NFL free agency: Raiders still can find more gems to improve roster

NFL free agency: Raiders still can find more gems to improve roster

The NFL free-agent frenzy is going, giving fans and media a much-needed distraction from the coronavirus outbreak that has frozen the rest of the sports world. 

Ever since the legal tampering window opened Monday, the Raiders have been doing all they can to improve their team, especially on the defensive side of the ball. The Silver and Black have agreed to sign linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski, safety Jeff Heath, cornerback Eli Apple, edge rusher Carl Nassib and defensive tackle Maliek Collins. They also agreed to sign quarterback Marcus Mariota and tight end Jason Witten. 

The numbers on the contracts have not officially been released, but with eight players already added, it's safe to say the Raiders likely are close to done. 

But if the Raiders do still have moves to make, there are a number of free agents left on the market. Many of them could help the Raiders out -- if the price is right. 

Here are five free agents the Raiders should look at to round out their class.

Breshad Perriman, WR

The Raiders have yet to address their biggest hole on offense yet during free agency -- wide receiver. 

Hunter Renfrow and Tyrell Williams are back, as is tight end Darren Waller. Still, the offensive arsenal needs a facelift. 

Perriman is coming off a stellar season for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers where he filled in nicely down the stretch for the injured Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. 

The 2015 first-round draft pick dropped just one pass last season while catching 36 passes for 645 yards and six touchdowns. He's a young, big receiver who showed he still has the potential to be great if put in the right position. 

Prince Amukamara, CB

Adding Apple is a good low-risk addition, but the Raiders need more than one cornerback. Even with Trayvon Mullen is cemented as the No. 1 corner, the Raiders would be wise to bring in another corner to compete with Apple for the other starting job.

Amukamara had a down 2019 by his standards, allowing 36 catches for 515 yards and two touchdowns with the Chicago Bears. He also logged only four passes defensed and zero interceptions in 2019. He has had a productive career up until last season, so he could be a cheaper option willing to come in and try to resuscitate his career. 

Damon Harrison, DL

New defensive line coach Rod Marinelli got his guy in Collins. But the Raiders still could use more push from the interior. 

Damon Harrison was a dominant run-stopper from 2015 through 2018. Last year, however, was not his year as he earned just a 66.7 run defense grade from PFF while playing for the Detroit Lions. 

The 31-year-old still should be able to give a team some solid production in the middle of a defense. While he might not be what he was at his peak, Harrison still is more than capable of being a presence in the middle. 

Derek Wolfe, DL

The former Denver Bronco has been a great run-stopper since switching to a three-technique in 2015. 

Wolfe's pass-rushing has been inconsistent during his career, but he ranked 25th in pass-rush grade, per PFF, in 2019. He can help stop the run and provide pass-rush help from the interior, something the Raiders sorely lacked in 2019. 

Wolfe would be a solid addition to the Raiders' growing DL rotation, and he might come on the cheaper side. 

[RELATED: Report: Why Brady chose Bucs over Raiders, Chargers]

Cameron Wake, EDGE

Does Wake have anything left in the tank? The former All-Pro no longer is the elite pass-rusher he used to be. 

That being said, at 38, he could be valuable to the Raiders in two ways. He could be a good rotational pass-rusher with a high floor, who also could serve as a mentor to Clelin Ferrell and Maxx Crosby. 

Wake's best days are behind him, but he could be valuable in a rotational role.

Raiders QB Derek Carr vents frustration about death of George Floyd


Raiders QB Derek Carr vents frustration about death of George Floyd

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr tweeted Friday that he was “disgusted, mad and brokenhearted” after watching the video of an unarmed African-American man dying at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

That video sparked outrage in Minnesota and beyond, leading to protests nationwide, including in Las Vegas. Rioting Thursday night resulted in the burning of a Minneapolis police station.

All four officers were fired. Derek Chauvin, a white officer seen on the video with his knee pinning the neck of George Floyd 46, to the pavement, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and manslaughter.

“I don’t know what it’s like to have a different skin color, so I won’t pretend to know,” wrote Carr, who is white. “My mentor and friends have told me stories, and it breaks my heart to hear some of the things that have happened.

“I was raised to love everyone, no matter their gender, skin color, political beliefs, socioeconomic background, or religious beliefs.”

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Ranking Raiders fans' most hated players, coaches from recent history

Ranking Raiders fans' most hated players, coaches from recent history

In their heyday, the Raiders were the wild renegades of the NFL with Al Davis unafraid to challenge or confront any and all.

That will earn you a lot of enemies. And it did. Raiders history is filled with opposing players and coaches who got a dose of vitriol and anger flung at them from Raider Nation.

Of course, Pittsburgh legend Franco Harris would be atop the list with the "Immaculate Reception" proving to be a forever dagger in the hearts of the Silver and Black. One that sparked a Raiders-Steelers rivalry whose embers still flicker.

But let's focus on the past 25 years and take a trip down memory lane to look at opponents and former Raiders who drew the ire of Raider fans from Los Angeles to Canada and Oakland to Australia.

[RAIDERS TALK: Listen to the latest episode]

5. John Elway and Mike Shanahan, Denver Broncos

The first on our list of opponents is a dual AFC West threat which bruised the Raiders for almost two decades.

While Elway's career 13-15 record against the Raiders isn't a big issue, the golden boy still diced up plenty of Raiders' defenses and finally got over the hump with Shanahan when they won back-to-back Super Bowls in the late 90s.

Of course, Elway was meant to be a Raider. The Silver and Black were primed to send three first-round picks and two second-round picks to the Baltimore Colts to draft Elway in 1983, but NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle vetoed the deal.

