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Raiders players entering contract year, set to hit free agency in 2017

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It's never  too early to start thinking about those players who are entering the final season of their career with the Raiders. For some of these players, the team will be considering extensions even before the season is over, as they did with Michael Crabtree last season. Here are those players who will have the team considering their future this season;

Unrestricted Free Agents

David Amerson (24) - He was claimed off waivers from Washington last season with two years left on his rookie contract. After a resurgence with the team last season, he will look to keep it going in his contract year and if he can, he could become one of the more coveted free agents should he hit the market, which means he won't come cheap.

Malcolm Smith (26) - Yeah, it seems like he just arrived in Oakland. After spending most of his career as a reserve in Seattle, he wanted to prove he was worth a long term deal, so he signed a two-year contract with the Raiders. Last season he proved his worth, leading all linebackers in snaps. If he can keep it going, he will get that long term deal which would hopefully allow him to finish his career with the Raiders.

DJ Hayden (25) - The new regime's first ever first round pick will head into his final season due to the team not picking up his fifth year option. He is battling for the team's third cornerback spot at the moment. He has never played the slot before so it's hard to say if he can do it now. Thus far in his career, he has been a dud.

Menelik Watson (27) - Hard to believe we're here already considering how little this former second round pick has seen the field in his career. This will be his last chance to get healthy and stay that way. And even if he can, it's hard to foresee a large long term contract in his immediate future. He will need to prove he can stay healthy for more than a season.

Latavius Murray (25) - Also in the final year of his rookie contract. He broke out and made the Pro Bowl last season in his first year as the fulltime starting running back. The team has added some help in the form of fifth round pick DeAndre Washington who could eat into Murray's carries. Murray is a big, strong back who will hit the market in his prime with very little wear on his tires.

Mychal Rivera (25) - Rivera had his best season in 2014 with 10 starts, catching 58 passes for 534 yards. But he has always struggled with the blocking portion of his job description. The addition of Clive Walford in the 2015 draft has pushed him down the depth chart.

Stacy McGee (26) -- That 2013 draft, I tell ya. McGee and the four above players are all from that class which will be pushing to not just be passing through. McGee has been hanging around the bubble as a reserve defensive tackle his entire career.

Matt McGloin (26) - The Scranton Scrapper has carved out a nice career for himself so far. He started six games as a rookie and has beating back all competition for the primary backup spot behind Derek Carr every season since. With the addition of Connor Cook, McGloin's return to Oakland after this season is uncertain.

Neiko Thorpe (26) - Like McGloin, Thorpe received a round two RFA tender this season. Thorpe has had some good moments as a reserve cornerback - including a game sealing interception against the Ravens last year -- and even started a couple games. After part of a season in Kansas City to begin his career and a season in the CFL, he has found a home in Oakland. He will have to fight hard to remain as the team will continue to look to upgrade the position.

Matt McCants (26) - McCants has spent the past three seasons with the Raiders as a reserve offensive lineman. He received an original round RFA tender (6th round) this offseason.

Roy Helu Jr (27) - Came to the Raiders last offseason on a 2-year free agent contract. Has done nothing so far and has been injured quite a bit, including having surgery on both hips this offseason. He may be hard pressed to make the roster this year.

Marcel Reece (30) - One of the more proud Raiders players you'll ever find. He worked his way up from undrafted free agent tight end on the practice squad to three-time Pro Bowl fullback. He's in his 30s now and with the team giving an extension to fellow fullback Jamize Olawale, 2016 could be Reese's farewell tour. But first he must serve the final three games of his four-game suspension for failing a PED test.

Jon Condo (34) - The longtime long snapper will be 35 years old. He's still very productive, but whenever a contract comes up and the player is in his mid-thirties, one must figure the odds are not in their favor of getting a new deal.

One year contracts

Nate Allen (28) - Was cut after one season and re-signed to a one year deal. He will most likely be a reserve behind starters Reggie Nelson and Karl Joseph, which will make getting a long term deal hard to come by.

Andre Holmes (28) - Holmes was allowed to test the free agent market this offseason and saw no interest, so he returned to the Raiders on a one year deal. The team has liked him as a big red zone target for a while now, but he is not very dependable.

Daren Bates (25) - Spent the first three years of his career in St Louis as a special teams ace and reserve linebacker.

Brynden Trawick (26) - Also a special teamer as a safety. Spent first three years of his career in Baltimore.

Damontre Moore (23) - Former third round pick by the Giants in the 2013 draft, so he too is in the final year of his rookie contract. This is now his third team and therefore his last chance to prove he can be a productive NFL player.

Restricted Free Agents

Denico Autry (25)
Dewey McDonald (26)
Korey Toomer (27)
John Lotulelei (24)