The NFL window for transition or franchise tags has closed with the Oakland Raiders deciding not to place either on any of their potential free agents. Now general manager Reggie McKenzie has the sole focus of locking up tackle Jared Veldheer and defensive end Lamarr Houston to long term deals for the right price. Oakland will have until March 8th before the free agents can meet with other teams.
It is understandable why the Raiders chose not to use the available tags. The transition tag for Veldheer would have been 10.039 million and the franchise tag would have been 11.654 for one season guaranteed. For Lamarr Houston, the transition would have paid 10.633 million and the franchise tag would have cost 13.116 million dollars for the 2014 season.
With upwards of 65 million in salary cap space to play with this offseason, the Raiders have the available space to lock up both. Neither is worth a double digit million pay day per season so the Raiders will remain focused on keeping their homegrown talent around via longer term deals. However, by not using the franchise or transition tags, the Raiders have removed their safety valve. If a deal cannot be reached, both Veldheer and Houston will hit the open free agent market.
Other developments regarding Oakland's free agent plan hit a snag with teams choosing to use the tag to keep their talent from hitting free agency. The increase in the salary cap played a part in teams being able to use that extra space to prevent their players from testing the market. Three players the Raiders would have taken a long look at this offseason were franchise or transition tagged. Washington Redskins defensive end/linebacker Brian Orakpo, Cleveland Browns center Alex Mack, and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy all with remain with the respective teams for at least one more season.Tags: Alex Mack, Brian Orakpo, Football, franchise tag, free agency, Greg Hardy, Jared Veldheer, Lamarr Houston, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Reggie McKenzie, transition tag