2017 Oakland Raiders Salary Cap Situation

Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie
Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie walks on the field before playing the Dallas Cowboys before their preseason game at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. on Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff)

The Super Bowl is over, and the Evil Empire  hoisted the Lombardi. It’s Free Agency, NFL Combine and NFL Draft time. However, you’ll read a lot about free agents, combine and the draft in the upcoming days, weeks and months. Yet, an issue sits on the horizon: the salary cap.

  1. For the first time in 14 years, the Raiders draft near the end out Round 1.
  2. While there’s significant cap space, Derek Carr and Khalil Mack command extraordinary raises.
  3. The Raiders need better depth and new starters at key positions.

The 2017 NFL salary cap will hover around $163-165 million per team.  In 2017, teams can “carry over” a certain amount of cap space from last year. As a result, the Raiders carry $8 million over. Therefore, their projected salary cap is expected to be between $171-173 million. Now with current contracts already on the roster that leaves about $48.9 million in cap space to use.


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Oakland’s needs at MLB and DT illustrate a necessity to spend wisely. Keep in mind, McKenzie built this team through shrewd drafting and free agent selections. While he’s not perfect, no GM is! During his tenure with GB, McKenzie earned the reputation as a good evaluator of talent. For example, during the Packers lost 15 players to IR. Through depth, they managed to win the Super Bowl.

Conversely, the downside of both large cap space and an intelligent general manager is business. Granted, most fans love the current players. In reality, some of them may not return to the Silver and Black. Truthfully, this is the hardest part of football. Despite emotion, McKenzie will figure out who gets paid and who walks away. For example, he selected DJ Hayden with the 12th overall pick in 2013. Accumulating ten times the number of accepted penalties (31) than interceptions (3), McKenzie wanted success from his CB. In the end, football is a business, and the salary cap is a necessary device.


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