So naturally, in my first ever blog post I decide to bash the Oakland Raiders for not having a rebuilding plan. Later I would read that the Raiders had signed linebacker Antonio Smith, ex 49er Tarell Brown (one of the more underrated players in free agency if you ask me) and Steelers castoff LaMarr Woodley to compliment Justin Tuck. That would definitely fill some of the holes I thought they had previously. I am curious to see how Raiders’ GM Reggie McKenzie spends the rest of the way in free agency and if he can bring some help to the offensive side of the ball. The Raiders also need a returner if they elect to not bring back Jacoby Ford. Josh Cribbs is available, as is Devin Hester. Al Davis loved guys with speed and even though Hester is older, I think he could be a playmaker that Raiders desperately need.
This team also will be picking at No. 5 in the first round, likely grabbing a quarterback or Sammy Watkins at that slot. I think McKenzie has started to find his direction, but he needs to keep being aggressive to rebuild this once great franchise.
Another intriguing team that is pushing for a turn around in a loaded division is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa has been overshadowed in the last day by some of the AFC’s elite squads making splashy moves but the Bucs are starting to build a contender. They’ve added ex-Bengals Anthony Collins and Michael Johnson, Packers lineman Evan Deitrich-Smith, who can play center or guard, and former Titans corner Alterraun Verner. Those have been their bigger signings. They also added veteran QB Josh McCown and former Giants and Raiders tight end Brandon Myers.
I am a huge Lovie Smith fan and I like what he has done with the defense so far. He has created a very good and young secondary by adding Verner to Mark Barron, Jonathan Banks and Dashon Goldson. Offensively, I still think this team could add another receiver and it would be great to have some more depth at tight end. They don’t need a number one guy, they have that in Vincent Jackson but they could really use a compliment. This is Bucs team that has made some big moves and some quieter ones as well which I think will help them compete in the NFC South this year. I do not think they will win it yet, but give Lovie Smith another year or two, and he might just do it.