By Philip Robinson | @chocP3thunder | 03/09/2017 3:06pm PST
Free Agency started at 4:00pm EST ringing the bell on a new league year as well as the kicking off the beginning of the talent acquisition process. The Oakland Raiders fresh off a 12-4 season are armed with over $43+ million dollars in salary cap space, which lead some to believe the Raiders would be major players. It’s been nearly two and a half hours and the Raiders have stood pat.
Standing pat isn’t really the right term, it’s more like the Raiders found themselves in the enviable position of having desirable backups. Washington signed defensive interior lineman Stacy McGee to a 5-year/$25M deal, a move that will no doubt be a gut punch as when healthy McGee was the best defensive lineman on the team. Special teams standout and spot Safety Brynden Trawick signed with the Tennessee Titans for 2-year/$4.75M deal. Trawick no doubt furthered his own cause by producing when called on as a box safety in addition to his special teams work. Former Super Bowl MVP Malcolm Smith found himself a nice 5-year/$26.5M dollar contract with $13M guaranteed with the 49ers.
While all of these players will garner some compensatory selections in next year’s draft, the Raiders under Reggie Mckenzie aren’t typically free agency Day one spenders. An astounding $637.5M dollars has been committed to free agents already and with surely more to come, the Raiders have yet to open their treasure chest and part with any silver and gold doubloons. Many fans are forgetting just how successful this new way of operating as a franchise has been. For those who are freaking out about not making any signings three and a half minutes into the free agency period let me offer this, the Raiders no longer need to make a huge splash in free agency.
Reggie Mckenzie is the guardian of the franchise and the keeper of the sanity of the Raiders. Recently rumor has it that talks with tight end Martellus Bennett have gotten very serious and news could break as soon as tonight. Most of the Raiders roster needs are easily fillable in the draft so look for Mckenzie to only be targeting a few select veterans with versatility. The Raiders have quickly turned around the franchise in four years by making smarter roster moves and not overspending for players. Mckenzie has shown a willingness to spend money for those who he deems worthy, so Raider Nation sit back and wait to be ambushed with news of your newest players.