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Raiders seeking replacement for Jared Veldheer?

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Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE

While the Raiders don't appear to be making any hard pushes to re-sign their own top free agents, they are busy looking at possible replacements. Reports have come out that the Raiders are actively looking at free agent offensive tackles to replace Jared Veldheer should he leave as a free agent.

The Raiders are said to have shown interest in free agent tackles Eugene Monroe and Rodger Saffold according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun. The question then becomes whether they see Monroe and/or Saffold as better options than Veldheer or if they are simply preparing a contingency plan.

Wilson has since reported that the Ravens and Monroe are hard at work to reach an agreement and it looks very possible they will. That would leave the Raiders pinning their hopes to just Saffold who was moved to right tackle to begin last season and was moved to right guard by the end of the season. He has also missed 17 games due to injury and only once played an entire season in his four seasons in the NFL. Not a sparkling resume.

While Veldheer has been courted by the Dolphins as well as the Cardinals, he and the Raiders are said to beat a stalemate in contract discussions which has led to a lack of any talks whatsoever of late.

The assumption up to this point has been - due to the Raiders and Veldheer not coming to an agreement -- that Veldheer would have the opportunity to find his market value during the free agent tampering period. Then he and the Raiders could return to the table to try and work out a deal.

There is still a day and a half for each side to come together, reach a deal, and tell everyone that was the plan all along. On the other hand, we are a day and a half away from the very real possibility that this regime with $66 million to spend didn't think arguably their best player deserves to get paid what another team thinks he is worth.

As for Monroe and Saffold, will either come cheaper? Maybe. Will they be an upgrade? Unlikely. And letting a young, proven commodity -- who has said many times he would like to be with the Raiders long term -- just walk away is extremely unwise.

We can talk more about the idea of a team trying to build a foundation while simultaneously dismantling it when we reach free agency and if Reggie McKenzie really allows it to happen.