This year’s free-agent crop is well picked over. Signings will come down the pike in coming days, but the rush of activity has slowed to a trickle across the league.
The Raiders are happy with a veteran import collection that currently goes nine deep, with four starters and quality role players in the mix. They didn't, however, get much help for young quarterback Derek Carr.
It wasn’t for lack of effort.
"We pursued some guys, but it's still decisions made by others and they have to make their decision,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “You get some, and some you don't."
Versatile tight end Jermaine Gresham came to town for two days, but left without agreeing on contract terms. He remains unsigned and is one of the few free-agent skill players remaining.
Outside of Gresham, receiver Michael Crabtree might be the best under-30 option available. The running backs are virtually gone. Hakeem Nicks is still floating around, as are some young guys who haven’t panned out. There are some 30-plus guys you’ve heard of, including former Green Bay Packer and Minnesota Viking Greg Jennings and Tennessee's Nate Washington, but the Raiders are looking to go younger at receiver.
That will likely lead to the Raiders stocking up on skill players in the draft. The draft is deep at running back, shallow at tight end and loaded with top receivers. They should have their pick of the receiving litter at No. 4 overall, a tough choice between Alabama’s Amari Cooper and West Virginia’s Kevin White.
There are some defenders worthy of that pick – USC’s Leonard Williams and Florida’s Dante Fowler chief among them, assuming they aren’t Top 3 selections – and enough depth to get a good wideout in the second round.
The Raiders will certainly keep an eye on available veteran talent, and could pull the trigger on a remaining skill player or two to add depth and competition at positions key to Carr’s development.