Special Teams Contributors
It’s not a flashy battle, but it’s an important one. Special teams aces are unheralded members of each team, and Oakland has a handful of them signed to contracts. But 53 spots isn’t enough room to keep multiple players that only contribute on special teams, so tough decisions lie ahead.
Daren Bates is a former Ram, Brynden Trawick is a former Raven, and the team brought back Korey Toomer, who all are known for the special teams contributions. The team could also bring back Lorenzo Alexander if they want another player to compete.
Bates has been a key member of the Rams special teams unit for the last three seasons, and also served as a Team Captain last year. He’s regarded as one of the best special teams player in the NFL, so he’s a strong option to make the team. Bates is also a linebacker, so he could also provide depth there.
Trawick is intriguing as well, as only seven players logged more special teams snaps than he did in 2015. He plays safety, which is a little crowded now that the team has added Reggie Nelson and Karl Joseph, so he’ll really have to shine in camp to make the final roster.
Toomer’s familiarity with the organization may give him a little bit of an advantage over any of the other options. He appeared in 10 games in 2015, and also played under Ken Norton Jr. in Seattle in 2012 and 2013. He was teammates with Bates in St. Louis in 2014 and 2015, and also plays linebacker.
Given’s Reggie McKenzie’s fondness of Team Captains, and because the position doesn’t have as much depth, I’d say Daren Bates has the best shot to make the 53-man roster.