AFC West: Khalif Barnes

Richie Incognito as a member of the Oakland Raiders is so, well, last regime. Or have you not noticed the trend and type of player general manager Reggie McKenzie has been signing thus far this offseason?

Incognito
They are guys not only with championship pedigrees but also locker room leaders. Guys like Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley and James Jones, and yes, the re-signed Charles Woodson.

Incognito exhibits none of those traits.

Sure, the left guard is a mauler on the offensive line who would have fit in nicely on the old-school Raiders’ island of misfit toys (imagine him and Lyle Alzado going at it in practice), but McKenzie is veering away from those types of players.

Asked at the NFL owners meetings in Orlando on Monday if he had seen the NFL.com report in which Incognito said he was “100 percent into” the prospect of playing for the Raiders, McKenzie smiled.

“I’ve heard about it,” McKenzie said, per the Bay Area News Group.

Asked what he thought about it, McKenzie smiled and said nothing.

Asked if he was interested in Incognito, McKenzie again smiled and was mute.

From a pure playing standpoint, Incognito does have relationships with Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson and assistant head coach/offensive line coach Tony Sparano.

“I’m a loyal guy,” Incognito told NFL.com, “and I’d love to play for them again. And, of course, the Raiders have that aura.”

But again, that aura is from a different generation. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong, it just is.

Because the notion of Incognito -- who may still face league discipline for his role in the bullying episode in Miami involving Jonathan Martin -- joining the Raiders gave pause to even the progeny of Al Davis.

“I’d have to think about that,” Mark Davis told reporters.

He’d probably be wise to check in with recently signed defensive end Antonio Smith, who has a longstanding feud with Incognito going back to their college days in the Big 12, a bad blood grudge that’s included kicks to the head, helmets being ripped off and more-than-salty threats.

Yeah, Incognito would be a great fit for the old Raiders ... just not McKenzie’s Raiders, who have already added offensive linemen Donald Penn, Kevin Boothe and Austin Howard, to go along with center Stefen Wisniewski, the re-signed Khalif Barnes, second-year tackle Menelik Watson, veteran right guard Mike Brisiel, Matt McCants, Lamar Mady and McKenzie's first-ever draft pick, Tony Bergstrom.

As one anonymous Raiders player told me last season when I asked which player, Incognito or Martin, he would rather have as a teammate, “Neither,” was the reply.
It’s New Year’s Day, Black Friday and the season premiere of "The Price is Right," all wrapped in one silver and black package, with Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie channeling his inner Bob Barker.

Even if the Raiderettes were Barker’s Beauties and Oakland’s 17 scheduled unrestricted free agents were mixed and matched as the prizes in a showcase showdown, McKenzie has yet to show his hand as he sits with close to $65 million in salary-cap space. Even as Pro Bowl fullback Marcel Reece implored his general manager to eschew “safe moves” in favor of “smart, calculated, fearless, Raider-ass moves” when free agency begins today at 1 p.m. PT.

Thus far, the Raiders’ two biggest free agents, left tackle Jared Veldheer and defensive end Lamarr Houston, have been linked to the Arizona Cardinals and Chicago Bears, respectively. Oakland, meanwhile, has been reportedly kicking the tires on St. Louis Rams offensive lineman Rodger Saffold and Houston Texans quarterback Matt Schaub, while many see the Raiders as being interested in picking up cornerback Darrelle Revis if and when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cut him.

McKenzie, meanwhile, maintained his position: “What I want to do is make this team better. And that’s what we’re going to set out to do this Tuesday and really, not waiting until Tuesday but, just with our own team, just trying to get things done. We want to upgrade this football team and we intend to do that.”

Speaking at the Commitment to Excellence Dinner, which honored Reece on Saturday night, McKenzie pointed to the re-signing of offensive lineman Khalif Barnes and re-upping special-teams ace Taiwan Jones as steps in that direction.

“That’s why it’s important to keep those good players,” McKenzie said. “Khalif, the worker he is, Taiwan is here to support Marcel, and, of course, Marcel. Those are the type of guys, they know the whole Raider [way], the direction we want to go. So we want the guys to be positive for everybody in that locker room.”

True, but which guys, exactly? McKenzie’s patient approach the past two seasons was exacerbated by the Raiders needing to shed salary. Now? These are unchartered waters for the third-year GM, what with so much cap space.

But keep this in mind: He said two years ago that, even with so much cap space, that did not mean he would be shopping at Macy’s. And in January he said, “Just because I have $5 in my pocket, that doesn’t mean I have to spend all of it ... on junk.”

