The Raiders are getting a visit from Bills free agent linebacker Zach Brown, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Oakland is looking to improve its linebacker group after underwhelming overall production in 2016.
Last week, Brown seemed to hint on Twitter that he won’t be returning to Buffalo. At the same time, the market for Brown has been slow to develop. The Oakland trip, as far as we know, is Brown’s first free agent visit. He was linked to the Dolphins last week, but they have since added Lawrence Timmons on a two-year deal.
The Raiders currently project to start Bruce Irvin, Cory James, and Shilique Calhoun at their three linebacker spots. Starter Malcolm Smith left the Raiders for the Niners this offseason and Perry Riley remains in free agent limbo. Brown would make a lot of sense for Oakland and, at minimum, the Raiders could use him to pressure Riley into staying on a more team-friendly deal. At last check, the Raiders were working on a new deal with Riley.
PFR named Brown as the second-best free agent linebacker in terms of ability and I predicted he’d earn the 25th-largest contract of any free agent this offseason. Brown still has time to prove me right, but given his soft market thus far, I’m skeptical that he’ll place that high.
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