Free agent movement on a Saturday night

March, 14, 2009
3/14/09
8:21
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

There's been some action regarding free agency in the AFC West on Saturday.

Tackle Khalif Barnes joins Oakland after a long courtship and Karl Paymah leaves Denver for Minnesota.

Barnes and the Raiders come together after talks broke down early last week. The former Jacksonville tackle is familiar with the zone-blocking scheme Oakland uses and Oakland coach Tom Cable, whose specialty is the offensive line, wanted Barnes.

He can start at both right and left tackle so if Oakland drafts a left tackle early in the draft Barnes could slide over to the right side. Oakland opened the offseason with the hopes of signing one veteran tackle and drafting a tackle. The Raiders have the No. 7 pick in the draft and will likely choose between a receiver and tackle.

Mario Henderson played decently at the end of the 2008 season and could also be in the mix. Kwame Harris was cut after one season because of salary cap issues, plus he struggled in Oakland. Barnes is a big, strong player who has been inconsistent at times. But he does have some skills and signing him to a one-year deal was a good investment by Oakland.

Oakland has concentrated on signing its own players in free agency but these moves gives Oakland a chance to fill one of its needs.

Paymah's departure from Denver was not a surprise. Denver never tried to re-sign the cornerback and he visited several teams before signing with the Vikings.

Denver used its first three draft picks in 2005 on cornerbacks. Denver had six picks in 2005 and none of those players are on the team any longer. The list includes Maurice Clarett who was cut in the preseason of his only NFL training camp. Cornerback Darrent Williams was becoming a standout but he was shot and killed hours after the end of his second NFL season.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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