Reggie McKenzie, come on down ...

Free-agency primer: Raiders

March, 7, 2014
Mar 7
11:00
AM ET
» AFC Free-Agency Primer: East | West | North | South » NFC: East | West | North | South

Key free agents: LT Jared Veldheer, DE Lamarr Houston, RB Rashad Jennings, FS Charles Woodson, CB Tracy Porter, RB Darren McFadden

Where they stand: With 17 remaining unrestricted free agents -- Oakland re-signed offensive tackle Khalif Barnes last week -- the Raiders chose not to use the franchise tag on Veldheer or Houston. That should not surprise anyone; general manager Reggie McKenzie said he wanted to avoid using it, and Veldheer said he did not want to be tagged. With nearly $65 million in cap space, the Raiders are primed to be players during free agency. They need help especially on the defensive line -- all four starters are free agents -- and in the secondary, and ditto with both cornerbacks and the free safety. The primary need on defense is a prototypical edge rusher.

What to expect: As McKenzie said last year, just because he has money to spend does not mean he’s going shopping at Macy’s. And as he restated this year, just because he has money does not mean he’s going to spend it on junk. True, it’s time for McKenzie to make like Macklemore and “pop some tags,” but don’t expect him to break the bank. He’ll use the money judiciously, and although the Raiders have the most cap space, they also have the most needs. It makes sense for Oakland to find a veteran quarterback to serve as a bridge, of sorts, while McKenzie strengthens to team around said quarterback, someone the staff trusts and already knows. Targets could include Josh Freeman, Josh McCown and Mark Sanchez (if and when the Jets cut him). Defensively, Jared Allen could fit the bill at defensive end.
IRVING, Texas -- What Jared Veldheer totes around in rust Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys should be offset by how fresh he feels.

Indeed, this will be a new experience for the Oakland Raiders' left tackle, who is slated to make his season debut after undergoing surgery on his left triceps in training camp.

Ayodele
Veldheer
“It's an odd thing to feel this way in Week 13,” Veldheer said this week. “That's something that builds confidence. Like I've said a million times, I'm ready to get back out there and play.

“I've been working on conditioning for a while now. I've been able to run and move my feet to build up that capacity. I don't know what the plan is as far as snaps or how much I'm going to play.”

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said Veldheer would play on a rotational basis, and not necessarily 70 snaps.

“The things that you worry about are just the fundamentals and technique of a guy that hadn't had a lot of reps, because if practice wasn't important, then we wouldn't do it,” Allen said.

“Last week he had a good week of practice. This week he's done well so far, so hopefully being fresh will help him.”

Rookie quarterback Matt McGloin was a fourth-string “camp arm” when Veldheer went down in Napa. Now the starter, McGloin is understandably excited about the prospect of Veldheer protecting his blind side.

“It's great to see Jared back,” McGloin said. “He's such a great part of that line and he has been since he's been here. What's great is we've had so many guys step in and do a tremendous job. Guys playing tackle, guys playing guard. I was really proud of those guys, and how they work, and how they accept any role that the coaches give them.”

Veldheer concurred, especially since Khalif Barnes moved from right tackle to left tackle after Veldheer and then Watson went down before the season opener. Now, Barnes is expected to move to left guard.

“It's a unit that keeps on fighting no matter what the circumstances,” Veldheer said. “We're going to grind as hard as we can game in and game out. It doesn't matter who's up or who's down. Whoever goes out there has the mentality that they can get the job done.”

One possible offensive line against the Cowboys, then: left tackle Veldheer, left guard Khalif Barnes, center Stefen Wisniewski, right guard Mike Brisiel, right tackle Tony Pashos, with interior lineman Andre Gurode and tackle Matt McCants also active. It would mean Lucas Nix and Menelik Watson would be inactive and Lamar Mady could be the corresponding roster move for Veldheer being activated off the Reserve/Injured -- Designated to Return list.

And there will be no warm-up period for Veldheer. Not with Cowboys rush specialist DeMarcus Ware likely lining up over him.

“I match up with a great rusher right off the bat,” Veldheer said. “It's going to be a tough challenge, and we're going to have to be on top of our game plan and go out there and execute.”

Khalif Barnes primed to move inside

November, 26, 2013
11/26/13
7:05
PM ET
As has been widely theorized, Oakland Raiders veteran left tackle Khalif Barnes is expected to make the move from left tackle to left guard, with Jared Veldheer primed to make his season debut Thursday at the Dallas Cowboys.

