The Raiders entered free agency flush with cash and with needs on both sides of the ball. On Thursday, the team signed former Giants defensive end Justin Tuck to a deal reportedly worth two years and $11 million, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Tuck reportedly gave the Giants a chance to match and they passed.
The former third-round pick out of Notre Dame spent all nine NFL seasons in New York where he totaled 60 sacks, including 11 in 2013. He was also part of two Super Bowl-winning teams. Now he joins an Oakland outfit that managed four wins in each of the last two years.
The Raiders' defense ranked 26th in the league, according to Football Outsiders' metrics, including 18th against the run and 30th against the pass. Tuck, meanwhile, was the sixth-most productive 4-3 defensive end, according to ProFootballFocus.com's grades, behind only Robert Quinn, Cameron Wake, Greg Hardy, Michael Johnson and Michael Bennett.
The biggest difference between those five players and Tuck is that he'll be 31 this month. This also holds for the guy the Raiders let get away to Chicago: Lamarr Houston.
Lose a 27-yr-old Lamarr Houston, sign a 31-yr-old Justin Tuck. Classic #Raiders.— Andy Benoit (@Andy_Benoit) March 13, 2014
The team had previously met with former Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley.
Oakland opened free agency by going after one of their biggest needs: a left tackle. The team signed former Ram Rodger Saffold to a five-year, $42 million deal, which was voided when Saffold failed his physical.
And while that comes off as "the same old bumbling Raiders," the reality is that they can use that money to address myriad other needs (like pass rusher), and find their left tackle of the future through the draft.