The Oakland Raiders had to do something with their $60 million in cap space. They had tried to sign offensive lineman Rodger Saffold but he failed his physical. The team then decided to focus on the defense instead by signing defensive end Justin Tuck and linebacker LaMarr Woodley to help a defense that was awful against the pass in 2013. Tuck gets a two-year, $11 million deal while Woodley gets a two-year deal worth $12 million.
Tuck will turn 31 in two weeks but has a chip on his shoulder now that his former team, the New York Giants, didn’t offer him the same amount of money than the Raiders did. Woodley is 29 but has struggled in recent seasons and had just five sacks in 2013. Woodley will move to defensive end however with the Raiders as the team plays a 4-3 as opposed to the 3-4 that Woodley played in while with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
The Raiders needed help on their defensive line especially with all four of their defensive linemen being free agents. The team had already lost Lamarr Houston to the Chicago Bears earlier in the week. There is still a ton of money available under the cap though so Oakland should be making more moves sooner than later if they wanted to remain relevant in the AFC West. The division is getting away from them right now with the other three teams miles ahead of them in talent.
Oakland went 4-12 last season and lost eight of their last nine games. They have re-signed Darren McFadden to continue as their starting running back and have several other defensive linemen in line to visit to see if the Raiders can sign them too. The team is scheduled to have free agent left tackle Donald Penn in town on Friday which would help replace the departure of Jared Veldheer if they can sign him. There are still many holes for the Raiders to fill. They got the money to do it but will they make the moves they have to? The NFL Draft is still coming in May and they should get a great player there but will that be enough to make the Raiders a team to reckon with in 2014? The next few weeks should answer at least one of those questions.