Barnes
Barnes was open to the idea last week.

“Whatever they want to do, I'm totally behind,” Barnes said at the time. “I'm here for whatever the team needs and I've kind of been like that since I've been here. Whatever direction, whatever they want to do, I’m totally cool with it.”

Barnes, who was penciled in as the starting right tackle before making the move because of preseason injuries to Veldheer and rookie Menelik Watson, would seemingly help shore up the interior. Second-year pro Lucas Nix has struggled mightily at times at left guard.

And while coach Dennis Allen would not commit to the move, citing game-plan issues, offensive coordinator Greg Olson raved about Barnes, the player and the person.

“There is a player to me, talk about an unselfish guy and a team player, that’s Khalif Barnes, and also someone we can count on,” Olson said. “To see him go from right tackle to left tackle and then to volunteer and say, ‘Coach, I’ll go inside, whatever can make us better,’ we’re obviously real happy with not just the way he plays, but his attitude and what he’s brought to us in the leadership role.”

Barnes, according to the Associated Press, has 31 plays at guard in his NFL career, the snaps coming in a backup role for the Raiders in 2010.
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- The plan is still for tackle Jared Veldheer to make his season debut Thursday in Dallas.

What’s in question, though, is how much the left tackle will play for the Oakland Raiders against the Dallas Cowboys having come back from left triceps surgery in training camp.

"Yeah, I don’t know that he’s ready to go in there and play 65, 70 snaps in a game," said coach Dennis Allen. "My anticipation [is] that you’d see him in there in somewhat of a rotational basis, but … I anticipate him playing.

"That was kind of our timeline and kind of our anticipation. We haven’t, as to date, suffered any setbacks. I’ll get a chance to visit with him this afternoon and I anticipate him being ready to go."

Khalif Barnes made the switch from right tackle to the left side after Veldheer and then rookie Menelik Watson were felled by injury. It seems likely that Barnes moves to left guard with Veldheer coming back now, right?

"We'll see,"Allen said.

"We'll have to make some adjustments … game plan-wise, what we think gives us the best five guys out there that gives us the best chance to move the ball and be successful."

The Raiders radio broadcast also reported Sunday "all indications" were that running back Darren McFadden, who has missed the last three games, four overall, would play against the Cowboys.

Allen, though, was less enthusiastic about McFadden and his rehabbing right hamstring.

"I know that Darren, just a little bit ago, was out on the field running and going through a workout," Allen said. "If he does well, then there’s a chance he could be available."

Whither the Raiders' O-line?

October, 21, 2013
10/21/13
7:47
PM ET
ALAMEDA, Calif. -- No unit on the Oakland Raiders' roster needed the rest and relaxation afforded by the bye week more than the offensive line.

Consider that center Stefen Wisniewski (knee), center/left guard Andre Gurode (knee), right tackle Tony Pashos (groin/hip) and left tackle Menelik Watson (calf) were all either out before or knocked out during Oakland's loss at the Kansas City Chiefs last week. And that's not taking into account left tackle Jared Veldheer, who continues to rehab from his left triceps surgery in training camp.

“It was really good,” said left tackle Khalif Barnes, who had to make the switch from the right side at the dawn of the season with the injuries to Veldheer and Watson.

“We needed to get some bodies rested and some guys healed up ... it was a good week for us to sit back and try to get our bodies back, and things of that nature.

“I just know guys are in there busting their tails trying to get healthy and trying to get back. I'm not really sure. I just go by whenever they get back out there.”

In Monday's practice, Wisniewski was working with a trainer on a side field while Gurode, Pashos and Watson were nowhere to be found (Gurode, though, was later walking through the locker room without a noticeable limp).

As such, the first-string makeshift offensive line Monday morning was the unit that finished the 24-7 loss to the Chiefs: LT Barnes, LG Lucas Nix, C Mike Brisiel, RG Lamar Mady, RT Matt McCants.

Raiders coach Dennis Allen said he would not speak about injuries until later in the week.

“I'm hopeful we'll get some guys back (on the offensive line),” he said, “but we'll know more on Wednesday.”

Allen also insisted he was fine starting that same line against Pittsburgh.

“You look at the best football teams in the National Football League and they've got depth,” he said. “They've got guys that can go in, when called upon, and they can go in and play well. So the fact that we've had a lot of guys get some experience and get some playing time will help us down the road.”

The Raiders are hoping that guys like Mady and McCants and, perhaps, re-signed practice squad offensive lineman Jason Foster, add such depth.

