Since Reggie McKenzie has become the Oakland Raiders general manager, he has only used the franchise once to prevent Tyvon Branch from going to free agency. The two sides were able to reach a longer deal and the tag never took effect. This year, McKenzie will again have to weigh the franchise and transition tags decision. The Raiders have until Monday to decide on placing either tag on their possible free agents.
Oakland is flush with salary cap space this offseason. They will have the available cap room to hold onto the players they need. If they were to use the franchise tag, the only option would be left tackle Jared Veldheer. That would guarantee Veldheer 11.654 million for the 2014 season and prevent him from hitting the free agent market. Ideally, the team and Veldheer would work out a long term deal for a more reasonable price tag. However, if they cannot and don't place the tag on him, they will have until March 8th to get a deal done. After that, Veldheer can begin to meet with other teams.
The options for the transition tag are also limited. If Oakland decided to use the transition tag it would be only on defensive end Lamarr Houston and that is a long shot. That transition designation would guarantee Houston the average of the 10 largest salaries from 2013 at defensive end. This year that number is 10.633 million dollars which is way too much for Houston. He has played hard and has had some solid production for the Raiders, but nowhere near that value.
The only real decision McKenzie has this year is to franchise tag Jared Veldheer. Players never want the franchise tag because it is a one year contract in a violent sport. It seems like McKenzie will roll the dice with the confidence of working out that long term deal. If he changes his mind, he will have until tomorrow to use the tag.Tags: Football, franchise tag, Jared Veldheer, Lamarr Houston, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Reggie McKenzie, transition tag