Yesterday the Raiders hosted free agents Ron Bartell and Mike Brisiel. Today both men became the newest members of the silver and black. Free agency might have begun on Tuesday for the rest of the league but it wasn’t until Kamerion Wimbley’s contract was burned that the process began in Oakland.
Bartell is a veteran cornerback that addresses a need lingering in Oakland for over a year now. He spent seven solid years in St. Louis before suffering a season-ending injury in the first game of 2011. You can pretty much write his name in ink as a starter.
Brisiel is another man that is almost certain to be starting coming out of camp as well. He follows Greg Knapp from Houston to the Bay Area. During his six years as a Texan, Brisiel started 47 games at guard. He’s the man pitted with filling the position recently vacated by the release of Cooper Carlisle.
Neither signing is of the earth shattering variety but that was expected given Oakland’s fluid cap situation. What these two free agents do represent is a more sensible approach to filling needs and fielding a competitive team.
Last season the Raiders didn’t even bother to see how the lockout would affect player movement. Al Davis jumped right in and began rewarding his players with undue raises.
Now the Davis approach did yield an improved team in 2011 but those improvements were of the micro variety. On the macro level the Raiders were still a .500 club. Bad news is they might very well still be a .500 club.
The good news is going forward money won’t simply be thrown at problems. A proper evaluating process followed by sensible spending is the order of business now. Nothing guarantees success will follow but at least contracts will be earned instead of given away like free napkins in a Wendy’s.