Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 26, 2009
Free agency ... let the fun begin


OK, calm down.

Here are some things the Raiders need to do this time around.

*Do not overspend for a wide receiver:

The Raiders have young players that showed promise in Johnnie Lee Higgins and Chaz Schilens. Could the team use help? Sure. But there isn't a "No. 1" receiver available this year or anyone worth top-receiver money.

*Don't overspend to add help on the offensive line: The top-2 tackles - LT Jordan Gross (Carolina) and RT Vernon Carey (Miami) re-signed with their teams. Pittsburgh put the franchise tag on Max Starks. With the seventh overall pick in this year's draft, the Raiders should be able to land a quality prospect at tackle. The Raiders need help at guard with Cooper Carlisle a free agent, too. But history has shown a team that relies on a zone-blocking scheme doesn't need to spend a lot to find linemen who can be successful.

*Look for help at tight end: A tight end that could help in pass blocking and free up Zach Miller would be good. If he has good hands, it would also give the offense more flexibility.

*Re-sign their own key players: Restricted free agent LBs Ricky Brown and LB Jon Alston both signed qualifying offers today.

LB Isaiah Ekejiuba and C Jake Grove are unrestricted free agents the Raiders need to seriously consider bringing back, too.

--Jason Jones

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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