New Oakland Raiders head coach Dennis Allen (L) greets Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie (C) and team owner Mark Davis
With headlines telling of 7 year extensions for Calvin Johnson and others like Trent Cole of the Eagles and 49er Carlos Rogers are also retained before market interest can even fully develop, the Oakland Raiders have yet to get involved pursuit of free agents. The Indianapolis Colts traded for Winston Justice and swapped sixth rounders to hit their cap to the tune of some $4 million.
Meanwhile, it appears the Raiders must lick the salary cap wounds inflicted by prior regimes, and the Nation watches as coveted free agents are wooed, snatched up, or have become the subject of battles. The Denver Broncos will work out NT Paul Soliai, in whom the Miami Dolphins remain interested. The Buccaneers have signed CB Eric Wright, one defensive back seen on the wish list of many Raider fans and yet another for whom Oakland simply cannot compete for, at least not under the current circumstances. Kevin Boss' release frees up just over $2 million in space for the team for whom it's been predicted would not be in the market for top tier players this period.
The Chargers, rumored to have been interested in the quickly swept-off-the-market Pierre Garcon, filled the vacancy left by Vincent Jackson by signing Robert Meachem, the occasional deep threat from New Orleans who shared TDs with a prolific group in which there probably just aren't enough balls to go around. It appears that any movement on the Raiders part for day 2 would likely come as a huge surprise, and that Reggie McKenzie is not prepared to engage in any contract battles for who remains currently available.
There do remain a few surprises...
Premier pass rush specialist Mario Williams remains without suitors. With inflated contracts one would have expected from the late Al Davis (and then scrutinized like no other) happening all over the league, the 6'6", 270 lb. beast whom many Raider fans would love to see in silver and black has yet to visit a team. Could the stud be on the radar for Oakland? The team can still cut or trade players, but that outcome now seems highly unlikely.
The tag New Orleans applied for Drew Brees appears to have been a costly one, as Tampa Bay steals G Carl Nicks from the division rival, signing the top guard in FA to the biggest contract ever awarded a G. As the day advances, the true values of who remains will be revealed, and it's appearing more and more that the Raiders will have to remain patient and stay out of the competitions emerging over coveted targets.
Clearly, it's uncharted territory for the Raiders and Raider Nation, Al Davis' no longer at the helm removing almost any and all possiblities that anything can happen, as head-scratchers and impossibilities were often the norm in the past. One positive thus far is that the positions most Raider fans agree the team is in need of help in LB and CB remain not as active, with the top tier CBs already off the market likely always out of the team's reach being the exception.
Here's a current list of the top 100 and their statuses from http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/transactions/free-agents
Do the Raiders become players in the free agency period today?
Not a chance. McKenzie and the Raiders will bide their time and are in no position to battle for agents. (417 votes)
Not without a highly unlikely trade or further cuts to improve the cap situation. (296 votes)
Absolutely! The Raiders will sign __________. (67 votes)
No one will be acquired today, but _________ will be cut. (228 votes)
1008 total votes