The Raiders have a good number of free agents this offseason. The number of extremely important and therefore expensive free agents is nothing compared to last year. Last season they lost several key free agents and overpaid to keep several others.
But while they work on lowering the overall salary of the team and shop for new talent, they must first consider which of their own free agents they would like to keep. Here is the list along with what I think each of their fates will be.
QB Kyle Boller
Fate: Gone. Proved extremely unreliable when asked to step up and bridge the gap between Jason Campbell and Carson Palmer.
QB Jason Campbell
Fate: Gone the moment the team signed Carson Palmer to replace him.
RB Michael Bush
Fate: The team will try to re-sign him long term but in the end I think he tests the free agent market. Franchise tag is an option but an extremely expensive one so it seems unlikely.
RB Rock Cartwright
Fate: The two-time Commitment to Excellence Award winner will have to team commit to him. He will be back.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Fate: Gone. Probably should never have been signed in the first place.
WR Chaz Schilens
Fate: The Raiders may have given up on him as their project. But if he wants to try and return, they could be open to giving him a chance to battle for a spot in camp.
OT Khalif Barnes
Fate: Most likely gone as he is not a fit for the zone blocking scheme.
OT Stephon Heyer
Fate: Gone. Also not a fit in the zone blocking scheme.
C Samson Satele
Fate: He'll be back. He has proven to be a tough and reliable member of an overall strong front line.
DL Jarvis Moss
Fate: Gone. He was a backup defensive end who doesn't fit the 3-4 defense the Raiders will primarily run.
DL Trevor Scott
Fate: He'll be back. His versatility will be an asset as OLB/DE.
LB Darryl Blackstock
Fate: I waffle on him. He was a Bresnahan guy but he proved he could add valuable depth at inside linebacker. Could go either way here.
LB Quentin Groves
Fate: Gone. He sees himself phased out and will look to find a better fit elsewhere.
SS Tyvon Branch
Fate: He'll be back. Team will lock him in long term even if they have to slap the franchise tag on him until the deal can be reached.
The franchise tagging period is in effect right now and will go until March 5. Free agency begins March 13. Look for many roster moves to be made before that time.
Follow me on Twitter @LeviDamien or befriend me on facebook.