Buzzing on Yahoo Sports:

Oakland Raiders Need to Make a Serious Move in Free Agency

After Cutting Heyward-Bey and Huff, Oakland Needs a Big Name

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | After spending the first day of the free agency period shedding some serious cash from the payroll, Oakland Raiders general manger Reggie McKenzie needs to sign a proven player to his desperate team.

McKenzie signed linebacker Kaluka Maiava, defensive tackle Pat Sims and defensive end Jason Hunter on Wednesday to compensate for the losses of Philip Wheeler and Desmond Bryant.

All three of these signings remain a mystery as none of them have really done much of anything in the NFL.

Hunter and Maiava have had decent careers at best, but the Raiders need someone who strikes fear in the heart of opposing teams.

I'm not exactly afraid of Pat Sims, an injury-prone defensive tackle who has only played in more than 11 games in a season twice during his five years in the NFL.

It's going to take some time for this team to improve, and cutting the deadweight off the roster is a step in the right direction.

But the Kansas City Chiefs will be a much better team next year, and the Denver Broncos have only gotten better. This means the Raiders need to get better.

Oakland now has some money to spend, so why not spend it?

Former Baltimore Ravens safety Bernard Pollard is now a free agent, and the Raiders must fill the hole at safety since Michael Huff is no longer there.

Pollard was only scheduled to make $2 million next season, and he's much better than anything the Raiders have right now.

Sean Smith is also another defensive back the Raiders need to take a look at.

The former Miami Dolphins cornerback has been one of the most reliable defensive backs in the league over the last four years by playing in 63 out of 64 games.

Smith only made $825,000 last season and will be looking for a pay raise.

As depleted as Oakland's secondary is, Smith would be a tremendous addition to a defense that was one of the worst against the pass last season.

I understand that Rome wasn't built in a day. It's going to take time for McKenzie to get this team back on track both financially and talent-wise.

But why trim the fat if you're not going to replace it with something better?

With the rest of the AFC West steadily improving, the Raiders need to sign a big-name player during free agency. Otherwise, the rest of the division will continue to pass them up.

I'm not saying McKenzie needs to give out swollen contracts, but Pat Sims? Really?

The free agency period is still very young, but great players don't stay on the market for long. It's time for the Raiders to make a move.

A serious one.

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

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Football
View Comments (124)