I would like Raider Nation to read this and maybe try to see my perspective on the events that have unfolded the last couple of days in Raiderland. Most people seem to be upset that the Raiders let Jared Veldheer walk and replaced him with Rodger Saffold only to have that fall apart. What if Saffold wasn't the player replacing Veldheer? Hear me out, I read somewhere (Sorry, don't remember where) that Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders Org. view Veldheer as a RT not a LT. This could help explain why negotiations with Veldheers family broke down. Maybe they felt disrespected and tried to force the Raiders hand into franchise tagging him. Reggie wasn't going to do it because he was never going to pay him $13 million to play RT. I believe that McKenzie probably offered something in the ballpark of $6-$6.5 million per year originally and upped it to $7-$7.5 per as a last ditch effort to keep Veldheer but his brother was counting on the $13 tag price and got upset. Thus the deal with Arizona at $7 million per year to continue playing LT. I believe that the plan was to play Menelik Watson at LT if he was ready and Veldheer at RT in 2014 since the moment they drafted Watson last year. If Watson wasn't ready they could have just continued with Veldheer at LT until he was ready. Unfortunately things did not turn out this way and McKenzie was forced to go with plan B.
I believe that McKenzie decided that signing Saffold who had experience at LT, RT and RG was the best option on the market due to his versatility. He could hold down LT if Watson wasn't ready and be a solid G if he was. I was of the belief that McKenzie paid a little much for Saffold but I was ok with it because 1)we desperately need Guard help and 2)we have a boatload of money that has to get spent. Saffolds versatility was probably why he was tops on the list and we weren't really a player for any of the other top LTs on the market. He then went out and signed Austin Howard to play RT. Howards contract is set up great from a franchise standpoint and has surprizingly been well recieved by the media. In this scenario Howard is the player signed to replace Veldheer, at RT.
After the events that happened last night with Saffolds contract being nullified the media and naysayers in Raider Nation have been killing us. This is mostly because of the assumption that Saffold was replacing Veldheer and now we have nothing. In the scenario I've written here all we've actually lost is a G. Maybe we can take the Saffold money and put together a front loaded offer for Alex Mack to bring him back to the bay area. Then move Wiz to LG and if Watson pans out at LT our line will look like this: LT Watson/LG Wiz/C Mack/RG Briesel or Barnes or FA/RT Howard. That's not a bad looking line at all. And we could still look at Matthews or Robinson at number 5 in the draft.
The point of this write up is to just give a little different perspective on what might be going on up in Oakland. I know that it's been a hard 12 years and every one of us wants to see the light at the end of this tunnel already but it's still gonna take a little while and firing McKenzie and Allen isn't going to get us any closer to that goal. I'll probably get killed in the comments but it's cool, fire away. Thanks for reading.