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Raiders don’t tag Veldheer or Houston

Despite the most salary cap room in the NFL, the Raiders declined to use the franchise tag Monday on either left tackle Jared Veldheer or defensive end Lamarr Houston.

When the 1 p.m. deadline (PST) came and went, Veldheer and Houston were five days away from being able to negotiate with other teams for their services.;

The Raiders have more than $66 million available under a cap projected at just over $133 million. A one-year tag on Veldheer would have cost the Raiders $11.6 million, while keeping Houston as a franchise player would have cost $13.1 million.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said following the season he would use the franchise tag if necessary but preferred to work out long-term deals with club wanted in its future.

Although the free agency period begins March 11, agents for players can begin soliciting offers from other teams on Saturday, potentially driving up the price. Players cannot sign during that three-day window, which was instituted by the NFL this season to try and limit tampering.

Veldheer missed the first 12 games of the 2013 season following surgery to repair a torn left triceps. He has stated on numerous occasions he wants to remain with the Raiders and be part of the building process.

Houston, considered a leader by example and a versatile lineman who can play inside and outside, said following the season he thought it might be time to move on but coach Dennis Allen and McKenzie have both said they would like to keep him on the roster.

Despite just six sacks last season, Houston’s market value was enhanced when two coveted defensive ends _Greg Hardy of Carolina and Brian Orakpo of Washington _ were given franchise tags by their teams.

Veldheer was a third-round draft pick out of Division II Hillsdale in 2010 and Houston arrived in the second-round out of Texas that same season.

Other Raiders who are free to negotiate with other teams Saturday if they have not been re-signed include running backs Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden, defensive tackle Vance Walker, safety Charles Woodson, cornerbacks Mike Jenkins and Tracy Porter, wide receiver Jacoby Ford, defensive end Jason Hunter, safety Usama Young, cornerback Phillip Adams, tight end Jeron Mastrud, guard-center Andre Gurode, tackle Tony Pashos and defensive tackle Daniel Muir.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • 24

    Totally easy! I’m happy for the guy. I just wish we had someone like him on our team.

  • http://maddendude.blogspot.com/ Baseman

    Woodson isn’t done, he was one of our best defensive players. You can’t blame him for a late season decline, the whole team declined together, including Houston. D-line pressure is more important than an elite secondary. Theres been plenty of teams in the past who’ve assembled elite defensive back combos, and it doesn’t pan out because the front 7 weakess is too much to overcome. In reality, we need a balance of both, which means we don’t spend big bucks on 3 defensive backs, instead we grab 1-2 DBs, and 2 D-linemen.

  • Dakota

    The report of no communication between Reggie and Veldheer is hopefully wrong. I mean that is a complete failure of even doing the basic minimum due diligence required of your position Reggie.

  • JV.

    He’s waaaay too old.

    Retire and live off Espn or fox money. The guy has nothing left to work for. Ask tony Gonzalez or Jeff Saturday or Brian urlacher how retirement is going.

  • 24

    Cheers!

  • BigBenRexor

    TE have more longevity than Dlineman. Plus we need playmakers on Offense.

  • JV.

    Veldheer might just dip off… He was already mad he hasn’t gotten a deal and said so on 95.7 a month ago and now that free agency is next week I think he’s about had it.. That’s my opinion tho….

  • Raider 8

    forget about tagging these guys…just get em to sign a friggin deal. too much too ask I guess for the same guy who…IN HIS OWN WORDS said how his number one priority is signing his current players.
    it’s easy for this dumbazz to sign guys who are desperate to stay in the league though…any idiot could do that.

  • Howard Benner

    In a sense like Seymour. . uh, I;ll pass. .

    Graham is supremely talented player but the Raiders need more than one guy to replenish the talent barren roster. . ..

    Have to build through the draft. Graham doesn’t bring enough to the table.

    In New Orleans the ‘aints have enough “role payer” WR’s & RB’s to stretch the field, thus coverages & allow Graham the best chance for success. Not happening in Oakland, especially when you forfeit two young, talented players in the guise of #1 draft picks to fortify the rest of the talent bare Raiders.

  • BigBenRexor

    Hopefully wrong, but seems to be a recurring theme with him.

  • Davy Jones

    We all cringed a time or two at least when Al overpaid for players. And we all wanted to see things run a little differently post Al. BUT that doesn’t mean you won’t have to overpay good players to come here. Worst facility in the league, one of the worst teams in the league, the ONLY reason to come here is money. And players and agents know you have the biggest cap number evah, they know you can afford it. So yes, for any of these FAs we fantasize about, you WILL have to overpay.

    . . . but Reggie won’t.

  • Dakota

    Secretly Reggie believes he can build a great team through the draft and by sifting through undrafted free agents…..he wants to show the world how much smarter he is than everyone else.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Yep and any idiot can dismantle a team. The hard part is building a winner bringing the talent through the doors.

  • 24

    I’m not an expert in ranking these guys or knowing their true value. I know some of you are upset because contracts haven’t been signed by Veldheer and Houston and I understand your reasons. I’m just willing to sit back and see what happens in free agency and where these guys fall. How much will they sign for with another team and is that justified? Are they worth the price tag? I know they’re “good” players but are they great? I’d prefer Veldheer over Houston personally but I’m not crazy hurt if they don’t return either.

  • JV.

    We have the most cap space in nfl history and we can’t sign two guys to a lousy effing deal… Reggie is fùcking retārted..

  • SaintKaufman

    Hmmmm, that sounds slightly familiar.

