The Oakland Raiders are expected to be one of the most active teams in free agency in 2014, as the franchise may have over $60 million in cap space and that means names like Eric Decker, Knowshon Moreno, Ben Tate, Josh Freeman, Anquan Boldin, Brian Orakpo and Justin Tuck could be in the mix as free agents this offseason for general manager Reggie McKenzie.
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The Raiders went just 4-12 last season, but the team was not expected to be all that great after moving around some money and getting rid of contracts and now they are in position to strike big in both the draft and in free agency, as they have a top 10 pick and plenty of cap space. According to ESPN.com, the Raiders have been breaking down their tough financial situation by getting rid of bad contracts and cutting players and now they have a ton of money to spend, but they also have a ton of their own free agents that they will have to deal with.
The team is likely to lose Darren McFadden, as he was injured once again this season and that likely means a split after he was a top draft pick and signed a huge contract. McFadden has never played in more than 13 games in any season and he only played in 10 this year while missing 19 of the past 41 and that is a percentage that just does not work out for the team. McFadden wasn't even the second leading rusher behind Rashad Jennings this season he was out so much, and now he will likely move elsewhere and Jennings is a free agent as well and should be retained after gaining over 700 yards this season.
Ben Tate and Knowshon Moreno as well as Donald Brown could come into play and so could Maurice Jones-Drew depending on his contract demands. The wide receiver position should be interesting, as Oakland needs a playmaker and Jacoby Ford is a free agent and names like Hakeem Nicks and Eric Decker as well as James Jones and Emmanuel Sanders will be in play. The Raiders obviously need a quarterback as well, but when they work that out, that player will need some others to throw the ball to.
Josh Freeman and Michael Vick are possible free agent options for the Raiders, while the draft may offer more solutions in Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater and Blake Bortles as well as names like Derek Carr and AJ McCarron. The team will absolutely look to keep Lamarr Houston and that may cost a bit of money and that could cut into what the team ends up spending on offense. The Raiders defense did not improve as expected after signing Charles Woodson and Tracy Porter and that could lead to more moves in the secondary.
Dennis Allen was retained and so was Reggie McKenzie and now they must balance building for the future with their cap space to see how they can turn this once proud franchise back around.