The most news to come out regarding the Oakland Raiders on day one of free agency revolved around seeing players depart for different teams. But how bad are the losses that the Raiders sustained? Will these players be severely missed or will the Silver and Black train keep on rolling?
Let’s take a look:
Malcolm Smith - Contrary to what some overzealous Niners fans think, this is a case of addition by subtraction. Even if the Raiders don’t find a linebacker of the future to replace him now, there are plenty of guys in free agency and the draft who can forget to guard the tight end for a lot less money than $5 million per year.
D.J. Hayden - While he finally started to see some success this season, Hayden is still pretty far away from being a guy the Raiders should be concerned about losing. They will need to address the slot corner position if they don’t want T.J. Carrie manning the position next season. But either way, this is not a big loss at all.
Stacy McGee - A solid rotational talent who played extra hard during his contract season and got a big pay day for it. McGee is a nice player but not one to lose sleep over. Would have been nice to keep him but the Raiders can find a similar talent level for cheaper elsewhere.
Darren Bates - A very, very good special teamer but just a special teamer. Bates helped the Raiders to be one of the best kick coverage teams in the NFL and received a hefty contract as a reward. If he offered more depth at linebacker rather than being only a special teams player, this might be a player to miss. But as it is, he is very replaceable.
Brynden Trawick - This is the only guy I was somewhat sad to see go. He’s one of the best special teams players in the league and unlike Bates, also has value as a backup safety. Last year when he was asked to fill in at safety he impressed far more than anyone expected. It’s not a huge loss but this is one I wish the Raiders hadn’t let walk.