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Raiders' Osemele Could Come Back Strong in 2019

When the Raiders signed guard Kelechi Osemele as a free agent in 2016, they gave him a mountain of money. The former Baltimore Ravens standout received a five-year deal worth as much as $58.5 million. Osemele is set to earn as much as $10.2 million in 2019 and $11.7 million in 2020. Star Bay Area Football Player Faces 'Revenge Porn' Charges In his first two seasons in Oakland, Osemele proved he was a difference-maker. In 2016, he was voted first-team All-Pro, and he went to the Pro Bowl in both 2016 and 2017. As a run blocker, he was a mauler. In pass protection, he was consistently excellent. But in 2018 – like many other players on the roster – Osemele struggled. Because of injuries, he played just 11 games, and he wasn’t nearly as effective as in past years when he was in the lineup. 'Pretty Potent' Atmospheric River Begins Soaking Bay Area Some of that can be attributed to being in the first year of a new system, under head coach Jon Gruden, and playing alongside rookie left tackle Kolton Miller after two years of playing next to veteran Donald Penn. But Osemele is just 29 and could bounce back in a big way in 2019. If he returns healthy, Osemele could again be a dominant run-blocker and pass-protector once again for Gruden’s offense. The $16,000 Oil Change: Can CA Do More to Warn Car Owners? Certainly, Michael Renner of the analytic website Pro Football Focus believes it’s likely. He included Osemele this week in his list of 10 NFL players most likely to have a strong season in 2019 after a slump. Wrote Renner: “What was once one of the best offensive lines in the NFL as  recently as 2016, the Raiders were among the worst in 2018. Some of that was obviously due to rookies at both left and right tackle, but Osemele’s head-scratching decline also played a part. “His 97.6 pass-blocking efficiency was his lowest figure since 2013. Not even 30 years old, Osemele should be in the prime of his career, which makes his downturn that much more unexplainable.” Photo Credit: Getty Images

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