The Oakland Raiders have already started the process of rebuilding their secondary this offseason by signing Joe Woods to be their defensive backs coach and Marcus Robertson to be an assistant defensive backs coach. Next, they will have to sort thorough the mess of free agents and see where they want to allot their money to make re-signings.
By now everyone is familiar with the Raiders salary cap situation. They have upwards of 60 million dollars to spend this offseason, the most in the NFL. A portion of that money will be used in the defensive backfield. The Seattle Seahawks showed what a terrific secondary is capable of when it comes to winning games. The Raiders have had two straight seasons of abysmal pass defense. This season they ranked 28th in the league allowing 255.8 pass yards per game.
Last season, they changed the entire secondary in the offseason with the exception of Tyvon Branch, who played in two games and was lost for the season. This season the Raiders have unrestricted free agents in starting cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter, as well as depth cornerback Philip Adams. Among the safeties, everyone that played significant time last season is a free agent. Charles Woodson and Usama Young are unrestricted while Brandian Ross is an exclusive rights. The only two contributors the Raiders have under contract for next season are Branch and 2013 first round pick DJ Hayden, Therefore, the Raiders will be looking to rebuild this secondary for the third straight season.
General manager Reggie McKenzie has said his intention is to bring back Woodson, but he is 37 years old. Oakland could bring back Jenkins or Porter, but one or both will walk via free agency. Ross, as an exclusive rights free agent, is the Raiders if they want him. Young made some plays in 2103 and is a contributor, but the money will have to be right. The Raiders will also have the option of the 2014 NFL Draft to find solutions or throw some money at the problem in free agency. Any way it happens, the secondary is a big concern for the defense and in need of improvement..
Tags: Charles Woodson, DJ Hayden, Football, free agents, Mike Jenkins, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Reggie McKenzie, Seattle Seahawks, Tracy Porter, Tyvon Branch