The Oakland Raiders are heading into free agency with a ton of money to spend and names like Hakeem Nicks, Knowshon Moreno, Ben Tate, Michael Vick, Jared Allen and Justin Tuck all could be targets for Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen as they try to rebuild the team into a playoff contender starting in 2014.
The Raiders have a number of free agents of their own, including Jacoby Ford, Lamarr Houston, Darren McFadden, Rashad Jennings and Jared Veldheer and those names are priorities for McKenzie. McFadden could possibly be retained if he doesn't get too much attention on the free agent market, while Rashad Jennings is likely back after he led the team in rushing after McFadden was banged up for most of the year. Jennings came over from the Jaguars and Allen wasn't expecting to use him as much as the team did, but it paid off, as he showed that he was a great receiver out of the backfield and a potential starter of McFadden doesn't return.
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The injury issues with McFadden likely will keep him from returning to Oakland, as he has missed 19 of the last 41 games for the Raiders and has been a bit of a disappointment for the team since he was drafted. McFadden had his best season in 2010 and he has not been able to get back to that level since being with the Raiders and that season he had over 1,000 yards for the only time in his career and now he could be moving on. The team got over 700 yards from Jennings and he is more likely to remain than McFadden.
The Giants are letting Justin Tuck hit the free agent market and if the Raiders can't sign Lamarr Houston back, the team could go after Tuck or someone like Jared Allen, who will come much cheaper than Houston. The Raiders feel that keeping Houston is a priority, but Tuck could be an option, as he had a strong season in 2013 and ended up with 11 sacks. Allen is getting older and he could be a cheaper option as well, especially if Houston bounces for greener pastures. Houston had a great year last season and it will be interesting to see if the team can retain him.
Ben Tate and Hakeem Nicks are two options on offense for the Raiders, as they reportedly will have up to $60 million in cap space to use. Tate stepped up last season for Arian Foster and he had 771 yards and four touchdowns and that came after he had a career high 942 yards in 12011 coming in for Foster as well and now he could be in line for a starting job.
Nicks is one of the most likely targets for the Raiders, as he had a down season and that could lead to teams lowballing him in contract talks and that opens things for the Raiders. The team can afford to overpay a bit for Nicks and that could be what sways him to sign. Moreno would be a huge upgrade as well and he hits the market after hitting a career high in yards with over 1,000 rushing yards and over 10 touchdowns.