Oakland Raiders Free Agency: Who Stays? Who Goes?

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Dec 28, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Oakland Raiders center Stefen Wisniewski (61) lines up against the Denver Broncos in the first quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Tight End, Offensive Line

The Tight End position has been somewhat of a series of unfortunate events for the Raiders over the course of the past few years. Ever since Zack Miller made his way up the coast to Seattle, the Raiders have had trouble finding the right piece of the puzzle. This year, two tight ends will be free agents. David Ausberry and Brian Leonhardt.  Its seemed like a recurring weekly event for the Raiders Head Coach to come into Monday’s press conference and talk about both of these guys, either being on the injury report or talking about how they are improving in practice. I haven’t seen much of either of them on tape, though I’ve heard a great deal about each of their potential.  I feel Rivera is the starting tight end for the Raiders right now, and both Ausberry and Leonhardt came in as un-drafted free agents, I’m sure at least one of them will be given a chance to come back if not both. If a tight end is taken in the draft, one might be let go before training camp.

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Stefen Wisnieswski is the only offensive lineman of note to be in a contract year. Wiz didn’t have a stand out season for a guy looking for a huge contract.  Pro Football Focus had him ranked as the 23rd overall Center in the NFL, and there are a number of Centers who scored much higher who could hit the open market once Free Agency starts.  That being said, numbers can be viewed in a variety of ways. While Wiz ranked 23rd over all, his pass blocking efficiency was a staggering 98.1%. Behind only Rodney Hudson of KC, and Nick Mangold of the Jets.

Wiz gave up only one sack in the 2014 season, 3 hits, and 12 hurries. The hurries are what hurt him, and its a good thing young Derek Carr is as talented as he is, or the sack stat could be much worse. The thing that scares me the most though is the number of fumbled snaps between Derek and Wiz, they might simply not have a good connection yet, or it could be that they just aren’t a good fit together.

Will Wiz resign with the Silver and Black? I think it’ll come down to how much money he’s asking for. He had a very solid career so far, but he’s not coming in the talks of being a high budget, top tier Center in the league yet. If he, and his agent learned anything from the 2013 Free Agency, testing Reggie by demanding more money than he feels you are worth isn’t the way to make it on the team. Wiz is a Raider Legacy, he’s a true Raider and I believe he will be back next year. If he walks, I hope Reggie is willing to spend some a big chunk of change to upgrade the position.


Wisniewski = Keep

Ausberry = Cut

Leonhardt = Keep for cheap

Next: Defensive Players