Oakland Raiders: A New Secondary Awaits


Reggie McKenzie, the general manager for the Oakland Raiders, has really taken it upon himself to turn this Raiders franchise around.

September 9 2012; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos defensive back Tracy Porter (22) celebrates as he returns an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Sports Authority Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This offseason, he has been slowly building towards that goal, with one of the biggest improvements positively impacting the team’s secondary.

Over the past two weeks, the Oakland Raiders have inked cornerbacks Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins, as well as safety Usama Young, all to one-year contracts.  These three will be critical to Oakland’s success next season and they are all very capable of helping turn this team around.

First off, it’s important to note that all three of these guys were signed to one-year contracts. These types of deals are usually a “show me what you can do” type of thing. If the team likes what they see from the player, then they will more likely than not sign him to a longer contract with more money. If the player performs below the team’s standards, they will usually elect to not re-sign him.

With that said, all three of these defensive players have something to prove.

Porter, once the savior of the New Orleans Saints, struggled with the Denver Broncos last year and soon enough made his way to Oakland. Jenkins was a first-round pick years ago but has yet to really show his full potential. He has been to the Pro Bowl once in his young career, and will hopefully flourish with his new Raiders team. Young hasn’t really made too big of an impact on any of his previous teams (Saints, Browns) but will look for a fresh start in Oakland.

The Raiders let go of Michael Huff earlier in the offseason, and many fans were frustrated that the team chose to let him go (I know I was). But Reggie McKenzie did what was right, saved cap space, and went out and looked for new talent.

And he found new talent

Porter and Jenkins will finally be able to co-exist as reliable cornerbacks and help the Raiders stop opponents’ explosive receivers. Hopefully for the Raiders, these two play so well that Raiders fans will be able to forget the fact that Michael Huff and Nnamdi Asomugha aren’t on the team anymore.

As for Young, he really is stepping into a franchise that is desperate for any type of defensive help. He needs to prove to the team that he is worth keeping. Luckily, he used to work with now head coach Dennis Allen back in New Orleans when Allen was the team’s defensive coordinator.

McKenzie should be applauded for bringing in some fresh and young talent, but now it is time to see some production from these guys. They were all signed to fairly cheap deals, and they were all one-year contracts, so there is plenty for them to prove.

I truly believe that Young, Jenkins, and Porter will be able to help revive this struggling franchise (especially their defense), but at this point, only time will tell.