All season long, Lamarr Houston has been one of the names atop the list of players the Raiders need to try and re-sign. The former second round pick, and only current defensive starter from last season, doesn't think that's going to happen. His rookie contract expires this off-season and he doesn't see the Raiders as being interested in giving him another one.
"Who knows?" said Houston of whether he will be a Raider next season. "I believe that Dennis Allen and the Raiders might be looking to move on and have me go to another team or move on and find something more what they want for their system and their scheme. Who knows? It's a rough business and nothing's guaranteed and everything changes from day to day."
This is a long way from the way the coaching staff appeared to view Houston last off-season. He was being held up as a leader of the defense and Dennis Allen even referred to him as "elite". Houston believes that was all talk.
"My understanding, I believe that they were talking me up and things like that," Houston continued. "but to a certain standpoint, I believe, me and the Raiders, I think I've had good years and appreciate this organization. I love this organization, but as far as what some of the coaches want, I'm not sure. That's out of my control I play the best I can and do everything I can to contribute."
This sounds very much like the end of Lamarr Houston in Oakland. It is far from a certainty and things could easily change but rarely have I heard players talk like this and return to the team.
If this is it for Houston, it is an anticlimactic ending for a player who was seen as a building block for the foundation of this team as it starts the most major portion of their rebuilding process.
He had a down season overall and even though he had a career best 6.0 sacks this season, the Raiders pass rush was nearly non-existent this season. He might feel like his talents are better utilized elsewhere and the Raiders might feel like they can upgrade from him.