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Potential Raider signings in free agency: Defense


Carlos Rogers, CB, Redskins

Rogers is a couple tiers down from Nnamdi Asomugha in talent which means that he could come much cheaper. He is estranged from his Redskins teammates after he complained that he deserved to be the number one corner. This is an attitude the Raiders don’t necessarily need but on the bright side, it will bring his price tag down. Rogers would also be given the opportunity to be the Raiders number one guy right out of the gates. The Raiders run a unique style of man coverage in which even some of the better corners in the league would fail. You need only look at Rogers’ Redskin teammate DeAngelo Hall. Hall is a good zone corner but struggles in man-to-man and therefore he failed in the Raiders’ system. Rogers is better in man coverage. All of these factors could just put Rogers in the perfect situation to be a Raider.               

Dashon Goldson, FS, 49ers

With Michael Huff moving on as a free agent, the Raiders are in need of his replacement. They have a few candidates but none of whom inspire a great deal of confidence. They gave Hiram Eugene an extension to stay with the team at free safety but he has been given chances to start in the past and has been a disappointment. None of the other candidates have had any starting experience.

RAIDERS have reportedly been in talks with Goldson

Kevin Burnett, LB, Chargers

Taking a linebacker from the Chargers would be a good thing all by itself. But the Chargers were one of the top defenses in the league last year and Burnett was part of the reason why. He is capable of playing both inside and outside linebacker. He has the speed to play outside and can come inside if/when the Raiders line up in a 3-4 set. He is pretty much a Thomas Howard clone in size but he is a better pass rusher and tackler. Last season Burnett had 95 combined tackles at inside linebacker to go along with 6.0 sacks and 2 interceptions. His 80 solo tackles was tied for the most on the Chargers and his 6.0 sacks was second on the team.

UPDATE: Burnett has signed with the Dolphins

Manny Lawson, OLB, 49ers

Lawson has not been all the 49ers had hoped he would be when they drafted him in the first round four seasons ago. He has never lived up to his potential as a 3-4 outside linebacker mainly due to his struggles in rushing the passer. But he has shown that he has all the skills necessary to be an ideal 4-3 outside linebacker—most notably, speed. And he wouldn’t have to uproot his family. He would just take the short trip across the bay as many before him have done.

Vernon Gholston, DE, Jets

He is widely considered one of the biggest busts in NFL history. Drafted sixth overall in 2008, he went three seasons without a single sack—something no other top ten drafted defensive end had ever done. But you can damn well bet that when this freakish athlete came out of college Al Davis had his eye on him (The Raiders took Darren McFadden two slots ahead of Gholston—whew!). And now that he can be had for pennies on the dollar, he may just try and sign him. He would, of course, be switching to positions which may be just what he needs to try and unlock some of that potential he had when he was a top draft pick.

UPDATE: Gholston has signed with the Bears 

Jason Babin, DE, Titans

After jumping around to five different teams in seven seasons, he broke out in a big way with 12.5 sacks for the Titans last season. The main reason for that was he was being misused as a 3-4 OLB/DE. Once he was put in as a 4-3 defensive end, he finally showed the potential that made him a first round pick. One of the few ideal defensive ends for the Raiders on the market. The Raiders have two fine defensive ends in Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston but there is no depth behind them. They are also more suited for defending against the run. Babin started all 16 games last season for the Titans, proving he is capable of carrying the load. Or he could be the third down speed rusher. The one hang-up could be that his breakout season makes him too expensive to sign.

UPDATE: Babin has signed with the Eagles

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