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2011 NFL Free Agents: Oakland Raiders in Negotiations with Jared Gaither

The Oakland Raiders made their first big splash into free agency yesterday when rumors surfaced that the Raiders were in a bidding war with the San Francisco 49ers over safety Dashon Goldson. Now, it looks like the Raiders do not plan on stopping there.

Davis is showing that he is not afraid of the salary cap as he is rumored to be pursuing two different players in free agency. Besides Goldson, Bill Williamson of ESPN reported this morning that the Raiders are also in contract talks with tackle Jared Gaither of the Baltimore Ravens.

If true, this would be a very big deal for the Raiders. The offensive line is clearly the biggest weak spot on the Raiders roster. Not only does it need more players, it needs more experience. As it stands, the Radiers will be starting a second year player in Jared Veldheer and most likely a rookie in Stefan Wisniewski. They also have rookie Joe Barksdale and second year player Bruce Campbell vying for time. In Gaither, the Raiders will have a solid book end to play opposite Veldheer and an experienced player to help the young linemen develop.

Gaither is a young talent who has experience with the Raiders coaching staff as he played for the Ravens under both Hue Jackson and Al Saunders. If the Raiders can land Gaither, he would automatically become their best offensive lineman and would be a huge upgrade to the team.

However, this again raises the question, what about Zach Miller? There still has not been a peep about his future with the Raiders. The fact that the Raiders are being this active with other players leads me to believe that either they are confident they will re-sign Miller or that they are not going to try.

Knowing the tendency of Davis to keep most things close to his chest, there is actually the possibility that the Raiders have already had significant discussions and possibly even reached a tentative deal with Miller and simply are not talking about it. Being a loyal Raider, if Davis asked Miller to keep quiet, he would likely do so.

There is also another long shot possibility out there. Former Ravens tight end Todd Heap is a free agent. He is essentially a poor mans Zach Miller as he has many of the same qualities but would come at a much cheaper price. Heap also has experience with Al Saunders and Hue Jackson from their time in Baltimore. Perhaps the Raiders will allow Miller to walk in order to spend more money at other positions.

Check back for updates and for more in depth views on the Raiders, check out Silver and Black Pride.