The Raiders have opted not to use the franchise tag this year as confirmed by a Raiders official. The most likely candidate for the tag was left tackle Jared Veldheer. Defensive end Lamarr Houston is the only other player set to become a free agent who would in any way be considered worthy of a franchise or (more likely) a transition tag.
The franchise tag for offensive linemen is $11.6 million guaranteed. The Raiders have plenty of cap room to afford such a deal. What they can not afford is to lose their longtime starting left tackle in a year of rebuilding with needs at so many other positions. They are expected to continue to try and work out long term deals with Veldheer and Houston.
A franchise tag would have at very least would have bought the Raiders more time to work out a long term deal and kept Veldheer off the market.
Free agency begins March 11 with the legal tampering window opening March 8. That's when players are allowed to speak with other teams and work out contract details. They would not be able to sign those contracts until March 11.