  • Gdog

    Most teams fans are looking forward to the first day of free agency. I am already dreading it as I see most of our key players snagged up by teams with not nearly as much cap space. Am I alone here???

    This seems like a non-ending nightmare.

  • BigBenRexor

    We also have to hit on those draft picks if we’re going to build through the draft, which isn’t guaranteed. Jimmy is a legit Pro Bowler. And it’s not like Seymour, Garahm is young, and if you look at the life span of good TE’s, Sharpe, Gonzalez, Witten, Gates, etc… they play well into their mid-late 30′s.

  • Dakota

    Reggie wants guys to go test the market….find their true value….and then he thinks he can talk them into re-signing with us. I mean, how could anyone walk away from the likes of Mark Davis, Reggie, Dennis Allen and the current stadium in Oakland?

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Good afternoon 24

    I sat back and waited on Reggie last year and got burned so this year I am on my soap box early.

  • spiff

    once again I’ll say veld’s ain’t going nowhere. grimace will pay him more then any team will . veld’s will get more here than any other team. if it’s really money he wants Oakland will pay more than any other team will…

  • 0ak R8rs

    You should probably wait a week before you dread it. If nothing happens by Friday we can both dread Monday together.

  • JV.

    “I probably shouldn’t even say this right now but I’m going to say it anyway just because I love Seattle, honestly, I would rather take a little less to be happy and win ball games than to take way more and go to a crappy city where the fans don’t give a crap about the team. You win a game once a month of something like that. I would much rather stay in the situation that I have now for a little less than to go and try to break the bank somewhere else. ” – golden tate

    Exactly the mindset of every free agent when Reggie will give them an offer… Go Reggie.

  • kenchun24

    Maybe…but I think he didn’t go by records as far as the NFC West team sucking…they were all acquiring/building defensive talent.

    Meanwhile the AFC West just had Tebow take Denver to the playoffs, Chefs still without a HC and QB and the Bolts and Raids in transition with HC changes and roster org drama.

    Manning is no dummy and has an bit of an ego too (as in he basically takes over a team to be all “his finesse offense” and lacks in other areas) but the 49ers/Hawks were both very similar in that they been building up the rosters and were peppering QB’s here and there until they got good ones in Kap/Wilson. Plus they both tried to get 5 Head and he turned them down.

    Makes sense, don’t let his repaired neck take a pounding, pad his regular season stat legacy and last a few more years for more chances at another SB. Worked fine until he and the Donks got manhandled by the fast & physical Hawks team in the big game.

  • Chino

    Bs

  • SR Raider

    Neither of these guys were worth $11M+ this year, so understandable. Still need to get one or both signed for somewhere closer to $8M/yr

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Yes we do need a #1 WR

  • 0ak R8rs

    I’d like to resign Muir too. He was productive the last half of the year last year. Nice surprise.

  • 24

    666…Yo!

    I totally get it man but we didn’t have money for 2 years. This is do or die for sure. I just think most are missing the point here. Just because they’re on this team, doesn’t mean they belong here or that they deserve too much money. I’m sorry, I’d rather see better talent here if we’re going to spend the same kind of money. I’m fine with testing the market. If this year fails, then I will be ok with dropping the axe but I’m gonna sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

  • kenchun24

    …on loop.

  • SnBG

    That’s a good thing. Build through the draft

  • BigBenRexor

    That’s what some people don’t understand. It’s not about being negative, it’s just that the reality is we will have to over pay or end up with the same type of team as last year.

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    Offer him more money and then see what he says.

  • JV.

    Exactly Reggie is running the raiders like the packers and we are NOT THE FÛCKING PACKERS we are a team in dire need of talent and we have no stars on either side of the ball..yea hey let’s let two guys with a future test the market… I’m sure they will pick Oakland over new York Atlanta, Chicago, etc…

  • 0ak R8rs

    Veldheer might be worth $11 million. That’s above average LT money. He’s above average.

  • The Beeeeech Dawg

    Another nice surprise would be if you got de-virginized. Jus sayin’

    AWWWW SNAP

  • Davy Jones

    I don’t think you can get them for that. Is it worth saving $5 million to let them walk when you have $65 million to spend?

  • marks hair

    fire Reggie now

  • http://www.cosmicdanceband.com/ SilverandBlack666

    I think these are 2 of our better players and we should try to keep them. This is a do or die year for Reggie these kinds of things could hurt him (not getting his own players signed)

  • Davy Jones

    Except that Reggie is cheap.

  • SR Raider

    Yeah, probably closer to $10M. Salaries are gong up with the new cap

  • 24

    Maybe…maybe not! I don’t think it’s panic time though.

  • 24

    You guys are losing your minds way too early.

  • Dakota

    Most of the top 5 paid tackles in the NFL make about $7-8 million. Joe Thomas makes $11 million as the top paid tackle in the NFL. Veldheer is not worth $11 million per…..he would be overpaid at $8 million per….but that is where Reggie should stick with Veldheer.

  • DutchRaid

    At least we know who Hunter S. Thompson was…

  • 24

    And who he has become…

  • kenchun24

    I know right…if Veldy or Houston got recruited by Jerry in Dallas (for a random example) and…see that stadium/facilities, or a Florida team with the tax breaks, over Oakland?…bye bye Veldy/Houston.

  • 909RaiderLifer

    Yes, he did. Then, they worked out an extension

  • Davy Jones

    You have to do both. No blue chippers on this team.

  • Chino

    @SI_JimTrotter: As free agency approaches, add one more name to the list: mine. Was informed today the budget ax got me. Want to thank SI for 7 great years.
    Ouch