Dennis Allen is already handling the media circus as the Raiders new head coach. He took many questions from the media, much of which centered around who the Raider look to keep and who will be let go. Allen chose his words carefully while being as upfront and honest about the Raiders plans as he could be.
The main players in question here are the fates of Darren McFadden, Richard Seymour, Kamerion Wimbley, and Michael Huff. All of whom have high salaries that are a concern with the Raiders looking to add free agents this offseason.
The first player to receive the confidence of Allen was McFadden. When asked if the teams was looking to trade McFadden, Allen responded:
"Not as far as I'm concerned. I think he's an extremely dynamic player. Again, from playing the Oakland Raiders twice last year, they were much more challenging to defend when Darren McFadden was in the backfield... Darren is a vital part of what we're going to try and get done next year."
Richard Seymour is also due a large sum of money and there was no doubt the Raiders would be looking to bring his near $15 million salary for next season down to a workable figure.
Said Allen: "We've spoken with Richard, and he's excited about the opportunity, and Richard is obviously part of our plans and we feel real good about Richard."
This makes sense considering Seymour had said publicly that he would be willing to restructure his current deal with the team with an extension. And it appears he is keeping his word and we should see the terms of an extension in the coming days and weeks.
One player who has been adamant that he will not take a pay cut is linebacker Kamerion Wimbley. He is due $11 million as of March 17 so either he will need to budge or he will be out.
Wimbley and Michael Huff both signed huge deals last offseason that have them making far more than the Raiders new regime is willing to shell out for their services. And from the tenor of Allen's words, new deals don't appear imminent.
"Right now, with all those guys, we're looking at all our options and what we have to do from a financial standpoint to make sure we put ourselves in the best position to get the best players out there and be on our final 53-man roster." Said Allen. "So between Reggie and myself, we're working through all those scenarios right now."
He was also asked about Huff's previous intentions of a move to corner, to which he responded:
"Again, that question is to be determined after we find out exactly who we have on the team to find out what are options are. The one thing I do know about Michael Huff is he's an extremely good athlete and he has skills athletically of a corner, and so that obviously would be an option for us, but again, we won't make any decisions along those lines until we know exactly what we got."
He went on to say: "There will obviously be changes, I don't know what those changes will be yet. Those are all the scenarios that we're going through right now.... We're going to look at all of our existing players that are under contract that have high numbers and we're going to evaluate what we need to do to give the organization a chance to be successful."
Those are not words of confidence especially when compared to what Allen had said in regards to Darren McFadden and Richard Seymour.
With their salaries it was always going to be a difficult task getting them signed. And from the sounds of it, Allen is very aware of the real possibility that Wimbley and Huff could be moving on. At very least he must let them know that he and McKenzie will not hesitate to pull the trigger on their release should they be unwilling to restructure.
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