What the Oakland Raiders Must Do to Replace Tight End Brandon Myers

Tight End a Huge Void as Free Agency Rolls On

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | After they failed to re-sign Desmond Bryant and Philip Wheeler, the Oakland Raiders lost their best offensive free agent when tight end Brandon Myers signed with the New York Giants on Saturday.

Myers was Oakland's most effective offensive weapon in 2012 after he finished with 806 yards and four touchdowns.

His 79 receptions last season ranked among the highest for tight ends.

Not bad for a guy who only had 32 catches during his first three years in the league.

Many attribute Myers' breakout season to the wide receivers inability to catch easy passes on a consistent basis, as well as the inept running game led by former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp.

Though Myers was Carson Palmer's security blanket as a receiver, his blocking was downright awful.

But despite how bad he was as a blocker, Myers was still the Raiders' best receiver and his absence will surely be missed by an offense that would have been nothing without him.

And that's saying something since their offense was mediocre at best.

As of now, David Ausberry and Richard Gordon are the two other tight ends on Oakland's roster.

The two of them combined for just 101 yards last season. Not exactly the kind of numbers you want from your only other tight ends on the roster.

With a pair of inexperienced tight ends on the team and several others in free agency looking for a payday, general manager Reggie McKenzie must look for a tight end in the draft.

McKenzie made it clear he plans to focus on defense in this year's draft, but with Myers no longer on the team, he may have to alter his draft decisions to accommodate a tight end into the equation.

Whether they stick with who they have now or choose to draft an unproven college player to fill the void left by Myers, the Raiders must figure out how to get production from one of the most evolving positions in football.

Drafting a tight end makes more sense at this point, but we'll see if McKenzie has any more tricks up his sleeve to bring in another cheap veteran to take over the position.

He seems to like those kinds of players.

Steven Slivka is a Featured Columnist for the Oakland Raiders. You can follow him on Twitter @stevenslivka.

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