Raiders need to re-sign Perry Riley no matter who else they bring in

The Oakland Raiders have signed linebacker Jelani Jenkins and as of the writing of this piece, Zach Brown is still technically a possibility. Plus, there are some who believe the Raiders will take a linebacker in the first round of the NFL Draft with names like Hassan Reddick being linked to the Silver and Black.

But regardless of the plan, whether they sign Brown or draft a rookie, the Raiders should really re-sign Perry Riley ASAP.

Last season, the Raiders brought Riley in as a street free agent mid season and much like David Amerson the year before, he made a big difference to the defense. No, he isn’t the answer at linebacker but he was good enough to make the term “stop gap” seem almost unfairly applied to him.

He’s not the answer for the future but he’s a damn good option for the present. He played well against the run and much better than expected against the pass last season and is probably the best middle linebacker the Raiders have had in years.

If the Raiders sign Brown or draft Reddick, they should still bring Riley back. What Riley lacks in ability to cover the pass he makes up for as a run stopper. That makes him the perfect compliment to more athletic linebackers like Reddick and Brown. Having Riley as well as a more athletic linebacker will allow the Raiders to cover all bases with their linebackers.

Having Riley as a three down backer isn’t ideal, but having him as a two down player to compliment a more athletic linebacker would make for a very well rounder linebacking corps. Plus, should injury strike, Riley is a guy who has experience as a three down starter who can step right in.

We are well into the free agency period and Riley hasn’t even gotten a sniff from other teams. That means the Raiders can have him cheap should they wish to keep him. My guess is that they are waiting before re-signing him to see what else they can do to upgrade the position. But with limited options, the best strategy would be retaining Riley and adding another linebacker, whether it be Zach Brown, a rookie or even both.

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