Raiders upgrade depth on OL with Marshall Newhouse

The Oakland Raiders broke their free agency silence by signing former Giant Marshall Newhouse.

 Not exactly the kind of signing most fans were looking for but Newhouse will be a good depth piece for a team that just lost Menelik Watson. Newhouse has a lot of value as a depth player since he has played both tackle positions and even some guard last season.

And I’m sure Newhouse has designs on being more than just a backup.

The offensive line is looking great at all but one position, right tackle. Newhouse is not the long term answer but don’t be surprised if he pushes Austin Howard for the starting role in training camp.

That is, of course, unless the Raiders add another tackle who is clearly better than these two.

Newhouse has started 56 games in his career and while he’s definitely not the guy you want as your starting right tackle, don’t tell him that. He’s spent a lot of time as a starter and I’m sure he will want to try to spend even more time as a starter in Oakland. I’m not sure he has a great chance of beating out Howard, but it’s also not a clear cut situation where Howard should be presumed as the starter.

And of course, as with all offensive line signings, you have to assume that offensive line coach Mike Tice had a hand in bringing Newhouse in. That alone raises Newhouse’s value in my mind. I consider Mike Tice to be the best offensive line coach in the league. Not only is he an excellent talent evaluator, he knows how to get the most out of his guys.

If Tice likes Newhouse as a depth piece for this offensive line, then so do I.

It’s not a signing that will get many excited but building good, reliable depth, is incredibly important. As we saw in the playoff game, it doesn’t take much for a team to be in panic mode because of a couple of injuries.

Over the last three years, Newhouse has played in 39 games while Watson has only played in 22 games thanks to injuries. While Watson may have more talent than Newhouse, that talent is worthless when you aren’t actually available to play.

At the very least, the Raiders just made their depth on the offensive line MUCH more reliable.

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