Top 10 NFL Free Agents With Ties To New Raiders Coaching Staff

This season, the Raiders have an almost entirely new coaching staff. It started with Josh McDaniels as head coach, then he reached out and brought in a group of coaches, most of whom had worked in the past.

Those relationships are important to McDaniels, as they are to the coordinators and assistants he hired to join him with the Raiders. And these relationships are not just limited to coaches, but also former players.

The free agent trading period opens on Monday, and you can expect some big names to agree to the terms fairly early in the process. These agreements become that much easier when the coaches know the player they are dealing with because they have worked with him.

In that vein, I’ve rounded up what I consider to be the top ten free agents with ties to new Raiders personnel.

Not including Trent Brown, because no.

December 20, 2020; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New England Patriots cornerback JC Jackson (27) goes down after intercepting a pass against the Miami Dolphins during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The best cornerback on the market with 22 interceptions over the last three seasons. Josh McDaniels’ receivers had to face him in practice every week, so he certainly knows what Jackson brings to the table as a corner of coverage.

ATLANTA, GA – FEBRUARY 03: Stephon Gilmore #24 of the New England Patriots makes a fourth quarter interception during Super Bowl LIII against the Los Angeles Rams at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on February 3, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

For three years, Gilmore and Jackson would *both** roam the Patriots’ high school trying to challenge Josh McDaniels’ receivers. Gilmore for a year before Jackson arrived in New England and also made two All Pro teams.

Sep 26, 2021; Jacksonville, Florida, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark (17) runs with the ball while being chased by Arizona Cardinals defensive back Jalen Thompson (34) in the fourth quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck – USA TODAY Sports

In Jacksonville, it was Chark who challenged the DBs who were coached by new Raiders coach Chris Ash, who was the Jaguars safety coach last season.

September 14, 2020; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; New York Giants defensive end Leonard Williams (99) celebrates his sack over Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) with defensive end BJ Hill (95) past offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva (78) and offensive tackle Zach Banner (72) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta – USA TODAY Sports

Hill was traded to the Bengals last offseason. Before that, he spent three years with the Giants. The 2020 season, his defensive coordinator was the Raiders’ new DC Patrick Graham. Graham had coached the Giants defensive line, so that’s his specialty.

January 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; New England Patriots guard Ted Karras (67) takes the field before the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

If Josh McDaniels would love to bring in a center who knows his offense, Ted Karras is that guy. Karras has spent five of his six NFL seasons on offense for McDaniels and has been the starting center two of the last three seasons for new Oline Raiders coach Carmen Bricillo.

December 12, 2021; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Qadree Ollison (30) is tackled by Carolina Panthers defensive tackle DaQuan Jones (90) on a run during the second half at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: William Howard – USA TODAY Sports

After seven seasons in Tennessee, Daquan Jones played last season in Carolina where his defensive line coach was the Raiders’ new DL coach Frank Okam.

December 26, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New York Giants outside linebacker Lorenzo Carter (59) reacts against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher – USA TODAY Sports

Carter was third in defense of Patrick Graham in New York last season with five sacks. He added eight QB hits, five pass breakups and six tackles for loss while starting all 14 games he appeared in. While the Raiders are primed for pass rushers, he could create solid depth.

November 22, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (7) is tackled by New York Giants defensive tackle Austin Johnson (98) in the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck – USA TODAY Sports

Austin Johnson spent the last two seasons in New York where Patrick Graham was his defensive coordinator. Last season, Johnson became a full-time starter for the first time in his career. He started all 17 games and had a monster year with 72 combined tackles while adding 3.5 sacks and 7 QB hits.

November 28, 2021; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots guard Jakob Johnson (47) during warmup before a game against the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The former college linebacker has served as the Patriots’ full-time guard for the past two seasons under Josh McDaniels. The Patriots didn’t make an offer on the restricted free agent, just like the Raiders didn’t offer their RFA FB Alec Ingold, leaving a vacancy at fullback.

Patriots by Kyle Van Noy

Brett Davis – USA TODAY Sports

Van Noy won two Super Bowls with the Patriots. He left for Miami and returned last offseason, signed a two-year, $12 million contract, but was released this offseason. He is a versatile linebacker with the ability to play anywhere from middle linebacker to second outside linebacker.