Adam Schefter, of the NFL Network, reported that the Oakland Raiders are interested in unrestricted free agent strong safety Donovan Darius, who was cut last week in a surprise move by the Jaguars. The 31-year old veteran from the mean streets of Camden, New Jersey would be a great fit for the Oakland Raiders and new head coach Lane Kiffin.
Darius, a 1998 1st round draft pick out of Syracuse University, has produced 14 picks, 622 tackles, and many bone-crushing hits over his nine year tenure with Jacksonville. Darius is a big hitting strong safety that could help bring back the time when good â€˜ole number 32 (Jack Tatum) roamed the middle of the field, putting fear in receivers’ eyes. The Raiders have been lacking that kind of intimidating presence since those days of the “knock the helmet off your head” Jack Tatum and the “clothesline dealing” George Atkinson in the 70s.
With Michael Huff at strong safety right now, they could move him over to his more natural, ball hawking free safety position, with the addition of this vicious hitter. Though he is on the downside of his career, Donovin will bring more than just on the field help. He will also provide much needed intensity, leadership, and a strong locker room attitude, for this young, up and coming defense featuring: Kirk Morrison, Derrick Burgess, Thomas Howard, and Nnamdi Asomugha.
Emphasizing a better defense equipped to be the strong point of this team because of a lackluster offense outside of new, LSU rookie QB sensation JaMarcus Russell, this could figure to be a low-risk move that could bring Owner Al Davis (Win now mentality) and the Oakland Raiders organization a high reward.
Darius will not bring more wins alone but this could be a small step this year in the right direction by making this under the radar choice, that has the potential to reap good benefits to the silver and black fans in the Bay Area. Oakland needs to start making better decisions in order to prevent a repeat performance of last year and a return to the Top 5 of next year’s NFL Draft.