The Oakland Raiders WILL NOT overpay this offseason. That is what we have been hearing forever. The Raiders have the most cap space of any team in the NFL and general manager Reggie McKenzie has repeatedly said that he will not spend it foolishly and does not plan on overpaying for anyone.
But what if Reggie McKenzie actually plans on overpaying for a number of players?
No, I am not implying that McKenzie has been lying in his assertion that he does not want to overpay. What I am saying is that value is a relative concept. For example, I think my friend who bought season tickets at the new San Francisco 49ers stadium is nuts and overpaid like mad. He, on the other hand, believes he paid a fair value for what will be a great experience.
McKenzie has said he will not overpay, but what if his idea of overpaying is drastically different than yours or mine. After all, kicker Sebastian Janikowski is the highest paid kicker in the NFL, the Raiders fullback, Marcel Reece is making $2.95 million in 2014 and Tyvon Branch was given over $17.5 million in guaranteed money when he re-signed.
There are not many people who would consider those contracts to be bargain basement deals. And I am sure there are some who see those players as being overpaid.
Let’s also take a look at the rumors that have been floated so far this offseason. Clearly they are just rumors and could be completely untrue, but just for argument’s sake.
The offer reportedly made to Jared Veldheer was for $9 million a year and the offer reportedly discussed with Rodger Saffold was for $8 million a year. In both cases, many around the NFL would see the Raiders as overpaying.
So keep in mind as we enter free agency, that the value of players is subjective and one should not assume they know that McKenzie will only go for low paid marginal talent.