The Oakland Raiders announced earlier this week they have resigned right tackle Khalif Barnes. Barnes missed a significant portion of last season with a groin injury, but came back to start the final seven games. It is the first offensive signing for the Raiders this offseason.
In 2012, Barnes suffered a groin in a loss to the Miami Dolphins and missed seven games, which caused problems along the offensive line. Willie Smith filled in for Barnes, but struggled with penalties and protection. When Barnes returned, the offensive line received a boost and performed better. He has the experience to benefit the Raiders up front after starting all 16 games in 2011. He has 87 career starts in his eight year NFL career with the Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 6-6, 320 pound Barnes meets a need the Raiders have at right tackle. He will be the starter headed into training camp, but will be in a position battle with last year’s third round pick Tony Bergstrom. Oakland is trying to get back to a power running game in 2013 after using the zone blocking scheme under former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. With Greg Olson now running the offense and Tony Sparano working with the offensive line, Barnes has a chance to use his running blocking prowess to improve a running game near the bottom of the league in 2012.
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