Raiders Free Agency Preview: Why Oakland Must Pursue These 11 Players

At 1 p.m. PDT on March 13, the NFL's free-agency period starts and the Raiders must be under the salary cap.

There are a number of player contracts that have not yet restructured or otherwise addressed which will likely have an impact on the salary cap and the Raiders' free agency plans.


Kamerion Wimbley

The two sides aren't talking and extra guarantees are triggered on Friday; Wimbley is likely to be released before they do. Wimbley's release would save the Raiders just $2 million in cap space and leave the Raiders without a strong-side linebacker on the roster.


John Henderson

His contract is due to pay him $4.75 million in 2012. It's far too much for part-time backup with Henderson's miles. The Raiders would save approximately $4 million by releasing Henderson, but that also leaves the Raiders with a need for a run-stuffing defensive tackle.


Tommy Kelly

Kelly's cap number is nearly $9 million and one would expect a restructured contract would have reduced his $6 million in base salary in order to save the Raiders valuable cap space, but nothing has been announced.

With only a few hours to go before Kelly's $8.9 million cap number counts against the Raiders, one has to wonder if Kelly is in the team's future plans.

If the Raiders released both Kelly and Henderson, they would either need to move Lamarr Houston inside or begin the search for a defensive tackle in free agency. 

Once the Raiders are comfortably under the cap, they can start trolling the bottom of the free-agent market to see if they might be able to land a player or two. Don't expect the Raiders to land any big fish; they don't have the cap space to lure the top free agents.

There are a few free agents on the market that can help the Raiders that aren't elite players and the Raiders should aggressively pur...

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