Coming into camp, the projected offensive line was supposed to look something like this: LT Veldheer, LG Tony Bergstrom (IR and rehabbing LisFranc surgery on foot), C Wisniewski, RG Brisiel, RT Barnes.

Instead…

“We've kind of been doing it all year long with guys rotating and playing different spots but it's real tough when you do it at the center position,” Barnes said. “Especially when you have both centers go down. It's tough because you don't really work with that center on different types of timings, silent counts. But Mike [Brisiel] went in there and did a great job for [being] thrown into the fire.

“We've been trained … that one guy goes down, the next guy steps up. That stuff happens in the league every week to every team so it ain't just us. When it happens, you have to be able to step up and get it done.”
KANSAS CITY -- The last time Mike Brisiel played center?

“Probably 2007,” he said, “in NFL Europe. Maybe in preseason, but not in an NFL game. No.

“I have to prepare like I can be in there, so the mistakes are on me. We can’t use any of that as an excuse. When your name gets called, you have to go.”

Brisiel
Pressed into service by the knee injury to Andre Gurode, who had been pressed into service himself by the knee injury to Stefen Wisniewski, Brisiel slid over from left guard.

“Mike Brisiel,” offered quarterback Terrelle Pryor, “he could barely walk. But I appreciate him.”

As did coach Dennis Allen, even as he failed to say why Brisiel moved to center when Lamar Mady had been putting in work there in recent weeks.

And in an environment as raucous as the one provided at Arrowhead Stadium en route to an eventual 24-7 Chiefs win against the Raiders, Brisiel did what he could do with the silent counts and long snaps. And really, it was reminiscent of Travis Goethel becoming a long-snapper, much to his surprise -- and chagrin -- in last season’s season opener.

“It was an adjustment for him,” Allen said. “We’ll go back and look at the tape and see exactly where the breakdown occurred. Usually, when those things happen, with sacks like that, there is usually a breakdown in (communication). The quarterback doesn’t get a lot of time to see (the rush).”

Pryor was sacked 10 times. He endured 14 hits. And he did not think his offensive line owed him an apology. In fact, Pryor owned the loss.

“We’ve had guys going down since OTA’s, so we’re not going to use that as an excuse here,” said left tackle Khalif Barnes, who was slated to be the right tackle before injuries to Jared Veldheer and rookie Menelik Watson. “It’s just that the Chiefs are a good team and we came in and they played the full 60 minutes and we set ourselves back in a few areas.”

Veldheer, who tore his left triceps in camp, is eligible to play on Nov. 3 against Philadelphia, so long as his rehab goes according to plan. Watson, who missed practice last week with a calf issue, now has the bye week to rehab, as does right tackle Tony Pashos, who re-aggravated his groin injury.

Brisiel, meanwhile, owned the makeshift line’s shortcomings -- the Raiders were called for 11 penalties, including a hold and three false starts on the line -- while praising the young Pryor, who has started all of six NFL games.

“We have to be there as a foundation for him and right now as an O-line we are scrambling for bodies,” Brisiel said. “And we just didn’t get it done.”

Raiders' O-line a pleasant surprise

September, 11, 2013
9/11/13
9:13
PM ET
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Khalif Barnes let out with a spirited, if somewhat off-key, rendition of “Reunited” in the Raiders' locker room Wednesday. And yes, he felt so good.

Why not? With so much shuffling and duct-tape work on Oakland’s offensive line last week, what was supposed to be a glaring weakness for the Raiders in their season opener at Indianapolis actually turned out to be a strength.

[+] EnlargeRaiders offensive line protects Terrelle Pryor
AP Photo/AJ MastThe Raiders had to do some shuffling on the offensive line, but the group did well to protect quarterback Terrelle Pryor from the Colts.
This after Barnes made the move from right tackle to left tackle and Tony Pashos, signed the Monday before, started at right tackle. The moves were necessitated with injuries to starting left tackle Jared Veldheer and his replacement, rookie Menelik Watson.

Go ahead, call Barnes and Pashos the Raiders’ Peaches and Herb. Just don’t try to assign specific labels. Because really, it’s a team effort being the last line of defense on either side. And no, Barnes was not shocked at how relatively well the O-line protected Terrelle Pryor.

“No, not surprised,” he said. “It’s the next-man mentality. Plus, me and Tony, we’ve done that before. We did that in Jacksonville ... against the same guys, but with [Dwight] Freeney. They had two scoops of trouble before – [Robert] Mathis and Freeney. They’re just dogs at pass-rushing.

