Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 27, 2009

Quick hits from Day 1 of free agency:

*I've been told the Raiders have some level of interest in free agent OTs Khalif Barnes and Marvel Smith.

The Raiders might benefit from the Andre Smith post-combine backlash and have him drop to No. 7 in the draft, but the need for a tackle is real.

The Raiders would have loved to replace RT Cornell Green last season but had no options on the roster. Mario Henderson is the starting left tackle for now.

Barnes (6-5, 325) is an ideal target. He's only 26 and has been a starting left tackle on good Jacksonville teams in the past.

Smith, 30, is from Oakland and might want to come home after spending his career in Pittsburgh. But Smith (6-5, 321) has battled back injuries lately. He played in just five games before landing on injured reserve last season. Smith has played in just 17 games over the last two seasons and hasn't played in 16 games in a season since 2006.

*AFC West rivals Denver and Kansas City were busy. The Broncos added six players under new coach Josh McDaniels, including two from New England.

The Chiefs acquired LB Mike Vrabel from New England for a draft pick. The Chiefs' GM is former Pats executive Scott Pioli.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported earlier in the day that Philadelphia safety Brian Dawkins had a deal with Denver. Several reports to the contrary have come out since and no deal has been announced.

*Javon Walker is due $5 million on March 3. The money is guaranteed because it was protected against injury and Walker finished the season on injured reserve. The Raiders still could part ways with Walker, leaving DT Tommy Kelly as the only player with a big contract left from the spending spree of 2007.

--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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