The Raiders have added several since free agency began, and might not be done adding veterans yet.
They’ll reportedly host former Denver linebacker Brandon Marshall and former New York Jets running back Isaiah Crowell on Thursday, looking to shore up areas of need before the NFL draft hits next month.
NFL Network reported the Crowell visit and 9News in Denver reported the Marshall news. The Raiders will only deal with one agent for these visits, as Drew Rosenhaus represents both players. He also reps new Raiders Antonio Brown and Trent Brown.
The Raiders have shown interest in Marshall before, though it seemed to wane after Vontaze Burfict signed. Marshall has mostly played inside or middle linebacker, which is Burfict’s preferred position.
Both guys can play other off-the-ball linebacker spots, with experience on the weak side. That’s Tahir Whitehead’s spot, so there’s some curiosity where Marshall would fit among the team’s personnel group. There’s no certainty Burfict rebounds from a disappointing 2018 – he only has $300,000 guaranteed in his one-year deal – and Whitehead struggled at times. The incumbent was given a $3.32 million bonus in Dec. 2018, four months earlier that scheduled to ease its salary-cap burden.
Marshall has been a quality player for some time, but struggled with injuries last year and lost his starting spot.
The Raiders need running back help, too be sure. Crowell is a do-it-all type the Raiders prefer, considering Jon Gruden’s penchant for using backs in the passing game. He averaged 4.8 yards per carry with the Jets last year, though he didn’t crack 1,000 yards total offense as he did the previous two seasons. He’s a bigger back at 5-foot-11 and 225 pounds, offering a veteran presence should Doug Martin not return to the Raiders.
The Silver and Black are slow-playing Marshawn Lynch right now despite him being fully healthy and open to a return. The Raiders aren’t expected to make a decision there until after the NFL draft.
They’re looking for a young three-down back and could pluck one in the early rounds.
Crowell and Jalen Richard could accent a draft pick, with Chris Warren also set to compete for carries.