It can be interesting to see where the emphasis lies on a team. Especially when you compare that spending to what kind of production the team is getting from that side of the ball. For the Raiders, the ratio of their 2018 salary cap is heavily weighted to the offense, and it has showed in the lack of returns they have gotten on the defensive side of the ball. In other words; you get what you pay for.
The offense is currently responsible for over $115 million of the team’s salary cap spending according to OverTheCap.com. While the defense sits at just under $73 million.
Of the league’s 12 worst defenses in 2017, only the Chiefs are currently spending more on defense than offense. Again, having a QB still on his rookie deal helps with that.
Of course Derek Carr’s $25 million salary leads things off the Raiders. But it’s not just him. Four of the Raiders’ top five highest paid players are on the offensive side of the ball. Meanwhile just three of the team’s top ten highest salaries are defensive players — Khalil Mack ($13.8M), Bruce Irvin ($8.25M), and Tahir Whitehead ($6.38M).
Obviously the highest paid player is going to be the quarterback. But even if you remove Carr’s salary, the offense would still be getting paid some $17 million more than the defense. Much of that is on the offensive line with the near $30 million handed out to the trio of Donald Penn ($10.5M), Kelechi Osemele ($10.5M), and Gabe Jackson ($8.4M).
This offseason, the largest 2018 salaries handed out to incoming free agents went to Jordy Nelson ($7.37M), Whitehead ($6.38M), Rashaan Melvin ($5.3M), Marcus Gilchrist ($4.5M) and Breno Giacomini ($3.5M). The next highest paid addition was Derek Carrier at $2 million. Showing the Raiders spent this year’s free agency doing a lot of bargain hunting.
The next contract the Raiders figure to hand out this offseason will go to Khalil Mack who has not been participating in the team’s offseason program while he awaits a contract extension. But that extension likely won’t drastically affect his cap figure until next season.
So long as Jon Gruden is in charge, you know he will favor the offense. But if this team is to have any success, that salary pendulum will have to swing back the other way soon.