Secondary Might be Primary Spending Area for Raiders

With plenty of cap room, safety and cornerback could be target areas for GM McKenzie in free agency period

Upgrading the secondary will be high on the Raiders’ to-do list this offseason. With the departure of veteran safety Charles Woodson, Nate Allen coming off an injury-marred season at the other safety spot and a need to upgrade at corner opposite David Amerson, general manager Reggie McKenzie could pursue help in free agency.

The analytic website Pro Football Focus singled out the Raiders’ pass coverage as its lowest-graded area in 2015 (No. 22 in the NFL), and PFF’s Rob Hamilton wrote recently that McKenzie – who has structured the roster to have plenty of salary-cap room – “should look to allot a good chunk of their space to the secondary.”

Hamilton proposes that Oakland could pursue free agent safety Eric Weddle, a longtime Charger, or Walter Thurmond.

Nick Toney of Fox Sports suggested Weddle – who has been a Pro Bowler but fell out of favor in San Diego – might be a good fit in silver and black because he would have “a chance to play two revenge games a year against his soon-to-be-former team, the Chargers.”

In addition, he says there could be quality free-agent cornerbacks available for the Raiders to pick from, including Sean Smith, Leon Hall and Prince Amukamara.

T.J. Carrie has proven to be a valuable talent for the Raiders, able to play both safety and corner.  He’s had both good and bad games at both positions and would likely benefit to being able to focus on just one job. If the Raiders were able to bring in a top-notch corner in free agency, Carrie would be able to move fulltime to safety -- or vice versa.

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