The Oakland Raiders have not re-signed any of their top free agents yet. This morning at noon eastern time, the legal tampering period began where teams are allowed to begin discussing contracts with potential free agents. Those players can then be signed on Tuesday at 4:00 p.m. EST. But as free agency hits, the Raiders have only re-signed Khalif Barnes, extended Taiwan Jones and extended tenders to six of their exclusive free agents.
Not exactly exciting stuff and Raider Nation is rather upset with general manager Reggie McKenzie for sitting on his hands.
But is he?
There is an aspect of this year’s free agency that is not being talked about among Raiders fans and needs to be addressed. While it is true that the Raiders have more cap space than any team in the NFL, many teams have more cap space than they have had in YEARS.
The Raiders are far from being the only team with a bunch of money to spend.
Given that fact, many around the NFL believe that player agents are encouraging their clients to test free agency because they think there will be a lot of teams willing to overpay. Given the increased cap space and minimum spending requirement, they may be right. After all, it isn’t like the Raiders are alone in this. There have been far fewer signings before the free agent period this year than in most. A lot of guys that were assumed would be re-signed are now getting ready to hit free agency.
Which has to make one wonder, is it McKenzie’s fault that Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston did not re-sign with the team? It is entirely possible that McKenzie offered fair contracts. In fact, it is entirely possible that McKenzie TRIED to overpay both of those guys but their agents thought they could be overpaid even further.
Clearly this is all speculation since no one knows for sure what contracts were offered. But at the same time, blaming McKenzie and saying that he did not do enough to keep them is also pure speculation.
That is not surprising, however. Everyone can expect a whole lot of speculation this off season and not just that, but overreacting to that speculation.
Hold on everyone, today is the start of a long and rather intense period for the Raiders and their fans.