Oakland Raiders: 5 pending free agents who should be re-signed

Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images
Photo by Robert Reiners/Getty Images /
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Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images
Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images /

5. K Daniel Carlson (ERFA)

Finding consistent kickers in today’s NFL has become increasingly difficult. Just ask the slew of squads this season whose turnstiles kept spinning all year long at the position. It was going that way for the Raiders until they found Daniel Carlson.

Cast off by the Minnesota Vikings after a rough first few games, the move to Oakland was a blessing in disguise for the 2018 fifth-round pick. He quickly went from pariah to lauded leg, connecting on nearly all of his field goals for the Raiders.

In fact, he finished the season having made 16 of his 17 attempts — that’s 94.1 percent of his field goals. As luck would have it, that’s a new franchise record for accuracy, which supplants Sebastian Janikowski atop the Raiders’ kicking record book. Not too shabby for a rookie who appeared to be a headcase during his stay in the Twin Cities.

Realistically, the Raiders stand little chance of losing Carlson. He’s an exclusive restricted free agent, which means he has no power to negotiate with other teams and can only sign with the Raiders — assuming they make an offer by the deadline. Considering how successful he was in Year 1, I’d imagine Gruden will jump at the opportunity to bring him back.