The Oakland Raiders will have two new starting corner backs in 2012. Besides Ron Bartell, who was previewed the other day, the Raiders signed former San Francisco 49ers starter, Shawntae Spencer . At the start of free agency, Spencer was not even an option for the Raiders, but due to a glut at the position, the Niners cut Spencer, allowing him to sign with the cross bay rival Raiders.
Last Season: Spencer had a less than ideal 2011 season. After having been a starter for the past two seasons, Spencer had the opportunity to show the new coaching staff that he was worthy of starting for a third season. After injuring his hamstring in spring training and not being ready to play until week three, Spencer had no chance of winning his starting position back. He barely played the remainder of the season, some games even being put on the inactive list despite being healthy.
Big Question: After spending his entire career in San Francisco, only to be unceremoniously cut, can Spencer bounce back and show that he is an NFL caliber starting corner? Entering his ninth season in the league, Spencer is no spring chicken. At 30 years old, Spencer is on the down side of his career, but
Projection: When Spencer was signed, it made a whole lot of sense. He would not have to relocate as Oakland is just across the bay, and the new defensive coordinator for the Raiders, Jason Tarver, was a defensive assistant with the Niners for most of Spencer's career. Unfortunately, it does not sound like Spencer is having a good training camp, and may be at risk of losing the starting role to second year corner, DeMarcus Van Dyke.