While every other NFL franchise is busy adding to their payroll the Raiders are doing the exact opposite. I’m sure there is plenty of method behind Reggie McKenzie’s salary cleansing madness but you’ve got to wonder why all of these roster moves weren’t made prior to the start of free agency.
Today vets Cooper Carlisle and “Big” John Henderson became the latest to have their contracts ran through that soon-to-be overheated shredder in McKenzie’s office.
Neither move comes a much of a surprise. It was somewhat of a shocker that the Raiders kept riding Carlisle as a starting guard but to his credit he played very well last season. The former Florida Gator has held down his job despite a constant revolving door along the offensive line in Oakland in recent years.
Jerry McDonald speculates Carlisle could return – at a discount, no doubt – as he’s familiar with the zone blocking scheme being re-introduced to the Raiders via Greg Knapp. A couple years ago Tom Cable ran the scheme which helped to improve Oakland’s protection and run blocking but was eventually scrapped when Hue Jackson took over.
As for Henderson, he was a vital presence on the D-line and was effective against the run. However due to collect $4-million in 2012 it didn’t make much sense for the Raiders to pay large cash for a part-time contributor. Henderson also struggled with injury issues last season as you might expect of man that’s made a tough living grinding it out with the big uglies in the middle of the field.
There is no official word on where the Raiders stand in terms of cap space but it still isn’t nearly enough to pursue top shelf free agents. ESPN claimed McKenzie had a whopping $600,000 to spend while other reports state the Raiders are somewhere around $2-million under the cap.
But this will definitely not be the last you’ll hear of Oakland’s cap condition nor will it be the last of the contract cleansing. One man that is awaiting his fate is Kamerion Wimbley. He’s due a phat roster bonus in the very near future so expect news of some sort coming soon on that front.