Bess Shapiro

Talent for the Taking: Raiders Can Still Fill Some Holes

Created on Jul. 09, 2013 10:28 AM EST

The blogosphere and other news sites have been ablaze with reports and or rumors regarding talent the Oakland Raiders wanted and didn’t get: quarterback Matt Barkley. Talent they passed up, which perhaps wasn't a bad thing: tight end Aaron Hernandez. And talent they’re supposedly considering: running back Willis McGahee. A talented running back, McGahee is still available, but where the Raiders could really stand to improve is on defense.

Oakland has solidified its linebacker unit, and the backfield is coming together, but with the departure of Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly, the defensive line still lacks depth and talent. The pool free agent pool has shrunk considerably, but there are still some veterans the Raiders could use to plug the holes and put pressure on opposing teams. Even if they’re not as young as they used to be, these seasoned players still have a few good years left in them.

John Abraham. Abraham was a force to be reckoned with as a defensive end for the Atlanta Falcons. He has 416 solo tackles over 13 NFL seasons. He also had 32.5 sacks over the last three years. Last season he posted 32 solo tackles and 10 sacks. Abraham is getting older at 35, but despite his age he still has great speed and pursues relentlessly. His talent will improve Oakland’s non-existent pass rush, but he is expensive. He was reportedly seeking $5 million a year.

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