Fresh Takes Opinion — 20 May 2013
Jason Leskiw
Managing Editor

Early Tuesday afternoon, the Oakland Raiders were reported to have signed S Charles Woodson. Yes, the same Charles Woodson that was drafted fourth overall by Oakland in 1998.

This time he will play Safety, aiding the 12thoverall pick of this year’s draft, D.J. Hayden. Joselio Hanson or Mike Jenkins will man the other island. I’ve consistently argued that Oakland will have a top 10 secondary in 2013, for the lowest cost. This just increases the validity of my case, and has installed what really appears to be smiles, on the faces of Raiders fans.

As a matter of fact, I could now possibly make the argument that the Raiders have too much value in their secondary. It seems a pressing idea that the Raiders could possibly have too much of anything, ever. But alas, McKenzie has done his job and the results will show. Given the nature of the AFC West, a good pass defense is key, especially when you consider that the Oakland pass rush is equivocally formidable.

Lamaar Houston and Jason Hunter should have a good time coming off the edge, especially if the young tackles can create pressure up the middle. Per dollar, the Oakland Raiders (essentially Reggie McKenzie) have created the best defense in the NFL. Not the best flat out, but the groundwork is clearly there. With an upgrade at DT in 2014 and the addition of a solid MLB, Oakland could form the best defense in the AFC. And oh my, Houston Texans ILB Brian Cushing is up for bidding then, on the free agent market.

But that’s next year.

This year I don’t expect the Raiders to make the postseason, but I do see it as a possibility if the Broncos suffer injuries to key players. Oakland would be lucky to finish 10-6 otherwise, but I see them finishing 8-8. With another first round pick (the Raiders had been without a first rounder since drafting Rolando McClain) and even more free money to sign players, McKenzie remains primed to build a successful football team.

And then maybe, just maybe, the black hole will become a happy-go-lucky place again.

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