Update: The Raiders confirmed the signing and waived DB Coye Francies as the corresponding move to keep the roster at 53 players.
As we pointed out a couple of days ago, the 2012 Raiders team is still in flux. To some extent the team will be in flux for the entire year as there are little moves that must come due to injury and other reasons.
But the roster is still incomplete with some positions still unbalanced – either too many or too bodies at differing positions.
One of the positions that has too few bodies right now, as mentioned before, is at wide receiver. To that end, the Raiders looked at a few receivers yesterday.
The team reportedly met with receivers Jabar Gaffney and Tiquan Underwood although they have not, at this time, signed either.
The team did, however, apparently sign former Raider receiver Derek Hagan who was cut recently by the Bills. Hagan had been on the team last year but was cut for receiver TJ Houshmanzadeh.
Hagan was more a possession receiver but he possessed good hands and ran solid routes. He had been a standout for the team in camp and preseason by making catches when needed for first downs to keep the chains moving.
To someone like Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Knapp that skill is invaluable. His offensive system is designed to be a possession game – he does not rely on the deep strikes to advance the ball like Hue Jackson’s offense.
Instead, Knapp would be fine with moving the ball 5 yards at a time either by running or receiving the ball with the deep ball being utilized a few times a game when the safeties creep up to stop the run.
To that end, Knapp needs sure-handed receivers because each drop can be devastating to the rhythm of the offense.
The team has not announced Hagan’s signing but he tweeted about it last night. He later tweeted that he was in the process of negotiating number 80 from Rod Streater. He said “tryna work something out as we speak wit the young rookie… I need my 80”
Streater has worn number 80 since signing with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent but wore number 18 in college. It seems a likely bet that Streater, who has no real attachment to number 80, will negotiate a trade with Hagan, switch to 18 (which used to be worn by Louis Murphy who has since been traded) and let Hagan have his number 80.
In addition to the receivers, the Raiders also reportedly looked at TE Fendi Onobun yesterday. Onobun was also recently released by the Bills. He is 25 years old and has hardly any regular season experience. He has only been active for 4 games in two years and he has only two career receptions for 15 yards.
Onobun is a big guy, though, at 6’6″ and 260 lbs. He played basketball at the University of Arizona. He was a 6th round pick by the St Louis Rams in 2010. He is somewhat new to football, not joining the football team until 2009, in college.
He would, if signed, fit the profile by Reggie McKenzie of signing physically gifted, athletic players with limited experience in the hopes of grooming them to be future contributors.