Oakland Raiders Take Step Backwards On Day 1 Of NFL Free Agency

By Carlton Chin
Kirby Lee - USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee – USA TODAY Sports

For Oakland Raiders fans, we hope that patience will be a virtue. Many fans and analysts are scratching their heads because the Raiders seemingly went backwards on day one of the 2014 NFL free agency period.

The Raiders lost their best RB Rashad Jennings to the New York Giants. Although they signed lineman Rodger Saffold and OT Austin Howard, they lost their current LT Jared Veldheer to the Arizona Cardinals. Many analysts believe that the Raiders surprisingly have more questions marks today than they had before free agency opened. Saffold has been injured regularly over the past several years, and the Raiders reportedly paid more for Saffold than the Cardinals paid for Veldheer.

While the Raiders have not made splashy free agent news, deals must be in the works because Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie still has a lot of money to put to work. The oft-cited salary cap space available to the Raiders is still there, and a bigger deal could be in the works. Raiders fans can rest assured that McKenzie and Raiders executives are definitely busy at work.

While quarterback Matt Cassel was re-signed by the Minnesota Vikings, other quality quarterbacks are still available. In fact, fans should be happy that Cassel is off the table because it may help the Raiders focus on other veteran quarterbacks with more upside potential. Some analysts believe that Michael Vick might fit into the Raiders’ system best, while others point to Matt Schaub‘s record.

For Raiders fans, patience may be a virtue. A big deal could take time to be negotiated. The Raiders could be orchestrating a larger transaction that will lift the team out of mediocrity.

Carlton Chin is a portfolio manager, quant researcher, and sports analysis contributor at Rant Sports. Please follow him on Twitter @QuantFacts, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your Google network.

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