Can David Harris be the next to go from being cut to being a Raiders savior?
The New York Jets released linebacker David Harris on Tuesday and immediately, Oakland Raiders fans began wondering if he was a potential addition to a roster that is in need of help at linebacker. And while it’s true that Raiders fans often pine for discarded players that the team really doesn’t need because they have name recognition, this isn’t one of those cases.
Instead, there’s a chance that David Harris is the next in a line of players who went from being one team’s outcast to the saving grace for the Raiders.
First, it was Donald Penn. After Roger Saffold failed his physical and Jared Veldheer walked in free agency the Raiders signed Donald Penn to handle the left tackle duties after he was cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. And since then, Penn has gone from a one year stop gap to one of the most important pieces on the offensive line.
Next up was David Amerson. Though he was unable to sustain the longevity of Penn’s success, when Amerson first joined the Raiders he represented a huge upgrade to a terrible position group. His second year wasn’t nearly as good but he’s still better than what the Raiders had at corner before he came along. Still a top gap who is likely to be gone within the next couple of years, Amerson was a huge get when the Raiders signed him midseason.
After dipping in the Washington pool by grabbing Amerson, Reggie McKenzie doubled up the next year when he brought in Perry Riley. Once again, Riley filled a big need immediately. Though he might be brought back, he’s not currently on the team and could end up only being a one year stop gap, but he was a very important stop gap. As bad as the Raiders defense was last season, it was far worse before they brought in Riley.
Now, it could be time for David Harris to be the next to go from jobless to important role player. And this time, he’d be an important role player on a team that’s got huge expectations for this season. Harris is a 10 year veteran who has certainly lost a step but is still capable of playing at a level that’s likely higher than most of what the Raiders linebacker group can do at this moment.
After the Raiders addressed the secondary and pass rush in the draft, linebacker is the only major hole left to fill. If Harris can represent an upgrade, even if only as a stop gap, that would be a very big get for the Raiders at a very crucial time.