SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – With more money to spend under the salary cap than any other team, the Raiders appeared to do little to improve on the first day of free agency Tuesday.
“You can’t evaluate just on one day of free agency, but it looks to me, just as an outside observer, that they lost more than they got,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew.
Leaving the Raiders were their leading rusher and pass-rusher and best offensive lineman. They picked up offensive linemen Roger Saffold and Austin Howard.
“If they’re going to develop and be any good, they have to get a quarterback…a quarterback that can play for a long time and be good, and build around that,” said Madden. “But if they’re going to do that, they’re going to do it in the draft.”
Madden said free agency can help established teams fill holes, but isn’t as helpful to struggling teams like the Raiders.
He says he doesn’t see former star conrnerback Darrelle Revis, as has been rumored.
“I don’t think that’s the direction we need to go with this.”
He says despite heavy spending in recent years, the Raiders don’t have a history of success in free agency.
“You need to find that solid guy,” said Madden. “They have to build a team. You need building blocks. To build a team you need younger guys. You don’t need old, tired guys that are trying to steal a year or two.”
The 49ers filled the hole created by the departure of safety Donte Whitner by picking up former Colts safety Antoine Bethea. They also signed offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, who left the Dolphins amid reports he was bullied in the locker room.
“That’s a Jim Harbaugh,” Madden said. “(Martin) played at Stanford for Jim Harbaugh. He knows him. He knows what he can do. That’s probably the best thing that could have happened to Jonathan Martin is ending up with Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers.” (7:00)
Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.