Free-Agent Setup: Jon Gruden may target key Oakland Raiders defenders

By The Sports Xchange  |  Feb. 25, 2018 at 5:20 PM
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The Oakland Raiders won't use the franchise or transition tag for any of their unrestricted free agents, but that doesn't mean they are willing to let them all walk away.

Four defenders are among those the Raiders want to lock up -- cornerback TJ Carrie, middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman, defensive end Denico Autry and defensive tackle Justin Ellis.

It all depends on the price tag.

Aging free safety Reggie Nelson probably will be replaced. Head coach Jon Gruden's arrival makes the offense a mystery, although a do-the-dirty-work tight end such as Lee Smith could be tempting. The team has already publicly said farewell to veteran kicker Sebastian Janikowski.

Unit-by-unit depth chart as of Super Bowl LII. Injured players listed as starters if that was their status when injured.

*Asterisk indicates player ended 2017 season on injured reserve.

QUARTERBACKS (D): Starter -- Derek Carr. Backups -- EJ Manuel (UFA), Connor Cook.

RUNNING BACKS (C): Starters -- Marshawn Lynch, FB Jamize Olawale. Backups -- Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington.

TIGHT ENDS (C): Starter -- Jared Cook. Backups -- Lee Smith (UFA), *Clive Walford, Pharaoh Brown.

WIDE RECEIVERS (D): Starters -- Michael Crabtree, Amari Cooper. Backups -- Seth Roberts, Cordarrelle Patterson, Johnny Holton, Isaac Whitney.

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (B-minus): Starters -- LT *Donald Penn, LG Kelechi Osemele, C Rodney Hudson, RG Gabe Jackson, RT Marshall Newhouse. Backups -- T David Sharpe, T Vadal Alexander, G/C *Jon Feliciano, G *Denver Kirkland, C James Stone, T Jylan Ware.

DEFENSIVE LINEMEN (B-minus): Starters -- DLE Khalil Mack, DT Eddie Vanderdoes, NT Justin Ellis (UFA), DRE Mario Edwards Jr. Backups - DE/DT Denico Autry (UFA), DE/DT Jihad Ward, DT Treyvon Hester, DT Darius Latham.

LINEBACKERS (C): Starters -- WLB *Cory James, MLB NaVorro Bowman (UFA), SLB Bruce Irvin. Backups -- SLB Shilique Calhoun, WLB Nicholas Morrow, MLB Marquel Lee, WLB Brady Sheldon, LB/DE James Cowser.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (D): Starters -- LCB TJ Carrie (UFA), SS Karl Joseph, FS Reggie Nelson (UFA), RCB Sean Smith. Backups -- CB *Gareon Conley, CB David Amerson (subsequently released), CB Dexter McDonald, CB Antonio Hamilton, S *Obi Melifonwu, S Keith McGill, S Shalom Luani, S Erik Harris.

SPECIAL TEAMS (C): K Giorgio Tavecchio, K *Sebastian Janikowski (UFA), P Marquette King, KOR Cordarrelle Patterson, PR Jalen Richard, LS Jon Condo (UFA).

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