Oakland Raiders 2015 Free Agency Watch List: Offense

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Dec 21, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb (18) runs with the ball against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Green Bay Packers defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-3. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Wide Receivers

While the Raiders have a couple of very capable wideouts already on the roster in Rod Streater and James Jones, this position group has been consistently identified as the team’s top need going into the 2015 season. With a young signal-caller under center, the Raiders will definitely want to add help, though they may do that in the draft, where there are at least a half dozen players with starting potential who will be available. Still, there may be some answers in free agency, as well. Here are a few possibilities:

Randall Cobb: Randall Cobb could very well return to Green Bay in 2015, after a highly productive 2014 season in which he caught 91 passes and earned a spot in the Pro Bowl. Still, with dollar signs in his eyes and the Packers already deeply committed to Jordy Nelson as the #1 wideout, Cobb may go, and some have the Raiders as a top destination for him. Cobb has background with Reggie McKenzie – McKenzie was in the Packers front office when Cobb was drafted there – as well as Raider wideout James Jones, who played alongside Cobb from 2011 until 2013. Cobb would be a good fit with Jones and Streater: Streater is the big bodied field-side deep threat, Jones is the route-running boundary-side possession receiver, Jones would be the speedy slot player. Cobb, at only 24, still has his best years in front of him, and could be a primary target for Derek Carr for years to come.

Jeremy Maclin: Maclin may not reach free agency, as he is clearly the best potential free agent on the Eagles roster and a big part of what Chip Kelly did offensively last year. He may be re-signed to a long term deal before the 10th, or he could be franchise tagged, though he is not exactly a player who normally would command a tag type salary. Maclin, a former first round pick, has remained a consistent, if not flashy, receiver for the Eagles throughout his six year career. With the exception of his lost 2013 season, he has caught 55 or more passes every year, and had his best year last year after DeSean Jackson’s release: 85 receptions, 1,318 yards, 10 TD’s. Despite relatively small size, he is an effective and capable receiver who could also fit well in either a slot role or as a perimeter receiver.

Michael Crabtree: Despite what Richard Sherman may have to say on the subject, Michael Crabtree is a capable wideout who has been lost in a run-first offense led by limited quarterbacks. The former #10 overall pick has caught 347 passes for over 4,300 yards and 26 TD’s over his six year career, and at age 27 probably has a few good years left ahead of him. At 6’2″ and about 215 pounds, he has the right size and length to play out on the perimeter opposite Rod Streater – or a rookie wideout like Kevin White – while James Jones works underneath. He could thrive in Oakland, where he would work with a far more polished passer in Derek Carr than he’s had with Colin Kaepernick and Alex Smith in the past.

Dez Bryant: There’s absolutely no way Dez Bryant reaches free agency, but wouldn’t it be cool? He would completely eliminate the need to draft a rookie wideout. He’s a clear-cut number one receiver who can take over games and make his quarterback look good, and he’s only 26 years old, meaning he’s just entering the prime of his career. The Cowboys would be foolish not to franchise tag him if they can’t make a deal before the deadline, but Jerry Jones is known to be unpredictable. The Raiders would be one of the few teams in the league with the pockets to afford Bryant if he does hit the market.

Apparently Dez Bryant is on tape hitting a woman. If that’s the case, he won’t be anywhere for anybody next year.

Keep an eye out for part two, a breakdown of potential defensive players who could be free agency targets.