After returning on Thanksgiving Day against the Dallas Cowboys and looking as solid as ever in containing one of the NFL’s star pass rushers in DeMarcus Ware (while rocking the cyborg arm brace) the Oakland Raiders are wisely working on extending their franchise left tackle sooner rather than later.
Veldheer said in a Monday interview with 95.7 FM that contract talks are active and ongoing and that he’s confident he’ll remain a Raider long-term.
“They’re in talks right now,” Veldheer said in an interview with John Lund and Greg Papa. “I’m not worried about that. I’m worried about finishing the year out and playing these last four games. I want to help this team as much as possible and to help turn that page and get going where we need to go.
“I believe that, if I handle that and play as well as I can play, good things will follow there. I’m really hoping and I’m pretty confident that I’ll continue to keep playing in Oakland.”
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie hoped to extend Veldheer by now, but a major triceps injury kept him out of the lineup and therefore put the negotiations on hold for the time being. Veldheer surgically repaired a partially torn left triceps on Aug. 17. He was placed on injured reserve with a designation to return a few weeks later, completed a thorough rehab and made his season debut on Thursday against the Dallas Cowboys.
With Veldheer showing that he can be at a top level for the rest of 2013 and beyond, the Raiders are making the right move in pursuing a new deal to keep “Hulk” in town for a long time. With the line being one of the Raiders biggest offseason needs heading into 2014, the time is right to retain the quality pieces they do have. Hopefully Oakland works things out in the coming weeks with Veldheer.