Report: Raiders Trying to “Squeeze” Their Offensive Line to Take Less Money

It’s been a strange week following the Raiders.

Gabe Jackson was going to be released and then it didn’t happen, but it is still expected to happen. Trent Brown was traded. Richie Incognito was released, but he is expected to come back. Now the same thing that happened to Jackson seems to be happening with Rodney Hudson.

Reports around the team have begun hinting that the Raiders have a master plan all centered around the salary cap. But losing so many good players never feels like a great plan.

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Hey Raider Nation. I know you’re surprised (so am I) about some of the moves. I’m hearing conflicting information so let some dust settle and I’ll be able to better asses and explain what I think the raiders are doing.

Is this a game of checkers or are the Raiders really playing chess?

In asking around, it sounds like they aren’t playing either. In fact, one response to that question today came back “more like Yahtzee.”

The Athletic‘s Vic Tafur wrote about the merry-go-round going on right now among the Raiders offensive linemen and it looks like the team has decided to take on a stare-down with a few of them (as well as their backup quarterback).

“[The Raiders] are playing the same game with Jackson (and backup quarterback Marcus Mariota) as they were going to with [Trent] Brown],” Tafur reported on Tuesday.

“Jackson, entering his eighth year, was due to make $9.6 million, and the Raiders wanted him to lop off more than a third of that or for the player be cut, according to league sources. His agent made clear that Jackson would take the release. But Jackson is still on the roster today. The Raiders are squeezing him, thinking that by the time all the other teams sign guards and are out of money, the estimated $6 million restructure will look pretty good. I don’t know what Brown would have done come training camp, but I don’t see Jackson agreeing to a pay cut the way it’s been handled.”

To paraphrase, once the first waves of free agency are over, players won’t have as many options in free agency (and less money will be available). Tafur’s report is implying that the Raiders plan is to negotiate Jackson’s release as late as possible in hopes of potentially getting to keep him at a better price.

To be fair, the report that Jackson was going to be released most likely came from his agent (who would surely be happy to speed up the process). The Raiders are well within their rights to unload Jackson on any timeline they choose, so it very well may have been communicated to Jackson that his release was not imminent. Either way, it looks bad on the Raiders to hold out on his release with the report already out there, but that’s a luxury the team has on an inflated contract like Jackson’s. By doing it this way, the Raiders also have the option of changing their mind and keeping Jackson if the market proves to be better than expected.

So, no, it’s not exactly checkers. Not quite chess. And probably more like Yahtzee considering the Raiders are using a similar tactic on just about all of their O-line starters at the same time.

As for Mariota, he probably should have taken a trade when it was on the table. The Bears, Patriots, and Washington Football Team have all committed significant money to quarterbacks and there’s a good chance Mariota won’t be starting in the NFL for at least another year. Timing in the NFL, just like anywhere else, is everything.

twitter: @raidersbeat


3 thoughts on “Report: Raiders Trying to “Squeeze” Their Offensive Line to Take Less Money

  1. What kind of an article is this? You say that Rodney Hudson the best center in football is going to be low bald by the Raiders organization and management I didn’t offer absolutely nothing to describe explain or delineate or support that statement whatsoever and simply talk about Trent Brown and Gabe Jackson. How do you expect to be taken seriously?

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