The new league year is here and that means free agency is finally set to begin. As of 1:00pm Pacific Time today, players can officially put pen to paper and sign contracts with new teams. Here is what you need to know to be ready once the clock strikes one.
Raiders free agents:
WR Jacoby Ford
OT Tony Pashos
DT Vance Walker
DT Pat Sims
CB Mike Jenkins
CB Tracy Porter
DE Jason Hunter
DT Daniel Muir
The Raiders have only signed one unrestricted free agent this off-season - Khalif Barnes, who was brought back on his sixth straight one-year deal.
Rumblings of Raiders free agents:
Jared Veldheer has received the most interest from the Cardinals and could be headed there barring a late bid from the Raiders.
Lamarr Houston appears to be all but officially a member of the Chicago Bears.
Darren McFadden is said to have interested teams. His most logical destination could be Cincinnati.
Charles Woodson said he would like to return for one more season but if the money isn't right, he'd just as well retire.
The Raiders are said to be attempting to re-sign running back Rashad Jennings.
Outside free agents Raiders are showing interest:
The one player who appears poised to sign with the Raiders is offensive tackle, Rodger Saffold. This, of course, it dependent upon Jared Veldheer leaving as a free agent. Saffold would be nabbed as his replacement.
Positions of need:
Quarterback, defensive end, cornerback, offensive guard, defensive tackle, wide receiver, tight end
Additional positions of need if key free agents not re-signed:
Offensive tackle, free safety, running back, another defensive end
Notable free agents at positions of need:
For those players, look to the free agent wish list series. But here are some of the top choices set to hit the market for the Raiders' purposes:
Offense -- QB Josh Freeman, RB Ben Tate, WR James Jones, TE Brandon Pettigrew, OG Geoff Schwartz
Defense - DL Tyson Jackson, DE Michael Johnson, FS Jairus Byrd, CB Alterraun Verner
Room under the salary cap:
Some say $66 while others have said $64. Either way, it's a hell of a lot of money. The most in the league this year by a good $10 million and the most ever in the salary cap era. Come 1pm we will begin to see how much of that money they are planning to spend.