The 2013 NFL season was another disappointing campaign for the Oakland Raiders. After a last-place finish in the AFC West, the club is looking to turn things around through free agency.
In less than three days, Oakland has been very active, signing several starters, as well as being linked to other big names. The club has lost some key players, but they don’t appear close to being done making moves.
Below is an update on some of the best free agents that have been linked to the Raiders.
The Raiders have snatched away a cornerstone of the last two Super Bowl winning New York Giants teams. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Tuck has reportedly agreed to a two-year contract worth $11 million. The defensive end has battled injuries in the last few seasons and only recorded nine total sacks in 2011 and 2012. After a slow start last year, he picked up 9.5 sacks in his last six games.
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Now that he has joined the Raiders, Tuck says he’ll recruit others to join the silver and black. Hatcher should be a part of that recruitment process. The defensive tackle had a career year with the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, sacking the quarterback 11 times. Hatcher is being courted by several teams, and nfl.com’s Ian Rapoport says he met with Oakland on Wednesday.
One of the Raiders’ starting cornerbacks is no longer with the team, as Porter is headed to the Washington Redskins. According to multiple reports, Porter’s time is over with Oakland after just one year. He started all 16 games for the Raiders, recording two interceptions and 1.5 sacks.
The linebacker’s time with the Pittsburgh Steelers is done, and the Raiders are hoping he’ll improve their defense. Woodley has reportedly met with Oakland and the Tennessee Titans. The free agent has missed 14 games in the past three seasons, but he’s been productive while on the field. He had five sacks and 20 total tackles in 2013.
It looked like Saffold would replace Jared Veldheer, who signed with the Arizona Cardinals, at left tackle. That won’t be the case, however, since Saffold could not pass his physical. A contract worth $42 million over five years was voided, and the 25-year-old returned to the St. Louis Rams.
The right tackle was a staple on the New York Jets offensive line for the last two years. In 2014, though, Howard will be protecting the Raiders’ quarterback. He started every game in 2012 and 2013. Schefter reports that Howard will get $30 million over five years, including $15 million guaranteed.
With running back Rashad Jennings going to the Giants, the Raiders have decided to keep McFadden. The former first-round draft pick has showed flashes of brilliance, though he’s never been able to stay healthy for a whole season. He played 22 games in the last two years, averaging just 3.3 yards per carry.