Oakland Raiders: Free-Agent Options for the Cap-Strapped Raiders

When you're faced with climbing out of a chasm dug by years of questionable personnel decisions, the hole just gets deeper as you try to figure out a way to extricate yourself from a salary cap mess. You finally pop clean through to the other side of the earth since the former excavators traded most of your draft picks away. The closest thing to a light at the end of the tunnel may be sifting through the free-agency equivalent of the bargain bin as you try to plug holes.

That's the unenviable position that the Oakland Raiders find themselves in, and although the carnage is far from over as the Silver and Black tries to wiggle under the 2012 salary cap, it's possible that after the numbers are crunched the Raiders may be able to add a dollar store free-agent or two that can actually help the club on the football field.

With running back Michael Bush likely set to depart in free agency, Oakland is going to be forced to obtain a backup for starter Darren McFadden, especially given that McFadden missed more than half the 2011 season and has yet to play a full 16-game schedule during his four-year career.

The running back market is pretty weak this season, and most of the players that would be viewed as somewhat viable starters may be priced out of the Raiders' range. Still, it's possible that a shot at a decent amount of playing time might be enough to lure the likes of Tashard Choice to the Bay Area.

Choice was discarded by the Dallas Cowboys last year before finishing the season with the Buffalo Bills. He has averaged less than three yards a carry for his career, but he's only 27 years old and has shown flashes of talent as a rusher and receiver. He gained more than five yards a pop during his first two years in the league when he saw more playing time.

The release of cornerback Stanford Routt also leaves the Raiders with a hole in the secondary, and it's possible that Oakland could find a ...

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