The 2014 NFL free agent market is officially open with the Oakland Raiders already making moves.
Instead of re-signing left tackle Jared Veldheer, the Raiders decided to bring in offensive tackle Rodger Saffold formerly of the St. Louis Rams according to Albert Breer of NFL.com:
Rams OL Rodger Saffold has agreed to a five-year, $42.5 million deal with the Oakland Raiders.
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) March 11, 2014
The move not to re-sign Veldheer and bring in Saffold is somewhat surprising. As if losing Veldheer wasn’t a costly blow for the silver and black, the Raiders also let defensive end Lamarr Houston leave town in free agency with the charismatic veteran signing with the Chicago Bears.
Needless to say, GM Reggie McKenzie is already making questionable moves with the most cap space in the NFL as free agency gets underway.
Although Veldheer and Saffold will no longer be in Oakland, the Raiders signing Saffold may potentially be a great move. The addition of Saffold shows the team’s willingness to upgrade the offensive line in order to give more protection for the quarterback and the running game.
At this point in time, it remains uncertain what the team intends to do going forward in terms of free agency and the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. The Raiders targeting another quarterback in free agency or possibly in the draft could be the direction the team is headed.