These past two seasons of purging the roster and clearing space have been hard to take as a Raiders fan. The team played with heart and competed in most games these past two years but they just were not able to really play at the level needed to win in the NFL.
Now the Oakland Raiders have over $64 Million dollars projected in salary cap space and they absolutely need to use it wisely. As has already been said before, the time for excuses are over and now we will see what this staff and front office is capable of in the upcoming season.
It will take some shrewd player decisions and a whole lot of smooth sweet talking to bring in the much needed talented players with all that cash so it should be interesting to see if Reggie and company are up to the task. Many Raiders fans have questioned whether the cash availability will be enough of a draw to available free agents and that answer has not been answered just yet.
First and foremost the club absolutely needs to sign their own free agents to be before the open market dictates their salaries. This is a must and it is pretty frustrating to not see cornerstone franchise players like Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston still unsigned as their free agency periods loom closer and closer.
Oakland might be able to make a splash in free agency without them, but it will be easier if the other free agents see the stars that have earned their keep with the team get what they deserve. Oakland might lose some much needed momentum if other free agents see that the Raiders are unwilling to pay to keep their own stars even though they have plenty of cap space to sign them. Let's face it, players are not going to be eager to listen to the Raiders as is so giving them anything else to look down on is not a good idea.
Reggie McKenzie comes from the Green Bay Packers organization that has made a living off of drafting and developing their own talent from within, and then making sure to keep them in house by re-signing them when their contracts are up. If Reggie is going to continue following that status quo then it should be expected that Lamarr and Jared will be re-signed as well.
Hopefully that is the case anyway, because the Raiders simply have too many holes to fill without creating even more of them by letting two of their best players hit free agency. They must get these contracts done before the free agency period starts on March 11th. The Raiders need to spend this cap space right, and that means starting in house with the spending on the players that have earned their right to wear the Silver and Black.