Raiders Have Chance to Sign Impact Role Players with Remaining Glut of Cap Space

Even after an offseason spending spree, the Oakland Raiders have a glut of cap space. If they don't use it, they also don't get any benefit from it until 2016 or beyond. A team that hasn't won more than four games in three years shouldn't be saving much for the future.

As the NFL calendar inches toward the draft, the Raiders have a big opportunity to sign impact role players with their reserves. Most other teams are either cap-strapped, waiting for the May 12 deadline so free agents don't count in the compensatory picks formula or waiting until after the draft to assess need.

The Raiders don't have any of those limitations, which should give them an advantage when it comes to signing free agents still on the market. Despite their offseason gains, the Raiders can still provide an easier path to a starting job for veteran free agents.

On Tuesday, the Raiders became the first team to sign a restricted free agent to an offer sheet, according to Ian Rapoport of It's reportedly a one-year pact with Green Bay Packers safety Sean Richardson worth $2.55 million.

Signing restricted free agents to offer sheets is one way to spend their remaining cap space, but they can't fill the team with special teamers. The Raiders need real competition and quality reserves to prevent attrition from zapping any momentum they've gained this offseason.


Michael Crabtree

The Raiders brought free-agent wide receiver Michael Crabtree in for a visit on Monday, per Rapoport, but the former San Francisco 49er remains unsigned. The Raiders have a major need for a wide receiver that many assumed they would fill in the draft. Crabtree won't change their draft plans, but he could provide valuable competition and injury insurance

For his production, Crabtree is worth around $6 million at 2015 prices. The Raiders should be able to get him for considerably less than that, a...

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