The Oakland Raiders have a boatload of cap space and a boatload of roster needs to go along with it. The same was true in 2014 and the team ended up with a group of aging and mostly over-the-hill free agents who helped lead the team to a three-win season. This year, free agency needs to go a whole lot differently for the Raiders, unless they are ready for another terrible year.
Reggie McKenzie appears ready to give prominent free agents megadeals to ensure they wear silver and black in 2015. The first guy on his list appears to be wide receiver Randall Cobb, a receiver McKenzie is reportedly ready to pay $11 million per season. $11 million dollars seems like a lot of money because, well, it is. But it’s also worth it in order to get a player of Cobb’s talent level.
This season, a contract averaging $11 million a year would have made Cobb, who’s only 24, the eighth-highest paid receiver in the league, tying Larry Fitzgerald of the Arizona Cardinals. For comparison, Cobb caught 91 passes for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014, while Fitzgerald caught 63 balls for 784 yards and two touchdowns.
According to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Cobb is looking for $12 million per year. Here’s a list of the seven wideouts who made more than $11 million annually, as of 2014:
- Calvin Johnson – $16.2 million/year
- Percy Harvin – $12.8 million/year
- Demaryius Thomas – $12.8 million/year
- Dez Bryant – $12.8 million/year
- Mike Wallace – $12 million/year
- Dwayne Bowe – $11.2 million/year
- Vincent Jackson – $11.1 million/year
Is Cobb the eighth-best receiver in the league? Maybe not, but he is certainly considered to be one of the top ten pass catchers. So if the Raiders would be overpaying him at $11 million a year, it would not be egregious. Plus, it probably would be worth it to finally bring some star-caliber talent to this team. The Raiders had one of the worst offenses in the league in 2014 and among the many problems was the lack of talent at wide receiver.
The Raiders have the cap space to overspend on some players and not land themselves in cap hell, and that’s exactly what they should do. Giving Cobb $11 million a year is something that the Raiders and their fans should not even balk at, it’s an easy decision.