Well, looky here, your Oakland Raiders appear to have themselves a pair of starting cornerbacks for Week 1 of the regular season.
Can I get an ‘amen?’
You’re a Raiders fan, so I don’t have to remind you the search for quality cornerback play has been a thorn in the side of general manager Reggie McKenzie for his entire six-year run. He’s tried and tried and it’s been a futile endeavor. An example of this is the fact that David Amerson and Sean Smith, who entered last season as the starting cornerbacks, were both kicked to this curb this winter.
Now, the Raiders hope the answer is a Gareon Conley-Rashaan Melvin duo.
The Raiders signed Melvin to a one-year $6.5 million deal Friday.
At the risk of being a party pooper, the Raiders didn’t just sign Deion Sanders. This wasn’t considered a great free-agency group and many cornerbacks were scooped up before Melvin. The fact that he signed a one-year deal suggests he didn’t have a lot of suitors. Oh, and another thing, his previous team, the Colts, have the second-most salary-cap room in the league and didn’t find the desire to give him a bigger deal.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Melvin can help the Raiders. He is big, good in coverage and feisty. He won’t be spectacular, but the Raiders, at this point, just need a professional corner in place.
He should give the Raiders that much.
Conley is a wild card. He has true No.1 corner ability. He must stay healthy, keep focused and show it. The 2017 first-round pick played just two games last season. So, there is potential for Conley and Melvin to be a nice pair next year.
They also agreed to terms on a one-year deal with journeymen backup Shareece Wright. So, the group is starting to fill out. It’s not great, but it’s better than it was. It’s also probably good enough for Oakland to wait to look at cornerback later in the draft while addressing other need areas earlier in the draft.
Again, Oakland may not be out of the cornerback woods, but it may be better than 2017. Well, it better be.