The Oakland Raiders have the most cap space of any team in the NFL, and they are going to have to spend a lot of it. Not only because they have a ton of holes that need filling, but because they’re required to spend more based on the latest collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association.
Beginning this offseason and running through 2016, the Raiders and every other team in the NFL must spend a minimum of 89% of their salary cap space. It does not mean they will have to spend 89% of this season’s cap so long as the average from now until 2016 is 89%. But given the fact that general manager Reggie McKenzie does not like overspending, it is doubtful that he plans on underspending now and being forced to overspend later on to compensate.
With over $63 million in cap space available this year, the Raiders have the chance to sign some impact players. As much as McKenzie has talked about not overpaying, it would be very difficult to spend 89% of the cap by sticking to the thrift shopping method he has used the past few years. There are already reports that the Raiders have shown interest in some of the bigger named guys in the left tackle market and are still attempting to hang on to Jared Veldheer.
The Raiders are not going to do an impersonation of the Philadelphia Eagles or Miami Dolphns in recent seasons and sign everyone available, but they will be players in the free agent market. They have to be. Do not be surprised if the Raiders sign one or two of the premier names this offseason while also grabbing a bunch of cheaper but still good players.