Losing out on Randall Cobb, Ndamukong Suh not good for Raiders, but there's time

Ndamukong Suh was an expected target of the Oakland Raiders.

On paper, he looked like a perfect fit. The Raiders will have about $70 million in salary-cap room, they have a huge need for a defensive tackle and his style of play fit in with the old renegade persona of the Raiders of yesteryear. Perfect. But that dream ended Sunday when ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported Suh is heading to Miami.

That blow to Oakland comes on the heels of receiver Randall Cobb deciding to stay in Green Bay. Cobb was also a big target of the Raiders'. To me, losing out on Cobb is a bigger deal than losing Suh. I really didn’t think Oakland had a great chance for Suh. But Cobb was their guy. They wanted him badly.

Now, two days before free agency begins, there are some nerves surrounding the Raiders. Will, for the second year in a row, the splash names of free agency bypass the team with all kinds of cap room?

It’s not quite time to panic. But the Raiders need to make some connections here.

I think their top target at defensive tackle will be Denver’s Terrance Knighton. He played for new Oakland coach Jack Del Rio in both Jacksonville and Denver and the two are close.

Knighton is not the player Suh is, but he is a solid player and he’d help Oakland. But it’s no sure thing. ESPN’s Josina Anderson reported that Knighton is being pursued by other teams, including Washington, Indianapolis and Chicago.

Other Oakland targets are going to include Kansas City center Rodney Hudson and Cincinnati tight end Jermaine Gresham. If the Raiders end up with the trio of Knighton, Hudson and Gresham, they’d improve, although I’m not sure it’s the type of splash they were hoping to make with all their needs and all their cap room.

Oakland will sign players; a lot of them. They signed many last year, but few made an impact. Impact is the key this year. That’s why they wanted Suh and Cobb. With those two off the table, free agency isn’t yet a disaster for Oakland, but the Raiders have work to do.