Sounds like Raiders former 3rd round pick left tackle Jared Veldheer is coming back to the AFC West. After four years as the Cardinals’ starting left tackle, the now 30-year-old veteran has been traded to Denver.
The interesting wrinkle here is the decision of the Broncos to move him to right tackle, something former NFL offensive lineman and SB Nation analyst Geoff Schwartz said is a bad idea.
Just making a trade to make a trade...Veldheer was fine at LT, not very good at RT. Makes no sense. https://t.co/71Hoavzvmy— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) March 24, 2018
This means for the second year in a row, the Broncos will be looking to start a former Raiders draft pick at right tackle. Menelik Watson signed a big deal with the Broncos last year and was downright terrible at the position before being lost to an injury. The former round two pick has never finished an NFL season, including missing the entire 2015 season.
Veldheeer spent the first four years of his career in Oakland as the team’s starting left tackle. He said several times he wanted to return to the team, but due what he said was a drop off in communication from Reggie McKenzie, he ended up agreeing to sign with the Cardinals, where he became their every day starting left tackle, blocking the blindside of former Raiders QB Carson Palmer.
With Veldheer gone, the Raiders scrambled to sign his replacement, agreeing to terms with Rodger Saffold, only to back out at the last minute, citing a shoulder injury showing up in the physical exam.
The Raiders ended up falling into extreme luck when the Buccaneers released Donald Penn. The childhood Raiders fan signed on with the Raiders and has been their starting left tackle ever since. His second 2-year contract with the Raiders was to be up after last season, but he held out of training camp last year for a raise on an extension, so he is under contract for the 2018 season.
Meanwhile, Veldheer gets to face Khalil Mack twice next season.