Thursday, March 13, 2014

Raiders Sign Tuck and Woodley

The Oakland Raiders fared better on Day 3 signing both DE Justin Tuck and LB Lamar Woodley.  Its safe to say that GM Reggie McKenzie needed this.  Tuck and Woodley don't come without "flaws" however.

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Both Woodley and Tuck have had a recent run of injuries.  Tuck had a rebound year with 11 sacks, but the two year previous had a combined 9 sacks due to nagging injuries, namely a serious neck injury that slowed him down.  Woodley has also had his share with the injury bug.  Woodley played himself into a big contract on the eve of the 2011 season, and deserved every bit that money.  Woodley was the primary rush threat up to that point for the Steelers, having amassed 57 sacks in 4 seasons.  After his well deserved payday, Woodley has missed 14 games since, due to a variety of lower leg injuries.

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Justin Tuck and Lamar Woodley will help Raiders fans forget the mess of a start to free agency, and will go a long way in helping establish a culture of winning due to their veteran presence in Oakland.  If the two can stay healthy (and that's a big if), they represent a huge upgrade.  Both guys are signed short term and I'm sure McKenzie signed them to team friendly contracts.  On that end, its been reported that Tuck even gave the Giants to match the offer all things being equal.  They were ready to move on, and the Giants loss ends up becoming the Raiders gain.  Woodley would not even be on the market if he had a friendlier cap number.

Woodley:  94 games  299 tackles  57 sacks  9 forced fumbles  9 fumble recoveries  5 INTs  1 TD
Tuck:  127 games  453 tackles  60.5 sacks  20 forced fumbles  6 fumble recoveries 2 INTs 1 TD

I know the Raiders aren't done.  They've still got many moves to make, but the signing of these two is a huge step in the right direction.  I'm more curious as to how this affects the remainder of free agency and the draft at large.  Do the Raiders draft a talented LT or do they add to these veteran pieces with a defensive stud like Khalil Mack?

Guess these two in silver and black will make people step back from that ledge.  More fun to come!

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