By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013 at 1:21 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Beat writer Jerry McDonald confirmed that free agency started without the Raiders re-signing any of their 17 unrestricted free agents.
That means that the Raiders now have to compete against the league’s 31 other teams if they hope to re-sign the likes of outside linebacker Philip Wheeler, punter Shane Lechler, tight end Brandon Myers, safety Mike Mitchell and defensive lineman Desmond Bryant.
The bright side is, the Raiders likely won’t face much competition if they have designs on re-signing a handful of their other unrestricted free agents.
It’s conceivable that general manager Reggie McKenzie is content letting his free agents test the open market in hopes of their finding out that they can’t get as much money as expected.
That’s a huge gamble, of course, if McKenzie really wants any of those players back in 2013. Then again, he might be able to get back one or more of the players he covets at a reduced rate once the initial frenzy wanes.
The Raiders still haven’t made any moves, though one or more likely will take place, perhaps as soon as today. One expected move is the Raiders releasing middle linebacker Rolando McClain.