsoever, all while opposing defenses were stacking the box against him. Second, he had a terrible injury in 2012, so he wasn't 100 percent. I wouldn't be surprised if he bounces back in 2014, assuming, of course, he lands in a much better situation.

    3. James Jones, WR, Packers. Age: 30.
      Signed with Raiders

      James Jones is a talent receiver who struggled with drops early in his career. He fixed that problem while catching 14 touchdowns in 2012. However, teams better make sure they don't overpay a 30-year-old wideout who has never tallied more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

    4. Austin Howard, OT, Jets. Age: 27.
      Signed with Raiders

      The once-beleaguered Austin Howard has improved every single season and is now viewed as a solid right tackle. He did a great job of improving his pass-protection skills this past year.

    5. Justin Tuck, DE, Giants. Age: 31.
      Signed with Raiders (2 years, $11 million)

      Justin Tuck was always strong against the run, but did nothing in terms of rushing the quarterback in 2013 - until he racked up a whopping four sacks against the Redskins. He put consistent pressure on the quarterback after that.

    6. Antonio Smith, DE/DT, Texans. Age: 32.
      Signed with Raiders (2 years, $9 million)

      Antonio Smith will be 33 in October, but he can still get after the quarterback. He can be a 4-3 left end who moves inside on obvious passing situations, but he's best off staying in the 3-4.

    7. LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB, Steelers. Age: 29.
      Signed with Raiders (2 years, $12 million)

      LaMarr Woodley notched 13.5 sacks in 2009 and then nine sacks in just 10 games two years later. However, it's all been downhill since then. He was out of shape and consequently mustered only four sacks in 2012. He got off to a hot start last season, logging a sack in all but one of his first six games, but a calf injury derailed the second half of his 2013 campaign. Woodley has major potential to bounce back if he can stay healthy and motivated, but he's definitely an injury risk.

    8. Donald Penn, OT, Buccaneers. Age: 31.
      Signed with Raiders

      An overweight underachiever, Donald Penn failed to live up to the $41.7 million contract he signed in 2010. He has talent though, so with the right coaching, he could be a fine, short-term starter. Perhaps he'll be motivated after being released. Penn turns 31 in April.

    9. Carlos Rogers, CB, 49ers. Age: 33.
      Signed with Raiders

      Carlos Rogers had a stellar campaign in 2011, but has regressed in each of the past two seasons. He can still pass for an OK No. 2 corner, but given that he'll turn 33 in July, he won't be a starting-caliber player for much longer.

    10. Kevin Boothe, G, Giants. Age: 31.
      Signed with Raiders

      Kevin Boothe isn't a spectacular starter, but he's not bad either. His best attribute is his versatility; he can play all three positions in the interior.

    11. C.J. Wilson, DE/DT, Packers. Age: 27. -- Signed with Raiders

    Oakland Raiders Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Lamarr Houston, DE, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Signed with Bears (5 years, $35 million)

      Lamarr Houston, the Raiders' best player, is a strong pass-rusher and is even better at shutting down the run. He'll only be 27 in June, so he deserves a massive contract.

    2. Jared Veldheer, OT, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Signed with Cardinals (5 years, $35 million)

      Jared Veldheer missed the first 12 weeks of the season with a triceps tear. Perhaps the Raiders will be able to retain him at a cheaper price as a consequence. If so, they should be happy because Veldheer is a solid blind-side protector.

    3. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Re-signed with Raiders (1 year, $4 million)

      Darren McFadden has been through so many injuries that he's been sapped of all explosiveness. He's averaged 3.5 yards per carry or worse the past two seasons. Perhaps he can rebound in a better offense and become a legitimate threat again.

    4. Rashad Jennings, RB, Raiders. Age: 29.
      Signed with Giants

      Rashad Jennings was given a chance to prove himself when Maurice Jones-Drew suffered an injury in 2012, but struggled mightily. That's why it was so surprising that he thrived with the Raiders, outplaying Darren McFadden by a wide margin.

    5. Charles Woodson, S, Raiders. Age: 37.
      Re-signed with Raiders (1 year)

      Charles Woodson is playing on his last legs. He'll be 38 in October.

    6. Vance Walker, DT, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Signed with Chiefs

      Vance Walker is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none defensive tackle. He's passable as a starter.

    7. Mike Jenkins, CB, Raiders. Age: 29.
      Signed with Buccaneers (1 year, $1.5 million)

      Mike Jenkins never lived up to expectations, but he started at corner for the Raiders in 2013 and didn't fail miserably. He wasn't very good either, however.

    8. Pat Sims, DT, Raiders. Age: 28.
      Re-signed with Raiders

      Pat Sims is a solid run-stuffer who provided a good push in the pocket this season.

    9. Khalif Barnes, OT, Raiders. Age: 32.
      Re-signed with Raiders (1 year)

      Khalif Barnes was forced to play left tackle in the wake of Jared Veldheer's injury. This was viewed as a disaster area, but Barnes actually held up pretty well, surrendering only three sacks in 11 starts on the blind side.

    10. Jason Hunter, DE, Raiders. Age: 31.
    11. Jacoby Ford, WR/KR, Raiders. Age: 27. -- Signed with Jets
    12. Tony Pashos, OT, Raiders. Age: 34.
    13. Usama Young, S, Raiders. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Raiders (2 years)
    14. Tracy Porter, CB, Raiders. Age: 28. -- Signed with Redskins
    15. Andre Gurode, C, Raiders. Age: 35.
    16. Phillip Adams, CB, Raiders. Age: 26. -- Signed with Seahawks (1 year)
    17. Mike Brisiel, G, Raiders. Age: 31.
    18. Chimdi Chekwa (RFA), CB, Raiders. Age: 25.

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

    2014 NFL Mock Draft - April 24

    2014 NBA Mock Draft - April 23

    NFL Free Agents - April 22

    2015 NFL Mock Draft - April 17

    Fantasy Football Rankings - March 28

    NFL Picks - Feb. 2

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