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Del Rio on free agency spending spree: “We just got started”

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Raiders coach Jack Del Rio says the team still has a lot of work to do. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Raiders coach Jack Del Rio says the team still has a lot of work to do. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

The Raiders’ offseason is generating plenty of compliments league wide, but coach Jack Del Rio isn’t ready to declare they’ve made any statements yet.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Del Rio said to reporters Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. “We just got started. I don’t feel like (we’re) sending any signal or doing anything other than recognizing needs and desires to acquire good players, recognizing the need on our roster to fortify ourselves, make ourselves stronger. That remains the approach.”

In the opening days of free agency, the Raiders signed offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele, outside linebacker Bruce Irvin and cornerback Sean Smith.

Osemele beefs up an offensive line that also re-signed left tackle Donald Penn, allowing Osemele to play his stronger position of left guard. Osemele would’ve played left tackle if Penn didn’t return.

Irvin provides a bookend pass rusher to team up with All-Pro Khalil Mack and Smith added an accomplished veteran presence to the secondary, the team’s biggest area of weakness.

“They fit great,” Del Rio said of the trio. “The three guys that we acquired are big, strong, aggressive athletes with attitude. They’re good players, they fit needs and we have more, we need more. It’s a beginning of a nice offseason. It’s just the beginning. We have work to do yet.”

Most of that remaining work will likely come from the draft, where the Raiders’ biggest needs are at safety and backup running back. But the moves in free agency give Oakland the important leeway that should allow them to take the best available talent in the draft, rather than be tied to specific needs.

The Raiders feel like they can and should compete for a playoff spot next season and sound ready for those expectations.

“We have a goal, we’re on a mission,” Del Rio said. “This is just the natural progression of where it needs to go. We laid out goals and things last year, became a competitive team, became a team that established a healthy culture of how we go about our business. Expectations have been raised and now we’re just busy at work.”

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • Why because Oak fans don’t want it to happen?

    He will have millionaire sport owner wanna be’s lining up to get a (non voting) piece of the Franchise if LA is the destination…

  • Well that’s absurd

  • Penn?

  • SnBG

    Woodson is not from here. He had some kind of fancy genetic flowboatin therapy that allowed him to keep playing. Probably shot up genes from one of Purvis’s Llamas to keep playing.

  • Dakota

    Come on, it was all pre-planned to make sure the Raiders got the last opportunity in LA. Owners openly admitted they wanted to fark over the Raiders due to what Al had done.

  • DutchRaid

    Think the Raiders are still ordering the McDonalds Cheeseburgers and KFC coleslaw?

  • SnBG

    D.A was scapegoated!

  • Dakota

    …..plus a supersized fries, coke and a DQ blizzard…..

  • RaiderCODE

    because the NFL and the guy who completely owns the stadium doesn’t want it to happen…

  • Dakota

    New post.

  • RaiderCODE

    and what about dessert?

  • 1960AutumnWind

    Like I said De-Bauce your brain. Libby on record favoring A’s as well as other politicans… 81>8

  • dplunk

    tis true!

  • BigTed707

    If Reggie kept that yellow suit on, he wouldn’t be distinguishable from the wall.

  • SnBG

    You know what’s kewl about Reg and Jack the Mack? They aint into any freakin flash and trash. No social media get results right this second. They are building a team the right way and I’m very excited about this up and coming season.

  • Raider D

    lol

  • Dave

    Trump is to Isis as Reagan was to Iran

  • Kroenke is 1/32, not the Second Coming. He has no say. NFL not the adversary you seem to imagine either. No grassy knoll…

  • BigDRaider

    Of course

  • BigDRaider

    Only the great old guys not any old guy.

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