Free Agency Grades: Oakland Raiders

Let’s just cut to the chase. When you lose your best offensive and defensive players to free agency then do little to address your needs in other areas, there is only one grade that suits the Raiders in free agency.


At the start of free agency the Raiders had to very key priorities. First and foremost Al Davis needed to show Zach Miller the money. He didn’t and Miller took a call from an old friend. Tom Cable made Miller feel wanted. The Seahawks made Miller a rich man. So now Mr. Davis is going to have to create enough cap space just to make a respectable offer to Kevin Boss.

By all accounts the Raiders failed miserably in the approach taken to retain Miller.

The next priority was to address the needs along the offensive line. Robert Gallery was given his walking papers long before the lockout began. It was a given that something had to be done to finally find an upgrade at right tackle. While Oakland used the draft to grab Stefen Wisniewski and Joe Barksdale the jury is still out on those decisions. In fact since neither has taken a snap in an NFL contest you could say the jury hasn’t even been selected yet.

With the uncertainty of rookies you’d think Oakland would go after a proven commodity. To date the most interest they’ve shown in any free agent O-lineman was the brief flirtation with Jared Gaither – a once dominant tackle that hasn’t played in a year due to a back injury. Needles to say Gaither didn’t get a clean bill of health and the Raiders reverted to giving Khalif Barnes a one-year deal for the third year running.

Overall Oakland’s free agency spending was put on ice before it began. Al’s free spending ways have finally caught up to the cap as all that dead money has prevented any major moves being made. By instead choosing to focus on re-signing players in-house the Raiders are either indicating they’ve got what they need already or that they’re just not interested in what’s available.

No matter the case this has been a very forgettable free agency period in Oakland. Now that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. Quite the contrary when you consider the perfect 6-0 mark the Raiders posted in the AFC West in 2010 not to mention all the young talent just waiting to emerge. All that being said the Raiders did little to address their needs through free agency and lost their most prized players as well. No matter how you slice it that is the kind of situation that will always merit a failing grade.

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Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Jared Gaither Joseph Barksdale Kevin Boss Khalif Barnes Robert Gallery Stefen Wisniewski Tom Cable Zach Miller

  • HandzUp

    First lets address the best offensive and defensive players in Oakland: Darren McFadden and Richard Seymore, respectively. Miller and Nnamdi were second to them.
    As far a signings go, Al Davis did what he needed to do prior to the lockout. Although he should have anticipated the salary cap problem, it is what it is. Remember he voided Nnamdi contract. Imagine if he didn’t, Oakland would of been way over the cap.
    Should he have signed Nnamdi and Miller, sure he would of, if he didn’t have to deal with the cap. But unfortunately, with the cap, and Miller’s and Nnamdi’s dollar request, it would of been virtually impossible to do so in a timely fashion. These players grew impatient and fled to a suitor who was able to offer something sooner. Realize this, they did wait, unfortunately, Al was unable to restructure the deals quick enough.
    Regardless, if they wind up signing Boss, he’d be a reasonable replacement at a fraction of the cost, I’m sure. Our defense is pretty solid right now as is. Our offensive line is being repaired so to speak with respect to the amount of money we can afford.
    All in all, Oakland should be just fine in their division. Just Win Baby.

  • gswar2003

    I’m not very optimistic. If you really watched the body language of Jason Campbell he is not a very confident QB he deferred a-lot to Zach miller and without him there he will be forced to throw more to the (sure handed) NOT!! hay-wood Bay . And on defense one of our biggest problems was the secondary and with out Nnamdi there teams will throw all over the field. We will wait and see. Raiders 4 Life (but it hurts sometimes)

  • HandzUp

    If you youtube Raiders 2010 Highlights, you will see there is much to be optimistic about. Louis Murphy, Ford, McFadden, Reece are all extremely capable receivers. Campbell will be fine.

    Did you forget Routt was the cornerback most thrown to and he was phenomenal last year. Chris Johnson will step it up this year, he’s got speed and Woodson Coaching him.

    Optimism son, you look like you need some. Here’s that link: