If the Las Vegas Raiders hope to hold up in a stacked AFC West, they need to fix the offensive line. Pro Football Focus ranked the team’s offensive line as 28th in the NFL last season. There are major issues all across the line as the team could use at least two new guards and a right tackle. With Khalil Mack coming back to the AFC West, the need for a good offensive line just becomes stronger.
The Raiders will certainly look to free agency and the draft to upgrade the group. Perhaps a familiar face would be a good fit. Offensive guard Jon Feliciano was recently released by the Buffalo Bills after three seasons. He originally came into the NFL as a fourth-round pick of the Raiders in 2015 and spent four seasons with the team. Throughout that entire tenure, he blocked for quarterback Derek Carr.
Obviously, Carr is still with the Raiders and wouldn’t mind seeing one of his old friends back on the team. In Feliciano’s goodbye message to the Bills on Instagram, the quarterback had an interesting comment. He simply said, “you know what to do.”
It’s certainly a cryptic comment from Carr but it’s entirely possible that he’s recruiting Feliciano back to the silver and black.
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Should Raiders Sign Feliciano?
Feliciano actually wasn’t a starter when he was with the Raiders. He mostly served as a backup guard behind Gabe Jackson and Kelechi Osemele. That’s a big reason he went to Buffalo as they gave him the opportunity to start. He started all 16 games in 2019 but has had trouble staying the last two seasons. He’s only played nine games in back-to-back years.
Feliciano is a good guard and would be an upgrade over John Simpson or Alex Leatherwood at either guard spot. However, the injuries are a concern. The Raiders can’t invest in a player they think will only play in half of the games. He could come back as a depth option for the team while they look for other starters at guard. That might be best for him now considering his injury history.
There Is Another Former Raider to Consider
Anything has to be on the table for the Raiders regarding the offensive line. The only player who has a guaranteed spot is left tackle Kolton Miller. He has a long-term contract and is one of the better offensive linemen in the NFL. Unless new head coach Josh McDaniels thinks that Leatherwood still had potential at right tackle, that needs to be a major position of focus.
Trent Brown isn’t a popular name in the Raiders fan base but he’s a free agent. He had his best years with the Patriots under McDaniels and there could be interest from both sides if the contract is reasonable enough. That said, Brown did accuse the Raiders’ staff of almost killing him so there might be too much bad blood there.