Originally published on SBReport.net on March 17, 2013
General manager Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders lost a couple more of players from last season's roster the last couple of days, creating even more holes on the roster.
Defensive end Matt Shaughnessy signed a deal with the Arizona Cardinals, while tight end and team receptions leader Brandon Myers signed with the New York Giants on Saturday.
Shaughnessy struggled this previous year, only recording 3.5 sacks and 31 tackles in 16 starts. Shaugnessy looked to be a building block for the Raiders in 2010 when he finished with seven sacks in eight starts, but then missed 13 games in 2011 with a shoulder injury. Shaughnessy's decline the past two seasons and fact that his solid season was before the McKenzie era made his departure to another team more likely.
The Raiders have already signed defensive end Jason Hunter this offseason, giving them another pass rusher to help replace Shaughnessy. With such a strong defensive draft class and a plethora of pass rushers on the open market, replacing Shaughnessy's production shouldn't be too difficult for McKenzie.
Myers on the other hand, was a case of a player hitting free agency at the right time. Myers had a career year last season, benefiting from quarterback Carson Palmer's lack of weapons and recording 79 receptions for 806 yards and 4 touchdowns.
Myers had just 32 total receptions for 250 yards and no touchdowns in his first three seasons combined. Contract terms for the 27-year-old tight end have not yet been released, but it is believed that Myers' breakout season likely made his asking price too expensive the McKenzie and the cash-strapped Raiders.
The absence of Myers adds yet another hole that needs to be replaced, as the Raiders seem to have little faith in the tight ends left on the roster in Richard Gordon and David Ausberry. It seems that if they held more belief in them, they would have seen the field more last season, knowing that Myers could be leaving on the open market.
Should McKenzie hold little faith in his two other tight ends, he will have to find a cheap replacement either through free agency or the draft. If not, expect to see Ausberry and Gordon battle it out for the job, as they bring different skill sets to the field. Ausberry is a wideout-turned-tight end that can catch the ball but struggles blocking, while Gordon is a better blocker and struggles at catching at times.
Only time will tell as to what Reggie does to replace yet another piece of his team that has departed for a different team.