The Oakland Raiders finished the 2013 season with a disappointing 4-12 season that was capped by another injury by RB Darren McFadden and a pseudo QB controversy whether to start QB Terrelle Pryor or QB Matt McGloin. Two different style QBs, Pryor had a tendency to make plays with his legs and McGloin was a more conventional pocket passer and probably why the Raiders were dysfunctional. Two styles of play doesn’t create a consistent game plan. Read my article, 2014 Oakland Raiders NFL Draft Report Card and Player Analysis and see why I think GM Reggie McKenzie had a good draft day. Three nice draft picks who will make immediately upgrade and add depth to need positions are LB Khalil Mack, QB Derek Carr, and Guard Gabe Jackson.
Impact free agency will play in the Raiders 2014 season
The Raiders and GM Reggie McKenzie did the opposite of the golden rule in football and definitely bucked the trend. Most teams subscribe to keeping their rosters young and the Raiders did the opposite and went after a lot of big name players whose careers seem to be on the down-slope of their careers. The Raiders had three must sign players on their own team that they let walk which was the first mystery. Within hours of the free agency market opening, RB Rashad Jenkins, T Jared Veldheer and DE Lamarr Houston were all signed by other teams. With $50 million in cap space, the most in the NFL, this was a mistake. Trying to make up for losing Tackle Jared Veldheer, the Oakland Raiders make an offer to T Rodger Saffold and he fails their physical and the deal is unwound and back to the St. Louis Rams he goes. The one constant to the free agency for the Raiders was the age of the players and their experience level. Outside of two signings, all the players had a minimum of 7 seasons in the NFL. The players the Raiders lost in general had less than 5 seasons playing. That is what is strange. Football is a young man’s sport and no way this plan of attack by GM McKenzie makes sense. The NFL is a brutal, violent world and to think these veteran players can sustain a full year is delusional especially with talk by Commissioner Roger Goodell that they want to extend the season with more games or playoff teams. It shall be an interesting experiment to watch and maybe GM McKenzie is right taking a shot. The Raiders haven’t been relevant in the NFL for many years and they really have nothing to lose trying something Oakland A’s “Billy Beane-ish.” would do. Maybe this is a form of Sabermetrics that GM Reggie McKenzie is trying.
Players lost in the off season to other teams
- Phillip Adams, CB–4th season, signed by The Seattle Seahawks
- Billy Boyko, LB–2nd season, signed by The Carolina Panthers
- Jacoby Ford, WR–4th season, signed by The New York Jets
- Lamarr Houston, DE–4th season, signed by The Chicago Bears
- Mike Jenkins, CB–6th season, signed by The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Rashad Jennings, RB–5th season, signed by The New York Giants
- Tracy Porter, CB–6th season, signed by The Washington Redskins
- Jared Veldheer, T–4th season, signed by The Arizona Cardinals
- Vance Walker, DT–5th season, signed by The Kansas City Chiefs
Players signed in free agency from other teams
- Kevin Boothe, G–8th season, signed from The New York Giants
- Tarell Brown, CB–7th season, signed from The San Francisco 49ers
- Austin Howard, T–4th season, signed from The New York Jets
- James Jones, WR–7th season, signed from The Green Bay Packers
- Maurice Jones-Drew, RB–8th season, signed from The Jacksonville Jaguars
- Donald Penn, T–8th season, signed from The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- Carlos Rogers, CB–9th season, signed from The San Francisco 49ers
- Antonio Smith, DE–9th season, signed from The Houston Texans
- Justin Tuck, DE–9th season, signed from The New York Giants
- C.J. Wilson, DE–4th season, signed from The Green Bay Packers
- LaMarr Woodley, OLB–7th season, signed from The Pittsburgh Steelers
Can The Oakland Raiders make it to the playoffs in 2014?
Afraid not and even though I am a Jet fan, the Raiders have been a favorite of mine going back to the Dave Casper and Kenny Stabler days. It pains me that they have not been a factor in the NFL for over a decade and it has been 12 years since the Raiders had a winning season. Since 2002, they have only made it to the .500 mark twice with most seasons finishing with 4 or 5 wins. No team can be consistently this bad considering the salary cap lends itself to be a league of parity. Unfortunately, the Raiders will be again, at best, a 6 game winner and fans will look at another season of misery.
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More content from this contributor:
2014 Oakland Raiders NFL Draft Report Card and Player Analysis
2014 San Diego Chargers NFL Draft Report Card and Player Analysis
2014 Denver Broncos NFL Draft Report Card and Player Analysis
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