“When you’ve been in that situation before, you kind of know how to handle adversity.”

Sure, Pryor’s ability to extend plays with his scrambling and a game plan that called mostly for quick-strike passing helped the O-line. But keep in mind, the last time Barnes and Pashos worked together was in 2008 -- for the Jaguars, who just so happen to be this weekend’s opponent.

Cue Peaches … or Herb. Whoever. Because according to Pro Football Focus, Pashos did not allow a single pressure on Pryor, who became just the seventh quarterback since the 1970 merger to pass for at least 200 yards and rush for 100 in the same game.

“We could have done some things better, too,” Pashos said. “Everybody came away from that game thinking so.

“The coaches, [offensive-line coach] Tony Sparano, they put in overtime to get us ready. It’s really a testament to them. People were talking it was all the way up to right before the game … It’s all hands on deck in those situations.”

Especially when Pryor is scrambling around, tiring out not only the defense but, presumably, his own linemen.

“Maybe, maybe not,” Barnes said. “It doesn’t matter who’s back there, you can’t have your clock in your head when you’re blocking a guy. You’ve got to block a guy until you hear a whistle.

“Now, do you have to be a little more conscious of where a guy might go? Maybe. But it all goes back to finishing blocks and not having a time clock in your head.”

Barnes’ partner agreed.

“I think in general, an O-lineman doesn’t have an egg timer on his plays,” Pashos said. “You just listen for whistles or crowd noise, really. You’ve got to stay on your guy. If those guys are making plays, you’ve got to do your job.”
INDIANAPOLIS -- The Raiders signed offensive tackle Matt McCants off their practice squad Saturday and placed left tackle Jared Veldheer on the reserve/injured-designated to return list in the corresponding roster move.

With Veldheer undergoing surgery on his left triceps in training camp and rookie Menelik Watson injuring a knee in practice Wednesday, the Raiders had only two healthy tackles entering this weekend’s season opener against the Colts in Khalif Barnes and Tony Pashos.

Barnes will move from right tackle to start on the left side and Pashos, who was signed Monday, will start at right tackle.

The 6-foot-5, 309-pound McCants was a sixth-round draft choice of the New York Giants in 2012 out of Alabama-Birmingham, where he was primarily a left tackle and spent most of last season on the Giants’ practice squad. He was waived by the Giants on Aug. 31 and signed to the Raiders’ practice squad on Monday.
As expected, left tackle Menelik Watson (knee) and tight end David Ausberry (shoulder) were both ruled out of the Raiders’ season opener Sunday at Indianapolis.

Watson, the rookie who was making the conversion to the left side, injured a knee in practice on Wednesday and has not practiced since. Ausberry has been sidelined since the end of camp.

Rookie strongside linebacker Sio Moore (foot) was listed as questionable.

With Watson out, Khalif Barnes will slide over from right tackle to protect the quarterback’s blind side at left tackle, and Tony Pashos, who was signed on Monday, will start at right tackle. Barnes and Pashos once played together in that alignment in Jacksonville.

But with Watson and Jared Veldheer (left triceps) out, the Raiders have only two healthy tackles in Barnes and Pashos. As such, Oakland has to make a roster move to add another tackle -- perhaps signing Matt McCants off the practice squad -- and make room for said tackle, which would mean probably finally placing Veldheer on partial season injured reserve.

Coach Dennis Allen, though, said the team would not announce any roster moves until Saturday, and he would not elaborate on the severity of Watson’s injury.

Quarterback Matt Flynn (right elbow) and place-kicker Sebastian Janikowski (right calf) were both listed as probable.
ALAMEDA, Calif. – Khalif Barnes was initially acquired by the Oakland Raiders in 2009 to become their cornerstone left tackle.

Barnes
But an ankle injury suffered in his first training camp scuttled those plans and Barnes took up residence on the right side, where he has played almost exclusively the past four seasons.

Is Barnes now about to move back to his initial projected position on Oakland’s offensive line? Injuries to Jared Veldheer (left triceps) and rookie Menelik Watson (knee) have Barnes slated to start at left tackle in the Raiders’ season opener Sunday at Indianapolis.

“Next man up,” Barnes said Thursday. “I’ve done this position before, been on the bike before. It felt good today.

“The first day, it was a little awkward.”

That was probably just rust. Barnes, Jacksonville’s second-round draft pick in 2005, started 57 of his 60 games with the Jaguars at left tackle.

Watson, meanwhile, tweaked a knee in practice Wednesday and was not able to practice Thursday, hence Barnes moving to the left side and Tony Pashos getting first-team reps at right tackle.

