Oakland Raiders: one last offseason move

With minicamp wrapping up earlier this week, the Oakland Raiders and the rest of the NFL now begin the month long wait until training camp begins. While everything may be set for the season, there are still some possible moves the Silver and Black can make.

Menelik Watson is an enigma as a starting tackle

Menelik Watson is an enigma as a starting tackle

The one main move they should make is signing another offense tackle. The Raiders have numerous guards who could play tackle, and the only true tackle with experience behind starters Donald Penn and Menelik Watson is Matt McCants. In the event one of them goes down, they will likely have to rely on one of Tony Bergstrom, Khalif Barnes, or Austin Howard to kick out.

The team did pick up second year tackle Emmett Cleary on waivers, but it is unlikely he makes it past first cuts. Experienced veterans are still available such as David Stewart, Bryant McKinnie, and Tony Pashos, who started 12 games last season in Oakland.

A tackle is needed given Watson’s injury history. Howard is likely to move to right tackle in that case, with Barnes or Bergstrom stepping in at right guard. Or Matt McCants The entire situation is a powder keg waiting to spark.

Tony Pashos performed above standard in 2013, and would likely continue that if resigned for 2013

Tony Pashos performed above standard in 2013, and would likely continue that if resigned for 2013

Pashos should be brought in on another veteran minimum deal just in case Watson goes down or isn’t ready. As of now, the Raiders probably do have him on speed dial once training camp starts, in case of an emergency. Menelik is likely a starting tackle of the future for the Oakland Raiders, or at least that’s what the coaching staff sees him as. He could develop into a left tackle over time, which would leave a giant hole at right tackle.

For now, the Raiders just need depth at the position. If injuries set in early, all the progress the front office has spent rebuilding the franchise would be lost in a series of defenders penetrating into the backfield.

  • Rob in CNY

    wow there’s a couple of minutes I will never get back. Very uninformed writer, Bergstrom won’t make the roster. Team will only carry 7 to 8 O linemen. Penn, Jackson, Wiz, Howard, Watson start Boothe(swing guard/center) Barnes (back-up all but center) McCants (Future RT when Penn gone and Watson to LT)
    Kistler to practice squad.

  • Bob

    How did Joe Horning, the author of this article, ever get a job writing? Both the content of and grammar in this article are terrible!!!

  • raider-alex

    The only name I didn’t hear called was that of Gabe Jackson, he will be the starter at left guard.

  • Gregg Brennan

    Makes more sense to move Howard back to tackle if Watson goes down and put McCants, Barnes (or Bergstrom if he makes the team) in at guard.

  • Reggie Mac

    Joe Horning – Menelik Watson will be a Raider this season and will continue to flourish under Coach Sparano.

    Pride and Poise.

  • jzgames11

    Maybe they put Howard back at tackle like in NY ,and will draft depth next year if anything goes down , Barnes can play RG .