The Oakland Raiders had a historic 2016 season, with head coach Jack Del Rio ready to guide this team towards their second consecutive playoff appearance. General manager Reggie McKenzie has also done a phenomenal job of putting together a competitive roster on the field, with free agency just ahead.
Teams can begin negotiating with free agents on March 7, but an official agreement on a contract cannot be done until 4:00 P.M. EST on March 9. McKenzie will have roughly $43 million in cap space to work with this offseason, with some big decisions ahead.
Both quarterback Derek Carr and linebacker Khalil Mack are eligible to become free agents this summer, but the Raiders are already active in avoiding that dilemma. The team has been in constant negotiation with Carr’s agent, as they attempt to reach a resolution towards an appropriate deal for the franchise quarterback.
Carr was asked about the ongoing situation and gave some encouraging words with his affection towards the franchise, via Austin Gayle of Raiders Wire:
“They know how I feel,” Carr said. “I’m a Raider. I’m a Raider for life. I don’t want to play anywhere else. When I got drafted, this is where I wanted to be anyway. I don’t want to go anywhere, ever. They told me they don’t want me to go anywhere, ever. Now it’s about two people who want to be together, and how do we make that happen? We’ll see.”
The 25-year-old is recovering from offseason surgery, after that devastating injury put an end to his season. He recently told Pro Bowl lineman Donald Penn that he is close to 100 percent, which is a sigh of relief for the franchise and their fans.
While the off-the-field situation regarding Las Vegas and Oakland continue to takes headlines, the coaching staff can rest assured that they can look forward to a healthy quarterback at the beginning of camp.