Expect Raiders To Spend Big In Free Agency

With upwards of $70 million in cap space next year, many are wondering how the Raiders are going to screw it up spend it. It’s true, general manager Reggie McKenzie has a reputation as a bargain shopper, but many forget he tried spending last offseason.

The Rodger Saffold fiasco is best remembered for the embarrassing failed physical, but it’s worth noting that Reggie McKenzie intended to throw 5 years, $42.5 million at Saffold – who later re-signed with St. Louis for 5 years, $31.5 million.

The Raiders also went after Jared Allen and Jason Hatcher aggressively.


In hindsight, Allen’s reason for spurning Oakland isn’t a good one…


Aside from Saffold and Allen, McKenzie paid market value or above for Austin Howard (5 yr, $30M), Justin Tuck (2 yr, $10M), LaMarr Woodley (2 yr, $10.3M), Antonio Smith (2 yr/ $9M) and Maurice Jones-Drew (3 yr/ $7.5M), although the Tuck, Woodley, Smith, and MJD deals can now be terminated without cap penalties.

And of course no one forgets the Matt Schaub trade where McKenzie took on 2 years, $13.5 million.

Many of McKenzie’s contracts haven’t worked out on the field and it’s crazy to think unlikely Woodley, Jones-Drew, and Schaub will be around next year. But the notion that the Raiders won’t spend this offseason is entirely unfounded. So fear not… McKenzie is going to spend. Question is, can he spend and get a reasonable return this time around?