There is every reason to believe the Oakland Raiders and free agent linebacker Nick Barnett are on a collision course. The former Buffalo Bill was recently released before the final year of his three-year contract and he just so happens to fit one of the many needs of the diminished Oakland defense.
Oh yeah, and he just so happens to be a former Green Bay Packer that Reggie McKenzie got a good look at during his time in Titletown. That reason alone fuels all the talk swirling around Raider Nation that Barnett will be in Silver and Black for 2013.
Of course there is a reason why the Barstow native and AB Miller alum is on the open market. At 31 he’s no longer in his prime and has endured two season ending injuries during his ten years in the NFL. However outside of a knee injury in ’08 and a wrist injury in 2010 Barnett has been on the field and started most every NFL game he’s ever suited up for.
Barnett is still capable of being productive and there is no doubt he’d be an upgrade for the Raiders who desperately need another linebacker in the Philip Wheeler mold whom they struck pay dirt with during last season’s minimal free agent spree. Barnett, like Wheeler, would come at a discount cost and is a vet that can be expected to contribute immediately.
During his career Barnett has racked up tackles like Chris Brown does bad press. He made a Pro Bowl in ’07 and led the NFL in tackles in ’05.
Being a part of a terrible defense in Buffalo did him no favors but more than likely Barnett’s release was more closely related to salary cap concerns as he was slated to make $3.5-million in 2013.