Raiders got to feel the pain before they gain
It’s a somber day Raider Nation, as we say goodbye to Desmond Bryant and Philip Wheeler. They were the Raiders top free agents we had to sign, but lost them to teams who were willing to outbid us in the end. It’s painful to watch these events transpire, and to have the very hope you had for next season dashed in an instant. However these moves and losses had to be made for the Raiders to rebuild from the ashes of its former self. Darrius Heyward-Bey was going to make a little over 10 million dollars this season.
Michael Huff was paid like the second best safety in the NFL, and Richard Seymour was expected to make a little more than 19 million dollars this year. Desmond Bryant and Philip Wheeler were solid contributors on the Raiders, but do we have to repeat the mistakes of the past in the present? Bryant was given a nearly 7 million dollar a year contract by the Cleveland Browns and Wheeler was given more than 5 million a year from the Miami Dolphins. Bryant and Wheeler were not great players. They were good players, and taking up most of our cap space to re-sign veteran players what have hit their upside is not a smart move.
Reggie McKenzie knows exactly what he’s doing. He took a draft class that didn’t include a first or second round draft pick. The Raiders drafted a solid starter on defense in the fourth round, a soon to be starter on offense in the third round, and players that have yet to show off what they can accomplish in the latter rounds. That’s pretty good draft class, that I’m positive will show a lot of progress in year two. And don’t forget the Raiders will have almost 17 million to spend once all the dust of free agency settles.
The Raiders will actually not have to scramble to make room to sign players in the draft or free agency like they did in 2012. They will find gems that won’t come with the price tag that the Browns and the Dolphins decided to spend. McKenzie is rebuilding, but sometimes you have to make moves when you rebuild that will hurt in the moment. Losing Bryant, Wheeler and possibly Brandon Myers will feel like a punch to the gut now. However the new players that will be brought in through the draft or free agency to replace them will take away the pain in the next couple of seasons. While the teams that overpaid for the Raiders’ players will be the ones feeling the pain.
James Cobern is a Featured Journalist for TPF and can be contacted at JCobern@ThePenaltyFlagBlog.com.