The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent cornerback Tracy Porter, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. The move reunites Porter with his former position coach Dennis Allen and strengthens a major area of weakness for the Raiders.
Porter's signing is the second move in what is already shaping up to be an excellent week for the Silver and Black. On Monday, they traded for quarterback Matt Flynn, gaining a new starter under center for 2013.
Acquiring Porter adds an experienced ball hawk to a depleted position group. The Raiders lost Ron Bartell and Michael Huff in free agency. At 26, Porter gives the Raiders a young and solid new starter.
Their pass defense ranked 20th in 2012, after allowing 235.9 yards per game. Part of the problem was that Allen didn't have the right fits for his coverage schemes.
Porter can play press-man coverage and will aggressively gamble on the ball. That's the template Allen used as secondary coach with the New Orleans Saints and as defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos.
He knows Porter well, having been his secondary coach for three seasons with the Saints. During that time Porter achieved his greatest claim to fame.
It was his interception of Peyton Manning, returned for a touchdown, that sealed the Saints win over the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. That capped a career-best 2009 season for Porter, in which started 11 games and recorded four interceptions.
Porter is part of seven new recruits to last season's 28th-ranked scoring defense. He joins Jason Hunter, a rush end whom Allen coached as coordinator for the Broncos in 2011.
Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie have also added hulking defensive tackles Pat Sims and Vance Waker. They are joined by veteran linebackers Kevin Burnett, Kaluka Maiava and Nick Roach.
However, fixing the secondary was the priority and the spending may not be finished yet. The Raiders have shown interest in ex-Dallas Cowboys starter Mike Jenkins, according to ESPNDallas.com.
Signing Porter was a good first step towards fielding the kind of defensive backfield Allen wants.