“Injuries occur and you try to put a plan together when those things happen and players have to step up,” said Raiders first-year offensive coordinator Greg Olson. “I think competitive players understand it. Players that play professional football understand that.

“We’ll continue to see how Menelik feels and we’ll put together a plan and we’ll show up on Sunday. ... If Menelik is not ready, I think Khalif Barnes is ready for that challenge. He was optimistic and felt good about it.”

Barnes sounded like a man readying for his fate against the Colts.

“It’s going to be a heck of a matchup going against (Robert) Mathis over there,” Barnes said.
Chase Thomas was considered a top undrafted free agent when he signed with the New Orleans Saints.

However, Thomas didn’t catch on with the Saints and was an early cut. Now, he will get another NFL chance in a familiar spot. The Oakland Raiders have claimed the Stanford product off waivers.

Thomas will be reunited with Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver, who coached Thomas in 2011 at Stanford.

The Raiders are giving Thomas a chance partly because they have injuries at the position. I think he could be a potential practice squad player. Oakland waived injured offensive lineman John Wetzel to make room for Thomas.

Meanwhile, Oakland rookie tackle Menelik Watson may practice Wednesday. He has been out virtually all of training camp with a calf injury. The second-round pick could eventually be in the mix at left tackle. Right tackle Khalif Barnes is also a possibility at left tackle with Watson playing right tackle. The Raiders are trying to figure out a solution with standout left tackle Jared Veldheer out for about three months with a triceps injury.

The Raiders believe defensive end Lamarr Houston will play against Chicago on Friday. Defensive tackles Pat Sims and Vance Walker both returned to practice this week and are question marks to play.

In other AFC West notes:

The Chiefs claimed guard Ricky Henry off waivers from New Orleans.

Houston defensive end Antonio Smith has been suspended for the Week 1 “Monday Night Football” game at San Diego.

Miami cut cornerback Richard Marshall. He should be popular on the open market. San Diego is one of the teams in the league that are thin at cornerback. Plus, new San Diego coach Mike McCoy was in Carolina with Marshall. Thus, there could potentially be interest.

 

 
While the draft signifies new beginnings in the NFL, it also means the end of the road for some veterans who will be replaced by the newly-selected player. Let’s take a look at one player from each AFC West team who could see his job in jeopardy this summer.

Denver Broncos: Willis McGahee, running back. The Broncos selected Montee Ball in the second round and would like him to become a primary back. They also want him to have a big role along with 2012 third-round pick Ronnie Hillman, who is more of a change of pace back. McGahee is coming off a knee injury and he is 31. While he may be in Denver’s short-term plans, I’d think this will be his final season.

Kansas City Chiefs: Tony Moeaki, tight end. I’m a big Moeaki fan and I think he could be outstanding. He was terrific as a rookie in 2010 but had problems staying healthy. I think the Chiefs are open to having Moeaki in their plans, even though they drafted Travis Kelce in the third round. The NFL is a two tight end league now. While the Chiefs did sign Anthony Fasano, he is 29 and he won’t be around forever. There can be a place for Moeaki, but I also think the Chiefs’ new brass doesn’t think it can count on him. He must stay healthy and produce right away.

Oakland Raiders: Khalif Barnes, right tackle. The Raiders took offensive tackle Menelik Watson in the second round. He will likely push Barnes right away at right tackle. Barnes re-signed this offseason, but he is the type of player teams try to upgrade from. Watson has big potential and if he performs quickly, I can see him replacing Barnes early in his career.

San Diego Chargers: Jeromey Clary, right tackle. The Chargers drafted D.J. Fluker with the No. 11 pick and he will be the new right tackle. Clary will be moved to guard and he will be given a chance to fight for a job. I’m not sure what his chances are but Clary’s days as the Chargers’ right tackle are over.
The Oakland Raiders signed tackle Alex Barron, 30. He was a first-round pick by St. Louis in 2005 and he has started 75 games. But he hasn’t played since 2010. He was hurt in 2011 and didn’t make Seattle’s roster last summer.

He is huge at 6-foot-7, 315 pounds, and he can play both right and left tackle. Because of his rust, I’d think he has no guarantee of making the roster.

Barron is the first outside free agent who plays on offense that Oakland has signed this month. The first six outside free agents all play on defense. The lone player Oakland has re-signed is right tackle Khalif Barnes. Barron will be trying to unseat Barnes.

SPONSORED HEADLINES

Insider

AFC WEST SCOREBOARD