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Stefen Wisniewski likely asking for mid-level center salary, looks headed for free agency

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This article has been UPDATED: About a half hour after this posting, I began receiving messages that the original report did not say things as I read them originally. In that time ESPN made some slight revisions to the report such as adding after the $3 million figure "or possibly higher" followed by "Whatever the asking price...", essentially rendering the entire statement as useless. Wisniewski turning down Raiders contract offers was already known. I guess we will have to wait and see just what the figures are. But there was no malicious twisting or "spin" on my part. It was trusting an ESPN report as if there were something factual behind it.

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Just prior to the end of the season, it was reported that Stefen Wisniewski had turned down the Raiders contract offers. At the time it was unknown if it was Wisniewski perhaps asking more than his worth or if it was the Raiders who were offering low figures. A new ESPN report speculates the figure Wisniewski is asking at about $3 million per season which is right near the middle of the pack in starting center salaries.

To be exact, $3 million is right at 15th in the league in salaries. That doesn't necessarily mean they are the top 15 centers in the league as it doesn't include several centers who are still on their rookie deals, just as Wisniewski is coming off this offseason.

In 2011, Wisniewski joined the team on which his uncle Steve spent his entire Hall of Fame caliber career. Stefen has started nearly every game at center for the Raiders the past three seasons. Among centers who started the bulk of last season he graded out 14th by Pro Football Focus. In 2013 he was 11th and 2012 he was 17th. That's an average rank of 14th.

The 14th highest paid center in the NFL last season was Jeremy Zuttah of the Baltimore Ravens. How much did he make? $3.08 million -- right around what could be Wisniewski's asking price.

So, what we have is an original, home grown Raiders player set to become a free agent on a team which could have over $60 million in money to spend under the salary cap. Sound familiar? It should. The Raiders did the exact same thing last year with Jared Veldheer and Rashad Jennings, with the same huge surplus of cash to spend, and now they look to have a team with just as many holes to fill as they had before.