Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Tracy Porter makes sense in Oakland
By Bill Williamson
Tracy Porter will get a chance to re-energize his NFL career under the guidance of a familiar face on a team that badly needs him to produce.
In a move that has long made sense, the Oakland Raiders have signed the cornerback to a one-year deal worth $2.5 million.
Porter reunites with Oakland head coach Dennis Allen, who was Porter’s position coach in New Orleans where the two won a Super Bowl together. That Super Bowl win was sealed by Porter with an interception return of a Peyton Manning pass.
Porter signed with Oakland because it gave him the best chance to start. As it currently stands, Porter is Oakland’s best cornerback. Before the singing, Oakland did not have a proven starter on its roster. Oakland had pursued Terence Newman before he re-signed with Cincinnati. Oakland also reportedly is interested in Dallas cornerback Mike Jenkins. It would still make sense for Oakland to pusue Jenkins, who is getting other interest. Oakland could also consider Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner with the No. 3 overall pick.
In Porter, Oakland hopes he can bounce back from a rough season in Denver. The Broncos gave him $4 million on a one-year deal to start last season. He did, and he had some early success. Porter then dealt with the affects of a summer seizure and missed an extended period of time. Once healthy, Porter couldn’t beat out young cornerbacks Chris Harris and Tony Carter, and he had no role with the Broncos as the season progressed.
Porter is known as a hit-or-miss cornerback, and many around the league think he is best suited as a No. 2 or No. 3 cornerback depending on the team’s roster. He makes his share of plays, but he also has been known to gamble and lose.
But because of his history with Allen and Allen’s big need at this position, this is a worthwhile paring. Porter, who will turn 27 in August, continues a trend for Oakland this offseason. He is the seventh young player Oakland has signed this offseason.