ALAMEDA — Free agent linebacker Zach Brown visited the Oakland Raiders as the team looks for an upgrade at the position, a person familiar with the visit told The Associated Press.
Brown met with the Raiders on Wednesday, said the person, who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team is not publicly discussing free agent visits. NFL Network first reported the visit.
Filling a void at inside linebacker was one of the top priorities for the Raiders this offseason. One of last season’s starters, Malcolm Smith, has already left to sign a free agent deal with the San Francisco 49ers and the other starter, Perry Riley is also a free agent.
The Raiders are looking for better play from that spot as they attempt to improve a defense that ranked in the bottom half of the league in most categories last season. Despite those deficiencies, the Raiders still won 12 games and made the playoffs for the first time since 2002.
After spending his first four seasons with Tennessee, Brown signed a one-year, $1.25 million deal with Buffalo last season. He excelled with the Bills, leading the team with 149 tackles. He also had four sacks, one interception, 11 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has been patient so far this offseason, signing only offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse and All-Pro kick returner Cordarrelle Patterson.
But signing Brown would fill one of the biggest needs, with holes still remaining at running back, defensive tackle and cornerback.
The team also would need another starting linebacker but still has plenty of salary cap room and the draft.