The Oakland Raiders are now a Reggie McKenzie led team. That means they will leave no stone un turned in their search for talent to make the team better. Almost as soon as the Raiders season was over, McKenzie began working out NFL street free agents, signing some to future/reserve contracts. Most of those will likely be no more than camp bodies, but the point is McKenzie wants to take a look just in case.
This week, it appears McKenzie is no longer even staying within the United States in his quest to upgrade the team. With NFL free agency not until March, the Raiders have a lot of time before McKenzie can start talking to NFL free agents to be. But the same is not true of CFL free agents who hit the market on February 15. As long as their CFL team grants permission, NFL teams can talk to and even work out pending free agents.
McKenzie did just that this week when they welcomed Kory Sheets of the Saskatchewan Roughriders. The running back has spent time with the San Francisco 49ers, Carolina Panthers and Miami Dolphins before turning to the CFL where he was the MVP of the Grey Cup, he CFL’s championship game. Sheets ran for 197 yards and two touchdowns on his way to the second best performance in a championship game by any professional football running back, surpassing the Raiders’ own Marcus Allen who ran for 191 yards in Super Bowl XVIII.
Sheets is nothing to get overly excited about, but clearly McKenzie thinks he is worth taking a look at, and if the Raiders can find a hidden gem in Canada it would be a huge deal for a team in the middle of a rebuild. The Raiders are not the first team to work out Sheets either, the Colts took a look at him in December. It is a long shot the Raiders sign him let alone use him in regular season play, but it doesn’t hurt to look.