The Oakland Raiders made it clear that re-signing left tackle Jared Veldheer and defensive end Lamarr Houston was not a priority or not a possibility this offseason. Both players left the Raiders via free agency with Veldheer leaving for the Arizona Cardinals and Houston jetting to the Chicago Bears.
ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that the Veldheer deal is five years for 35 million and Houston's is for five years and 35 million. Neither deal seems to be out of control money wise which reinforces that fact that Oakland did not make a strong pitch to entice either to return or both were set on leaving.
Veldheer had started every game for the Raiders in 2011 and 2012. He suffered torn triceps before the 2013 season which caused him to miss 11 games before returning to start the final five. At 26 years old, it seemed like the Raiders would have a competitive deal to bring him back. Instead, he will join former Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer in Arizona.
Houston was a bright spot along the Raiders defensive line for the past four seasons, starting every game the past two seasons. His hustle and effort made him an attractive piece to bring back, even though his production, 16 sacks over four seasons, wasn't off the charts. At 26 years old, Houston is thought to be entering his prime.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie stated he wanted continuity after so much roster overhaul the past two seasons. He went against that philosophy by not bringing back either player. The Raiders did ink offensive linemen Rodger Saffold to replace Veldheer, but will have some work to do to bolster defensive line. It was a need position even if Houston returned. This offseason has a massive sense of urgency for McKenzie to get the Raiders back to competitive football. Time will tell if he could have or should have done more to keep Veldheer and Houston in silver and black.
Tags: Arizona Cardinals, Carson Palmer, Chicago Bears, Football, free agency, Jared Veldheer, Lamarr Houston, NFL, Oakland, Oakland Raiders, Reggie McKenzie, Rodger Saffold