The Oakland Raiders didn’t make any trades at Tuesday’s deadline, but they did make a few signings shortly thereafter. Based on the lack of activity on the trade market, it would seem that the team is happy with what they have. However, a tweet from free-agent defensive tackle Terrell McClain would suggest that the Raiders are going to add some more help on the defensive line.
Oakland didn’t announce they were signing McClain amongst their slew of free agency additions on Tuesday. He tweeted at current Raiders defensive end Benson Mayowa and the pass rusher seemed to confirm McClain’s addition for the team.
Nothing is official until the team confirms the transaction, but it seems likely that McClain will be donning the silver and black soon. He is a nine-year NFL veteran and has played for eight teams in that time. He most notably spent three years in Dallas to play with the Cowboys and started 15 games for them in 2016. He’s started a combined 34 games and has accumulated 7.5 sacks over his career. If the Raiders did sign him, it would appear the team is trying to add veterans for the late-season charge.
The Linebacker Corps Gets Much Needed Help
In addition to McClain, Oakland signed linebackers Brandon Marshall and Will Compton. Both men have loads of experience in the NFL and should bring the unit really good depth that they haven’t had since Vontaze Burfict was suspended. Marshall spent the offseason with the Raiders and was more than likely cut because he couldn’t get healthy. He must be healthy now and if he can return to the form that made him a standout on Denver’s loaded defense, the Raiders could be in for huge improvement at the position.
Compton doesn’t have the same pedigree that Marshall has, but he has played a lot of games and is the stereotypical Gruden Grinder. He should be really solid in relief of the starting linebackers going forward.
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Will the Team Add a Pass Rusher in Free Agency?
Perhaps the most surprising thing that the Raiders haven’t done is add help at pass rush. Outside of Benson Mayowa, the team has barely generated any quarterback pressure. Maxx Crosby has come on strong in the last three games, but Oakland still isn’t taking the quarterback down enough. They are currently averaging 1.9 sacks per game, which is good for 26th in the NFL.
If the Raiders haven’t added anybody at this point, it’s unlikely they will barring an injury. The game-changer the team needs isn’t just sitting there in free agency. Shane Ray and Dion Jordan are two players who were drafted very high because of their potential as pass rushers. Neither player was able to live up to their draft statuses, but both have shown flashes. Ray put up eight sacks in 2016 and Dion Jordan got five sacks in four games back in 2017. These players aren’t going to turn the whole thing around, but they have upside. Adding either of them would be a low-risk, high-reward move.