Answering Your Las Vegas Raiders Questions and Emails

Sports Illustrated's Raider Maven Publisher Hondo S. Carpenter, answers the Silver and Black fans' questions each week in our weekly mailbag

Henderson, Nev.--There is no fan base in the National Football League hungrier for information on their team than the Raider Nation. That is why each week, we offer a buffet of Silver and Black information as we answer your questions and emails as it pertains to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Hondo, I am simply asking for an opinion. What do you think happens to Marcus Mariota? Gayle D.

Not reporting this as 100 percent fact, but I said last year they would like him back, but on a restructured deal. I believe he will restructure and return. I think that is great for the Raiders.

Hondo, in your opinion, who would be the best players for the Raiders to pursue with their first four picks in the upcoming draft? Thanks, Chris Barker

Great question, Chris. I can't say that right now, but here is why. They still aren't done in free agency. I expect Mariota to restructure, but that isn't certain. As far as position groups, later this week, I have my Black Hole article coming, and I will give you some inside information on what GM's are thinking about the offensive tackle spot this year. Please ask this again in a few weeks, but right now, I can tell you that they have no clue.

Hondo, do you think the Raiders are done in free agent hunting season, or do you think they have any more big slashes? Micah T.

I think they would like to make two more critical signings. Not saying they will, they are being very disciplined, but I know they want to and are active. The remaining free agency is going to be fascinating to watch.

Hondo, I'm of the opinion we should take the best tackle available in the 1st round of the draft; what say you? Pete Sandals

Great question. I am going to have more on this in my Black Hole article on Friday. I can tell you this; the consensus is that there are only two true first-round talented offensive tackles and some teams think three. If that is the case and you don't have a guy worthy of first-round money, you have to back off. If one is there when they pick, yes, it is a real need.

Hondo were you surprised that the Raiders signed Darius Philon. He is another defensive lineman, he has been out of football for two years, and the NFL has to review him before he can come back under the personal conduct policy. Why? Stephen B.

When he played, he was a producer, and clearly, the Raiders did their research and feel like whatever off-field issues he had are not going to impact his future and he will be able to play at some point. Am I surprised? After the season, I said they were going to search high and wide for talent to upgrade the defensive line. They have.

Hondo, I credit you and one other media for talking about Andre James before anyone else. My question, is why do you sign him when he still has time on his deal? Dean Williams

They think he can be excellent. So you tie him up now at an amicable deal for the team. If he is what they think he is, it was brilliant. If he falters, it was a mistake.

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