According to the Raiders, they have been attempting for quite some time to strike a long term deal with Lamarr Houston. The two sides have yet to reach an agreement on what the defensive end's worth is. In the last couple days, two players expected to be among the top defensive ends to hit free agency, were re-signed to their current teams which offers blueprint for what kind of figures should be in Lamarr Houston's contract.
The first re-signing was Everson Griffen who was brought back by the Vikings on a 5-year, $42.5 million deal. That amounts to approximately $8.5 million per season. The latest came Monday when Michael Bennett was re-signed to the Seahawks on a 4-year deal worth a reported $28.5 million -- $7.125 million per season.
Bennett was to be the top free agent on the market but he wanted to stay in Seattle so he gave them a bit of a discount. Griffen's deal is probably closer to what Lamarr Houston might command which is right on par with what I had expected the Raiders to be in the vicinity of offering. The question has been what Lamarr Houston's camp think he is worth? If they were inflated, these contracts should help make that number a bit more reasonable.
The market ceiling for Lamarr Houston should be around $9 million plus incentives simply because players on the open market always get paid a bit more due to competition for his services. The Raiders don't have the clout of the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks to be getting any discounts.
If $9 million seems reasonable for the Raiders -- and it should with the thin defensive end market -- there is no reason a contract can't be done before Houston hits free agency. Thus far, the indications from the Raiders are they are shooting low which doesn't bode well for attractive or retaining talented free agents.