Thursday, March 13, 2014
What would Tuck, Woodley add to Raiders?
By Paul Gutierrez
The Oakland Raiders entertained unrestricted free agents Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley late into the night Wednesday. And if general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen were able to convince the two to sign with the Raiders, wouldn’t that take the sting out of the Rodger Saffold fiasco?
A little bit. Sure, the Raiders would still have to address their offensive line after allowing left tackle Jared Veldheer to walk and then losing Saffold to a failed physical.
But Tuck and Woodley would address an immediate need on the defensive side of the ball -- pass rush. Sure, the departed-for-the-Chicago Bears Lamarr Houston led the team with six sacks last season, but he was more of a run-stopping defensive end playing on the right side.
Tuck, meanwhile, is coming off an 11-sack season after only getting nine total the previous two years while dealing with injuries. His 60.5 career sacks ranks sixth in New York Giants history.
He does turn 31 on March 29, so he’d add a veteran presence and two Super Bowl rings. Plus, he is more than a pass-rusher, as ESPN.com Giants reporter Dan Graziano noted: “Tuck also has a reputation as a strong run defender, and has often moved inside to play defensive tackle in the famed 'NASCAR' package the Giants use when they want to load up on pass-rushers on obvious passing downs.”
Woodley, meanwhile, has 57 career sacks but is coming off a five-sack season in which a calf injury limited him to 11 games. He played left outside linebacker for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their 3-4 alignment, so if the Raiders stick with a base 4-3, they’d have to figure out how to best utilize his talents as Woodley has 57 career sacks in seven seasons. He turns 30 in November.