The Raiders have added a ton of new players this offseason, but it might not be over yet. The team has seen improvement at almost every position with additions along the offensive line, receiving corps, defensive line and more. Though, that doesn’t mean that there still isn’t room for improvement at a number of positions. Even though free agency started a while ago, there are some notable names still on the market. These players could still be on the market for a number of reasons including holding out for more pay or coming off an injury. Despite the fact that teams haven’t pulled the trigger, the players below could help the Raiders if the price is right.
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Former Kansas City Chiefs safety Eric Berry has overcome a lot in his career. He beat cancer on his way winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year in 2015 and has been first-team all pro on three occasions. He was a nemesis to the Raiders for many years, but recently he’s been bitten by the injury bug the last couple of years. After signing a massing extension with the Chiefs in 2017, he ruptured his Achilles in week one and missed the rest of the season. The injury was so bad that it caused him to miss 13 games in 2018. This led to the Chiefs releasing him after the season and he remains unsigned. When healthy, Berry is one of the best safeties in the NFL. At age 30, it’s hard to know if Berry will ever be the same. The Raiders could risk bringing him on a one year deal. Rookie Johnathan Abram is expected to start, but he’s untested. Berry could be a security blanket in case the rookie safety struggles as most rookies are prone to do.
Rumors that the Raiders were interested in defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson were aplenty a year ago. Wilkerson was expected to be a force for the New York Jets after he put up 12 sacks in 2015 and received a fat contract after the season. Ever since he signed that contract, he’s disappointed. He was released by the Jets after the 2017 season and was given a one year deal by the Packers for 2018. He was injured early in the season and only played three games in Green Bay. The Packers chose not to resign him and he remains a free agent. What complicates things is that Wilkerson was recently arrested for a DWI. The NFL has yet to discipline him, but he’ll likely face some sort of suspension. If the Raiders wanted to take a chance on Wilkerson, they’d be able to get him on the cheap. The Raiders had virtually no pass rush last season and are still very young across the defensive line. Wilkerson could bring some situational pass rushing help. Though, the optics of the situation wouldn’t be good as the Raiders have already made a couple of controversial signings this offseason.
Tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins was supposed to help replace the recently retired Rob Gronkowski in New England, but the Patriots decided to release him a couple of weeks ago. The former second-round pick has failed to live up to expectations during his time in the NFL, but is still just 26 years old. The Raiders lost Jared Cook to the New Orleans Saints in the offseason and didn’t address the position high in the draft or in free agency. Head coach Jon Gruden is high on rookie Foster Moreau and Darren Waller, but they are unproven. Don’t be surprised if the Raiders give Seferian-Jenkins a call if the young tight ends aren’t impressing in training camp.
The Raiders already have one big personality at wide receiver in Antonio Brown. Adding Dez Bryant would definitely turn some heads, but if he could return to his 2014 form, the Raiders would easily have the best receiving corps in the NFL. That being said, 2014 was a long time ago and Bryant is coming off a nasty injury. While he would likely come cheap, it seems like he could probably be a headache the Raiders just don’t need right now. In addition to Brown, the Raiders also brought on Tyrell Williams and drafted Hunter Renfrow. Even without Bryant, the Raiders have one of the best receiving corps in the NFL.
Former Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson is definitely on the downside of his career. He’s never made a pro bowl and his best season came all the way back in 2012 when he put up 11.5 sacks. The main reason the Raiders could target Johnson is because of his connection to defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Guenther was on the Bengals staff for most of Johnson’s career and Guenther has shown that he likes to bring in players he knows. This is evident in the Raiders’ decision to keep Reggie Nelson in 2018, bringing on Leon Hall and the recent addition of Vontaze Burfict. The Raiders are really young across the defensive line and adding some veteran leadership could be something that Guenther wants to do.