The Oakland Raiders have a lot of needs heading into free agency next week. Part of that is due to the fact that Reggie McKenzie has spent the past two seasons signing guys to one year “prove it” style deals. Included in that group are 2013 starting corners Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins.
Both guys dealt with injury issues during their short stint in Oakland and neither was very impressive. Porter looked good in coverage but could not make a tackle to save his life. Jenkins looked solid in run defense and decent against the pass but found himself being called for pass interference far too often.
Neither guy is a number one starter and if brought back must be done so cheaply and another, more talented corner should be added to the mix.
Bringing back Porter makes the most sense. While he clearly had some issues, he also showed he can still play very good coverage at times. If the price is right, Porter would make a very good nickel corner.
Aside from that, Jenkins is a decent option as a number two corner, but again, only at a cheap price. He simply has not done enough to earn a big contract, so if that is what he is looking for, he will have to find it somewhere else.
Second year player DJ Hayden had an incredibly disappointing rookie campaign as he dealt with injuries and struggled to keep up with the pace in the NFL. He has not shown enough for the Raiders to put blind faith in him being a capable starter in 2014. While it would be great if he stepped up his game a lot next season but the Raiders have to assume he will not and prepare for that fact.
Getting a good corner in free agency is pivotal for the Raiders. This year’s cornerback class in the NFL Draft is limited and in a passing league and with guys like Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning in your division, the Raiders cannot afford to slack on the corner position. It is incredibly important and currently represents one of the biggest holes on the roster.