Oakland Raiders Rumors: Deal With OT Jared Veldheer Could Be Close

By Kevin Saito
Peter G. Aiken/Contributor

The deadline to drop the franchise tag on a team’s players came and went without the Oakland Raiders using it on either of the team’s two high-priority players, defensive lineman Lamarr Houston and offensive lineman Jared Veldheer. The non-move was met with a lot of consternation and questions among the Raider faithful.

Fans were left wondering what GM Reggie McKenzie was doing; whether he was planning to let them both walk in free agency, or if a deal was being hammered out behind the scenes. We have an answer, at least in the case of Jared Veldheer as Christopher Hanson of Raidersblog.com is suggesting that the Raiders and Veldheer are very near an agreement to keep the foundation of their offensive line in Oakland.

 “Source tells me the #Raidersand Jared Veldheer have agreed to 5-year deal with 6th year option. $23 guaranteed. Total value $55M.

— Christopher Hansen (@ChrisHansenNFL) March 7, 2014”

Though in subsequent Tweets, Hansen was careful to say that he is working on obtaining a secondary, corroborating source, and that no contract has yet been finalized between the Raiders and Veldheer.

“Let me reiterate that the deal hasn’t been signed yet. Could be final wrinkles to iron out.

— Christopher Hansen (@ChrisHansenNFL) March 7, 2014”

Obviously, pen has not yet touched paper, and with so many moving parts, there is still the potential for the deal to not come to fruition. However, it should be an encouraging step forward for Raider fans. Though the $55 million price tag for the offensive tackle seems a little steep, the deal might be less than what Veldheer could have commanded on the open market.

And at slightly more than $9 million per year, if all six years of the contract are played out, the deal comes at a better rate than what they would have paid him for a single year under the franchise tag.

Though he certainly still has some growing to do yet before he can be considered one of the elite tackles in the league, the Raiders got a glimpse of just how important he was to the team when he missed most of the season with an injury. That is likely what made McKenzie so adamant about locking the big lineman into a multi-year deal.

The Raiders don’t have many foundation players on their roster at the moment, so building the offensive line with one of the few they do have is a smart move. Veldheer will be able to anchor the line for the next five or six years, and help shape and define the team’s offensive identity moving forward.

If the report is true and Veldheer signs the contract that is being reported, Raider fans should breathe a sigh of relief and congratulate McKenzie on a job well done. The signing would be a win-win for both Veldheer and the Raiders.

Kevin Saito is a fiction writer, sports junkie, history nerd, and NFL Contributor at RantSports.com  He’s just a “clown with an opinion” and you can follow him on Twitter, Facebook, or on Google

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