Raiders Scouring the Free-Agent Market for Linebackers

Former 49er Aaron Lynch and ex-Bengal Vontaze Burfict among several candidates the Raiders are considering

Aaron Lynch? Brandon Marshall? Vontaze Burfict?

It’s possible the Oakland Raiders will add one of these free-agent linebackers to their roster this week.

Oakland has been active in free agency, but most of the additions have come on offense. Ex-Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner was brought in, but there remain holes at linebacker and defensive end/edge rusher. With the selection of a pass rusher expected with the Raiders’ top pick, No. 4 overall, in the upcoming draft, it makes sense for GM Mike Mayock and head coach Jon Gruden to sign a veteran linebacker from free agency, and there remain several available.

Former 49er Aaron Lynch, who played outside linebacker for the Bears in 2018, has been in for a visit, reports Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle.  In 13 games for Chicago, Lynch had three sacks, an interception, eight quarterback hits and 16 tackles. Ex-Saints and Chargers middle linebacker Manti Te’o also has been in for a visit, reports Kawahara. Te’o has been a starter the past two years for the Saints, though he played just five games in 2018 because of injury. The Denver Post also reports the Raiders have been talking with longtime Broncos starter Brandon Marshall.

Burfict, a longtime Cincinnati Bengals playmaker, also could make sense. He was released Monday and played several seasons for current Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. The NFL Network reported he will visit with the Raiders Tuesday.

Burfict, 28, was drafted by the Bengals out of Arizona State in 2012 and he went to the Pro Bowl in 2013 when he led the NFL with 177 tackles and had three sacks and an interception. When he’s been on the field, Burfict has made an impact.

But he’s missed many games the past few seasons because of injuries and suspensions. Some around the league have referred to him as a dirty player who tries to injure his opponents. In 2018, he was criticized for a hit on former Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown, who is now with the Raiders.

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