Raiders upcoming free agents and what priority should be put on re-signing them

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Long before the Raiders can think about outside free agents, they will have the opportunity to hold onto some of their own. Some they should make a hard push to get back in Silver & Black while others not as much. And some they should just let go.

Here are all the Raiders’ upcoming free agents in order of the priority they should put on re-signing them.

High

CB Casey Hayward – The team’s best outside cornerback. He was available because he was coming off a down season. But he proved he was still plenty talented at age 32 and worthy of a return.

DT Quinton Jefferson – Brought in along with several defensive tackles on one-year deals. He was the most steady presence of the bunch and he proved it, especially late in the season. He started every game this season and was worthy of that.

DT Johnathan Hankins – Hankins has been an underrated run-stopping nose tackle for the Raiders for four seasons now. He turns 30 in March and would be a very smart re-sign.

Moderate

DT Darius Philon – After two seasons out of the league, Philon showed at times what earned him a lucrative contract from the Cardinals just before his suspension on charges that were ultimately dismissed. He could be a sneaky good re-sign to bolster the DT rotation.

QB Marcus Mariota – Good backup quarterbacks are not easy to find. And he’s considered one of the better in the league. He could even be a worthy starter should the Raiders move on from Derek Carr and need a bridge quarterback. Mariota is at the very least a very valuable insurance policy. Whether he stays could depend on whether he thinks he will have a legit shot at competing for a starting job.

Low

WR Zay Jones – Solid blocker. Decent possession receiver. But not who you want to have to rely on as a starter full time.

RB Jalen Richard – He can be a good third-down back and receiver out of the backfield. But he’s seldom used and his production has gone down each of the past three seasons.

DT Solomon Thomas – The former third overall pick got off to a strong start, but saw other tackles in the rotation surpass his production later in the season.

LB Nicholas Morrow – The former undrafted linebacker was in this position last year and the team allowed him to test the market before re-signing him. A lost season due to injury figures to have him in a similar position this year.

CB Brandon Facyson — Stepped up to start much of the season in place of Trayvon Mullen. Facyson is a good depth cornerback and spot starter, which could be enough to have him back, but we’ll see.

Let ’em walk

LB KJ Wright
T Brandon Parker
G Richie Incognito
C Nick Martin
DT Gerald McCoy
TE Derek Carrier
CB Desmond Trufant
G Jermaine Eluemunor
RB Peyton Barber
WR DeSean Jackson

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