Many fans are angry right now with Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie for seeming to sit on his hands so far in free agency. But he could be doing the right thing; being patient, as his philosophy is to build through the draft anyway. All the free agent defensive backs to whom the Raiders paid big money the last few years remind McKenzie of that.
Cornerbacks Sean Smith and David Amerson got four years for $40 million, and $34 million respectively and as of this offseason are no longer with the team. Safety Reggie Nelson, who wasn’t a big help for $5 million a year either, is also on the way out.
So it might not be a great idea to give a player like Trumaine Johnson — who has yet to be named to a Pro Bowl or All-Pro team — $15 million a year. The five years, $61 million CB Malcolm Butler is set to receive may be a little much too.
Many wanted the Raiders to cut Crabtree and sign WR Sammy Watkins, who ended up getting $16 million a year, to pair up with Cooper. But Crabtree is making half that and has 2,543 yards and 25 touchdowns over the last three years compared to 2,070 and 19 for Watkins.
Fans should be grateful that all the Raiders have done so far is re-sign guys like Justin Ellis and sign receiver Griff Whalen and agree to terms with tight end Derek Carrier so far.
The first couple of days of free agency are like Christmas for NFL teams and fans of them. But sometimes, it’s better to wait until after Christmas, when things go on sale.
Defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, who is reportedly going to be released by the Dolphins is still an option and WR Jordy Nelson , who was just released by the Packers is set to visit Oakland Wednesday.
Linebackers NaVorro Bowman and Zach Brown are both great options who are still out there too and could cost much less than they would have earlier in the process. There are also other players that are available cheaper so the patience McKenzie is showing could just benefit the Raiders in the long run.