ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The Oakland Raiders are scheduled to have 13 unrestricted free agents this offseason after the team broke through with a 12-4 season and its first playoff appearance since 2002.
And on special teams: long-snapper Jon Condo.
DT Stacy McGee
2016 base salary: $675,000
Why he should stay: Interior pass rush was severely lacking for the Raiders last season, though when McGee was healthy, he was a beast. The 6-feet-3, 310-pounder was actually leading the Raiders with 2.5 sacks, leaning on his Reggie White-inspired “hump” move, through five games, and he'd shown improvement against the run. Then came the ankle and groin injuries that limited him to just four more games the rest of the season. When healthy, the 2013 sixth-round draft pick has been a jewel in the rough. An offseason of getting right should only shine up said jewel, no?
Why he should go: Maybe McGee’s fast start in 2016 was just a mirage. After all, he entered the season with just half a sack in 42 career games. And after the ankle injury in Game 7 he played in only two more games the rest of the way, and was far from a dominant presence on a defensive line that dearly needed one on the inside.
The quote: “That man’s working hard, trying to be somebody.” -- McGee, on how he would describe himself early in the season.
The thought: Look, the Raiders need interior pass-rushers who can also stuff the run. And McGee showed early last season that he was more than up to the task. So despite the injuries, and so long as he checks out physically, why not begin the rebuild by staying in-house with a player who already knows Oakland's system and culture? Particularly since McGee should not command that big of a contract.