When the Oakland Raiders signed linebacker Nick Roach to a deal reportedly giving him $3 to $4 million per year, I couldn’t help but harken back to a quote that truly encapsulates the dire straits consuming black and silver.
“The Raiders are shopping at the dollar store right now.” ESPN’s Matt Williamson remarked on Wednesday’s Football Today podcast, lamenting how little cap room Oakland has to work with this offseason.
That Oakland would shell out by far their biggest deal on Friday only emphasizes Williamson’s point: $3-4 million per year for Nick Roach is actually, oddly enough, a relative splash for the Raiders this offseason.
The “big” signings so far include Roach and LB Kaluka Maiava at $2 million per year.
Meanwhile, the Raiders front office continues to be held hostage by the $13 million Carson Palmer is due to make this year. That is not typo. $13 million for a quarterback who’s thrown 50 interceptions in his past 41 games and rarely produces outside of garbage time.
This number looms increasingly large as Oakland attempts to fill many holes in free agency. And it isn’t even attempting to account for the loss of first and second-round draft picks sent away in the trade for Palmer, which certainly would’ve made building a roster easier the past two years.
Oakland did find some alternative methods of cap relief, trimming two first-rounders drafted under Al Davis in WR Darrius Heyward-Bey and S Michael Huff, as the Raiders move forward in rebuilding.