Oakland Raiders: Which Free Agent Signings Will Make the Biggest Impact?


The Oakland Raiders have really made it a priority to revamp their roster during this offseason. Whether it be through a trade, free agency, or the 2013 NFL Draft, the Raiders have really made some key adjustments to their lineup.

But to focus in on just the free agents that the Raiders have brought in this offseason, which of them will make the biggest impact?

Dec 2, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings (23) runs with the ball as Buffalo Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams (95) pursues during the first quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

One name that should be near the top of the list is running back Rashad Jennings.

Sure, Jennings isn’t the elite running back that teams will throw huge contracts at, but he can be a vital part to the Raiders’ success this season. He has totaled just under 1,000 rushing yards to go along with his seven touchdowns during his three-year stint with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

But don’t let those below-average stats fool you, as you have to remember that Jennings was playing behind superstar running back Maurice Jones-Drew during his time with the Jaguars.

However, with the departure of Mike Goodson, Jennings brings to a lot to the table for the Raiders. He will fill in the backup running back position nicely, and will be able to lighten the load for starter Darren McFadden.

Jennings’ speed and elusiveness should lead him to great success in Oakland, but there’s one other free agent that the Raiders signed that will make a tremendous impact.

That guy is Charles Woodson.

The legendary defensive back started his career in Oakland, and he just might finish it off there as well.

Regardless of his age, Woodson is undoubtedly one of the best players to ever play his position.

He has received numerous accolades throughout his career as an eight-time Pro Bowler, seven-time All-Pro member and Super Bowl champion. Woodson was also the AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2009.

Photo: AP

He has 55 career interceptions, 17 sacks, 24 forced fumbles and 11 interception returns for touchdowns in 206 career games. Woodson also helped lead the Green Bay Packers to a Super Bowl victory not too long ago.

His ball-hawking skills and athletic ability will immediately boost the production of the Raiders’ secondary, but his contributions to the team will go deeper than that.

Fans should not overlook the veteran leadership and championship pedigree that Woodson brings to the Raiders.

With young guys like Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, and 2013 first-round draft pick D.J. Hayden, Woodson will have the exclusive opportunity to be able to mentor and coach these players and help them grow as defensive backs. He will be able to guide them through the do’s and don’ts of playing the position and should help them a lot.

General manager Reggie McKenzie has made terrific moves this offseason for the Raiders, and Jennings and Woodson are just two of the guys that will make significant contributions to the team this season.