2017 Raiders Free Agency: Three Defensive Options

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Dec 13, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; San Francisco 49ers middle linebacker Gerald Hodges (51) tackles Cleveland Browns wide receiver Brian Hartline (83) during the second quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Over the off season, it’s fair to say the Oakland Raiders remained quiet in free agency after last year’s splash. Yet, with contract extension talks set to take place after the draft with Derek Carr serves partly as the reason.  In addition, maybe the Raiders don’t see any viable options and would rather risk fixing problems in the upcoming draft.  However, one thing is certain: expect a lot of defensive versatility accommodate multiple positions.  Alternatively, the following free agents still on the market that could excel for the Raiders.

Jonathan Hankins, Defensive Tackle

All being said, he is a handful. Nonetheless, the issue plaguing him is price. Unfortunately, agents are overpricing their clients. Would Hankins fit? Of course, but his salary demands are too high. The Raiders struggled with interior pressure last year. By adding a tackle who can rush and stop the runs help a defense that desperately needs reinforcements.


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Rashad Johnson, Safety

In addition to struggling at the linebacker position Oakland is really are thin at safety. Why not sign a veteran who can cover both SS and FS? He won’t demand top money either, but it’s more likely we draft a safety in this year.  Johnson’s versatility could prove handy though with Reggie Nelson coming off a Pro Bowl Year and Rookie Karl Joseph showing his talent. Adding Johnson could provide extra depth. Entering into his 8th year his stats are impressive as well He would most certainly improve our ability in coverage.

Gerald Hodges, Inside Linebacker

Now, here’s a guy the Raiders need to pursue. With Perry Riley Jr still unsigned and Zach Brown in DC, the dire need at ILB exists. Hodges is struggling to find a home. As a matter of fact, he actually visited the Chiefs recently but they have little cap space to play with. First, he’s 26. Secondly, his frame allows him to make plays. Furthermore, Hodges produces over the course of his career. At this point, a low-risk deal could work.

All things considered, as free agency wears on, the price tag n these players should fall. Now, they must choose between shorter big deals or moderate long ones. Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie could pounce, if the price is right.

 

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