Improving the defense was a priority for the Oakland Raiders in 2014. Should that continue with a strong push for corner Brandon Flowers?
D.J. Hayden uncertainty a concern for Dennis Allen
The front seven were the primary target during the main part of free agency as well as the draft. The Oakland Raiders ended up adding Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Smith and Khalil Mack. Such an infusion is expected to greatly bolster their pass rush. All that is left for head coach Dennis Allen to question is whether his secondary is prepared to take advantage of it. On paper it looks like a promising group. There are veterans Carlos Rogers and Charles Woodson together with Tyvon Branch and D.J. Hayden with Tarell Brown as the primary reserve. It’s a nice mixture of age and young upside but doubts linger, particularly regarding Hayden. The 2013 first round pick has struggled since he entered the league. He can’t stay healthy and doesn’t play with any consistency when he’s on the field. In a make-or-break season for Allen and his staff, they can’t afford to put all their eggs in one basket. If Hayden is going to be a weak link, then adding to the competition would be the right play.
Playing Kansas City Chiefs and staying in division make Raiders attractive
Brandon Flowers would certainly do that. The 2013 Pro Bowler was cut from the Kansas City Chiefs due to his less than ideal fit in their 3-4 system. At 5’9″ he lacks desired height but that hasn’t stopped him from being productive in the past. He just needs to find the right fit. Playing a primarily 4-3 alignment, the Oakland Raiders make more sense for him because it calls for more zone coverage and tackling, two things Flowers does well. From his perspective it would be a benefit because he would get to stay in the AFC West, playing against the same receivers he’s seen for year. Also, perhaps a bit selfishly, it would grant him a shot at getting a measure of revenge against his former team. Provided the price isn’t too steep, it’s a win-win for both sides.