Last week, two veterans signed elsewhere that had reverberations with the Oakland Raiders.
Cornerback Tarell Brown, a starting cornerback for Oakland most of last season, signed with New England, and Cincinnati tight end Jermaine Gresham signed with Arizona. Gresham was close to signing with the Raiders early in free agency when a back issue was discovered.
The Raiders stayed in touch and Oakland was connected to Gresham in recent weeks once he became healthy. But, in reality, the Raiders need for a tight end ended when they selected Miami's Clive Walford in the third round of the draft. Walford impressed the coaching staff in the offseason program and he is expected to play a major role. So, it’s no surprise the Raiders did not pursue Gresham this summer.
Brown was considered a potential option for the Raiders to re-sign later this summer, though. That is obviously off the table with him signing with New England. Brown started 14 games for Oakland before a foot injury ended his 2014 season.
The Raiders are headed to training camp with youngsters TJ Carrie, Keith McGill and DJ Hayden as their top cornerbacks. Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie stated that plan early in the offseason. Yet, he has said the team could always bring in a veteran late if the young cornerbacks show poorly in the preseason.
With Brown out, the Raiders could always turn to Carlos Rogers later in the summer if need be. But Brown was a better player last season than Rogers who, at 34, has seen better days.