Almost two decades later, Shanahan, a former Raiders head coach who had a long, ugly history with Davis, helped get the monkey off Elway and the Broncos' back. Salt in the wound all around.

4. Travis Kelce, Kansas City Chiefs

We don't need to spend too much time on Kelce. His personality itself is one that will draw the ire of opposing fans everywhere.

Add to it that the Raiders see Kelce twice a season, and he constantly carves them up and never lets them forget it and you have a very hated division rival. He's the type of player who gets into a beef with the opposing punter (shoutout Marquette King) and has a reality television show in which he tries to find love. No one outside of Kansas City is going to be a huge fan.

Imagine Kelce could move hire as his career draws on.

3. Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers/Indianapolis Colts

Newer Raider fans might look at the past two seasons and see a washed quarterback whose arm had fallen off and wonder why he makes the list.

Long-time Raider fans know the pain Rivers brought to the Silver and Black during his prime with the Bolts. Rivers is 18-10 against the Raiders in his career and an impressive 9-5 at the Coliseum. Like a gnat at a barbecue buzzing around your head, Rivers never failed to talk as much trash as possible whether the score was 34-3 or 17-16. Couple that with the "golly gee whillikers" and the "gosh darn its" that replaced normal swear words (Rivers doesn't cuss), and you've got one annoying division rival who owns you.

2. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers

LT ran all over the Raiders during his time as a Bolt, and he wasn't shy about letting the folks in the Black Hole know about his dominance.

He ran for over 2,000 yards and 22 touchdowns against the Raiders while his teams went 14-5 against the Silver and Black. Tomlinson is an all-time great, and those are fun to have on your side. Less so when they are tearing your defense apart on two Sundays every season.

1. Tom Brady, New England Patriots

Some hatred is born from familiarity and 1,000 cuts. With the division rivals listed above, you're forced to see them twice a year and born to hate htem.

Others are born from circumstance. The Raiders have only faced Brady six times in his legendary career, but once was more than enough.

The 2001 AFC Divisional Round game between the Patriots and Raiders, more aptly known as "The Tuck Rule Game," helped spark the NFL's next dynasty and kept the Raiders from what they believe was a trip to the Super Bowl.

Brady, as dorky as he might be on social media, never will let the Raiders forget the play either. Last time the Raiders arrived in Foxboro, Mass., Brady posted a cheeky jab at the Silver and Black over a play that still pains their loyal followers and Jon Gruden.

"The Tuck Rule," much like "The Immaculate Reception" is a play that will always live in Raiders lore with Brady playing the role of the central villain.

Now, we transition to former members of the Silver and Black who Raider Nation might not be so fond of. This list was a lot easier to make than the above one, for obvious reasons (You probably know No. 1).

5. Lane Kiffin

The dislike for Kiffin might stem from the fact that he was the only one in the building who didn't want to draft JaMarcus Russell, or from the fact that he was just the wrong guy for the job.

Regardless, a 5-15 record was enough for Al Davis to send Kiffin packing and put him on Raider Nation's bad side.

4. Rolando McClain

Hatred for former players normally comes from two places. They either underperformed given their ability or gave the impression they didn't care.

McClain was the latter. While his stats weren't awful, the Alabama product had motivation issues that stopped him from growing into the type of player a top-10 pick is expected to be. Couple that with some legal troubles, and McClain is seen as one of the Raiders' worst draft busts who sent them into a linebacker hell that they are just digging themselves out of.

3. Randy Moss

One of the greatest receivers of all-time had a solid year for the Silver and Black in 2005. Then, 2006 came around and Moss completely mailed it in.

In a career filled with impressive numbers, Moss caught 42 passes for 553 yards and three touchdowns. He was traded to the New England Patriots in the offseason and promptly put up historic numbers, catching 98 passes for 1,493 yards and 23 touchdowns.

The Raiders acquired the legendary receiver for a first-round pick, and he quit on them before turning into a touchdown machine in New England.

Like Roger Clemens getting in shape after he left the Boston Red Sox, Moss' clear disinterest in trying with the Raiders still burns those who bleed Silver and Black.

2. JaMarcus Russell

Russell might be the biggest draft bust in NFL history and even that might be forgiven if he seemed to put an ounce of effort into being a good NFL quarterback.

The Raiders drafted Russell over Calvin Johnson (ouch). Russell cared so little about becoming a good quarterback that Raiders coaches famously sent him home with blank film tapes to see if he would watch them and then would call on him the next day to see what he thought. He claimed he had watched the film. Bruce Gradkowski, Russell's former backup, has said he had to bribe Russell with 10 Wendy's cheeseburgers to get him to go to film study.

In 2009, Russell had the lowest quarterback rating, lowed completion percentage, fewest touchdowns and fewest yards of any qualified quarterback.

He went 7-18 as Raiders starter and was released after the 2009 season.

[RELATED: Five Raiders not named Carr who are vital to playoff dreams]

1. Antonio Brown

Maybe it's just because this one is fresh, or maybe it's because the antics and insanity were so far off the board it remains hard to believe.

There were the frostbitten feet. There was the helmet grievance where Brown painted his own lid to fool the training staff and got made when they took it from him. There was the second helmet grievance and the altercation with general manager Mike Mayock. Don't forget the illegal recording of Gruden that got turned into a guerilla marketing video on Instagram. Oh, and the clearly choreographed celebratory post when he finally was released.

It has to be among the most insane tenures any athlete has had for a franchise and never suited up for the club.

The venom from Raider Nation was on display during their Week 1 win over the Broncos when chants of "f--k AB" rang out across the Coliseum.

Safe to say he's not welcome in the Bay, Las Vegas, Los Angeles or anywhere Raider Nation has a strong foothold.