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Raiders interested in FA tackles

In my series “Raiders have questions, we’ve got answers: Oline” I suggested that the Raiders take a long look at free agent tackle Khalif Barnes of the Jaguars. Well, now reports are surfacing that the Raiders are indeed interested in Barnes along with the Steelers tackle Marvel Smith.

Although neither player has paid a visit to Alameda as of yet and there was no outside free agent activity on Friday, things could soon heat up. Raider headquarters is not all quiet though with the Raiders focusing on signing some of their own free agents such as Ashley Lelie, Isaiah Ekejiuba, Cooper Carlisle and Jake Grove.

A team source said Tom Cable wants to add one tackle this offseason, and perhaps a second tackle in the draft. This despite the fact that the Raiders don’t have a lot of money to spend on free agents (about 6 million).

Barnes has experience in the zone blocking scheme and played college ball at Washington under Keith Gilbertson– a longtime friend of Tom Cable. Barnes is also attractive because he can play both right and left tackle which means that they could choose to leave Henderson at left tackle and Barnes could supplant Cornell Green at right tackle. Then again, if they feel more comfortable with Barnes playing LT, then that is always an option. 

Marvel Smith is an Oakland native who went to Skyline High and was a full time starter prior to the last two seasons in which he had two back surgeries. Hopefully his homecoming would last longer than Gibril Wilson’s.