There is little doubt the Raiders top free agent is Jared Veldheer. He is their everyday starting left tackle and one of the best in the league at his job. His contract is up and the Raiders need to figure out what to do with him. But from Veldheer's perspective, he's just not seeing the Raiders eager to get a deal done.
"Right now it's not at a standstill there's just not a lot happening." Veldheer told 95.7 The Game Monday. "I think we just need to keep moving things along a little quicker. There's almost not enough urgency, to put it in kind of a football term."
"I'm staying patient but at the same time a little bit of urgency from the other side would be nice. But I'm doing my best here, staying patient staying optimistic and everything should take care of itself here in the end."
What Veldheer wants is what most every NFL player wants -- a long term deal. What he does not want is to be slapped with the franchise tag, which is a very real possibility.
"Basically, I believe nothing really happens until March with any kind of windows or deadlines I just know that I think March 3rd if a team's gonna use a franchise tag, it needs to be by then," he continued. "So, I'm hoping that some kind of deal happens here soon. I've expressed many times that I want to stay here. I really love the team, I love my teammates, the coaches, and I really feel like this is the place for me. It would be good to kinda have some urgency in this and move this along so it doesn't creep up to that date where maybe something has to happen that's not in the long term."
There is still a lot of time to get things done. March 3rd is still a month away and as we know, these deals can often be hashed out in a matter of days or even hours when a deadline is looming.
Reggie McKenzie said a few weeks ago that he would prefer not to use the franchise tag if he can help it. So, in that regard he and Veldheer are of like mind. But that doesn't mean the franchise tag is not an option that would be explored if the two sides couldn't come to a deal by the deadline.
The problem for Veldheer is he feels like the franchise tag would go against everything the Raiders organization has told him up to this point
"This is a place I want to be at for the rest of my career if I could," said Veldheer. "It's tough when that kind of stuff [being given the franchise tag] happens. It's different because it goes against everything that's been said about how ‘we want to make you a cornerstone of the team, build around you.' you know, it doesn't really back up any words with the right actions."
You can bet Reggie McKenzie will be trying to ease Veldheer's mind about his contract situation very soon, if he hasn't already. Veldheer has made it clear the franchise tag would not sit well with him, though there is no indication if it came to that, he would balk on it.
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