With the 2014 Offseason fast approaching Just Blog Baby Podcast cohost and columnist Rory Anderson breaks down some of the mid-level free agents in his continuing 2014 NFL Free Agency preview.
This is the third of four articles discussing the pay and interest of potential free agent targets for the Raiders. In this installment I will cover players in the 3-6.9 million dollar ranges. As usual with the first two installments, I am already assuming the Raiders sign Josh Freeman which as far as I am concerned is almost a certainty. Other names are Chad Henne who had Greg Olson as a quarterbacks coach in Jacksonville and Tavaris Jackson whom Reggie McKenzie can get references for from Seahawks general manager Jon Schneider whom he worked with in Green Bay.
Everson Griffen, DE Vikings: 4 years 24 million dollars 12 million guaranteed
With a new head coach coming in who has ties to a big named free agent at the same position there is a significant chance he hits free agency. He is a solid pass rusher and he worked in a committee the last couple of years. Adding Griffen at a reasonable price such as this would be a steal for the Raiders.
Red Bryant, DL Seahawks: 4 years 26 million dollars 16 million guaranteed
It is rumored that the Hawks will be cutting Bryant in order to make room for Michael Bennett. The 328 pound tackle turned end is a versatile monster that could be a run stopping stud for the Raiders. The reason he is better than a player like Raji or even Joseph is his physical versatility. He can play all over the defensive line and be the center piece to a run defense.
Dennis Pitta, TE Ravens: 4 years 16 million dollars 8 million guaranteed
Pitta would likely be franchised but he would be a great addition for the Raiders. He can do it all and a long term deal after his injury would not cost too much. He would be a good player to have Rivera learn from in terms of blocking.
Garrett Graham, TE Texans: 3 years 10 million dollars 4 million guaranteed
Graham is a mid range tight end that is good at everything great at nothing. Adding him would be a nice depth move but nothing exceptional.
D’Qwell Jackson, LB Browns: 3 years 15 million dollars 10 million guaranteed
The percentage of guaranteed money may seem high but for a guy his age it makes sense. He will instantly provide maximum production as a run stopping two down middle linebacker and his presence would radically upgrade this run defense.
Perry Riley, LB Redskins: 4 years 18 million dollars 9 million guaranteed
Riley is another candidate to come and be a solid two down middle linebacker. He is not the best, but his age lends itself to a long term contract.
Brandon Spikes, LB Patriots: 5 years 25 million dollars 10 million guaranteed
Brandon Spikes is an ideal and highly talented middle linebacker. Regardless of his injury he is a massive talent and would be a long term solution for the Raiders.
Jon Asamoah, G Chiefs: 3 years 15 million dollars 7.5 million guaranteed
Asamoah is a strong mauler that can open up lanes on the first level. I wouldn’t say this is a huge need but he could be a solid player
Geoff Schwartz, G Chiefs: 5 years 30 million dollars 15 million guaranteed
PFF rated Schwartz as the eighth best guard in the NFL and in doing so becomes a natural fit for the Raiders should they seek to upgrade that spot. The Raiders could choose to add a center and move Wisniewski to guard, but this solution could be just as effective for relatively similar money.
Brian De La Puente, C Saints: 5 years 20 million dollars 10 million guaranteed
This is one of the better centers available and the nice thing about centers is the compensation is relatively low. He would be a very solid addition and push Wisniewski to guard.
Evan Dietrich-Smith, C Packers: 5 years 25 million dollars 12 million guaranteed
This was PFFs eighth best center and his Green Bay connection cannot be ignored.
Arthur Jones, Mike Neal, Clinton McDonald, Tyson Jackson, Ziggy Hood: 4 years 16-25 million dollars 8-12 million dollars guaranteed
This is a large group of young versatile defensive lineman with similar skill sets and upside. Each of these players can be solid run defenders as ends on run downs and then kick inside to provide some pass rush. They certainly aren’t elite, but they can be a functional part of a deep rotation.
Pat Sims and Vance Walker: 3 years 10 million dollars 4 million guaranteed
Both of these guys can be resigned for moderate money and provide solid production. There are some rumors that Sims has some suitors in free agency that are willing to give a fairly considerable contract.
Jason Worilds and Parys Haralson: 4 years 20 million dollars 10 million guaranteed
Both of these players would fill similar roles and would come at a very similar price. If the Raiders decide to stick with the hybrid scheme both of these players would fit as a Leo (what Houston did).
Captain Munnerlyn and Walter Thurmond III: 4 years 20 million dollars 10 million guaranteed
Both of these guys are solid cornerbacks that will get decent paychecks and as young players they are on the same level for the most part.
Jon Beason, MLB NYG: 5 years 32.5 million dollars 16 million guaranteed
This is the best available linebacker the Raider could add. The combination of youth and talent is exceptional and he would require a long term deal. Beason could instantly become a big time playmaker and he would not be limited to run downs.