It’s busy times here as the Oakland Raiders wrap up the combine and prepare for free agency, which begins in eight days. At RaidersSnakepit.com have a lot to get through, so let’s look at some news and notes that affect your favorite team:
Later Tuesday is the deadline for teams to slap the franchise tag on players. The Raiders aren’t factors in this (none of their free agents are worthy of the tag) but they will be closely watching because players they could be interested in on the open market could be affected. There has been report Jacksonville will not give receiver Allen Robinson the franchise tag. Also, the Rams reportedly are not giving receiver Sammy Watkins the tag.
As we have noted often on RaidersSnakepit.com, both Robinson and Watkins could be a great fit for the Raiders. It seems like Oakland may get a chance to sign them.
The NFL has set the 2018 salary cap. It is going to be $177.2 million. The Raiders are unofficially about #17 million under the cap. Of course, the can get more cap room by cutting veterans such as cornerback Sean Smith, right tackle Marshall Newhouse, receiver Michael Crabtree, running back Marshawn Lynch and linebacker Bruce Irvin. Crabtree, Lynch and Irvin could also be candidates for restructured contracts.
The NFL has officially set the entire draft order for the April 26-28 draft. Here are officially the Raiders’ draft order:
Round 1: No. 10 overall
Round 2: No. 41 overall
Round 3: No. 75 overall
Round 4: No. 110 overall
Round 6: No. 185 overall
Round 6: No. 192 overall
Round 6: No. 210 overall
Round 6: No. 212 overall
Round 6: No. 216 overall
Round 6: No. 217 overall
Round 7: No. 228 overall
The Combine is one big rumor mill. Everyone talks, and everyone listens. I was told this week that the word around Indy was that Oakland pass-rusher Khalil Mack’s upcoming contract is going to be ‘insane.’ Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie has said the Raiders are talking to Mack. The team wants to get the deal done sooner than later because it would give them clarity on the rest of their salary cap and help them navigate through the offseason easier.
Also, the word around the combine is the Raiders are hoping to get more playmakers on defense (that’s obvious) and they want to get more athletic at tight end. As our Steve Corkran reported last week, one name circulating in Indy was Cincinnati tight end Tyler Eifert.
Lynch is one of 15 players set to tour Portugal for a week starting Wednesday. So, if Raiders’ coach Jon Gruden needs to talk to Lynch in person soon, he better hope he bumps into Lynch at the team’s facility before his journey.