Last week at the Oakland Raiders' mandatory minicamp, their last work before training camp starts next month, new head coach Jack Del Rio let it be known the team is willing to consider potential upgrades at any position.
Tuesday, two veterans who play positions where the Raiders could consider adding to were cut. Let’s take a look at whether they could fit in Oakland:
Running back Shonn Greene: If the Raiders were to add a player like Greene now, it would be a damming statement against Trent Richardson, who was signed this offseason. Richardson flopped in Cleveland and Indianapolis after both teams invested first-round picks in him. But the Raiders had some belief in him. Oakland gave Richardson a two-year, $3.85 million deal with $600,000 guaranteed. So they want him to stick. Richardson did not stand out in the minicamp, and he is behind Latavius Murray in the chase to be the No. 1 tailback. So if Greene came into play, he’d be competing with Richardson. I’m just not sure the Raiders want to make that move yet. Greene, a former 1,000-yard rusher, hasn’t shown he’s a clear better rotation than Richardson as a backup. Greene, who will turn 30 (a scary age for running backs) in August, had just 687 rushing yards in two seasons with Tennessee. If Oakland were to pursue Greene, I believe it would be later this summer. But I don’t see him being a roster-changing player.
Safety Taylor Mays: The Raiders have been looking to upgrade at safety all offseason. They signed starter Nate Allen and then tried to add Green Bay’s Sean Richardson in restricted free agency, but the Packers matched the offer. They also considered other safeties, so the team may want more depth there. I’m just not sure Mays is the type of guy who moves the needle. He is a journeyman at this point. Mays, 27, was cut by Minnesota even though the Vikings just signed him this offseason. That’s not a good sign. He has started just nine career games. At this point, Mays has to be considered just a depth player. I’d think the Raiders could wait to see if any quality safeties get cut in early September. If Oakland does sign Mays now, it may be an indictment on the Raiders' current safety depth.