Oakland will rely on a bunch of veteran castaways from recently successful teams to try and bring winning ways back to the Raiders.
Quarterback Matt Schaub, defensive end Justin Tuck, linebacker LaMarr Woodley, offensive tackle Austin Howard, cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Tarrell Brown and wide receiver James Jones have joined the Raiders either via trade or free agency. The Raiders, who were well under the cash spend minimum, needed to dish out plenty of money, and those players received offers from Oakland that blew away all others.
It’s not the first time Oakland has tried to buy its way to relevancy. But this time, it’s not just about throwing inordinate amounts of cash at flashy, speedy players. Most of these guys have won divisions, playoff games and Super Bowls. The Raiders are hopeful the winning touch rubs off on some of the young guys, such as their top two draft picks — linebacker Khalil Mack and quarterback Derek Carr.
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"You’ve got a lot of guys who understand we’re on the last few years of our careers, and that window to make another splash is closing," Tuck told FOX Sports. "All of us are pretty much same-minded as far as what we’re trying to accomplish, so that’s really helped our chemistry."
It’s going to be extremely difficult for the Raiders to make that splash. They’re competing in one of the toughest divisions in the NFL and also face arguably the most competitive NFC divisions this season with four games against the West.
However, there’s enough talent on the roster to surprise a few teams and, despite Schaub’s struggles in his final days with the Houston Texans, having a quarterback with 90 career starts is never a bad thing.
General manager Reggie McKenzie had better hope bringing in proven veterans over younger options with more long-term upside was right. Otherwise, he and head coach Dennis Allen could be free agents themselves.
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