Lammar Houston sacked Peyton Manning in one of the lone highlights of Sunday’s loss to the Denver Broncos. It was Houston’s sixth sack in a up and down contract year where the fan favorite came out strong, but like the majority of the Raiders defense fell apart in the second half when depth issues began to cause a chain reaction of breakdowns on defense in Oakland.
Regardless of how the second half of the season may have went, Houston is considered by many to be the Raiders best defensive lineman, but due to a variety of factors the now free agent feels that he may have just played his final game inside the Oakland Coliseum as a Raider.
“I believe that Dennis Allen and the Raiders might be looking to move on and have me go to another team or move on and find something more what they want for their system and their scheme,” Houston said to CSN Bay Area’s Scott Bair. “Who knows? It’s a rough business and nothing’s guaranteed and everything changes from day to day.”
Earlier in the year Houston was approached for an extension, but while he was playing well a deal did not get done. Now that his performances have dipped the Raiders may not think that he is worth the money that he and his agent are demanding. Somebody is going to pay Houston, but the defensive end’s comments postgame lead on that Reggie McKenzie may not want Houston back for the price he is asking. Even if Houston is a fan favorite who by all accounts loves the Silver and Black.
“I believe that they were talking me up and things like that, but to a certain standpoint,” he said. “I believe that, me and the Raiders, I think I’ve had good years and I really appreciate this organization. I love this organization, but as far as what some of the coaches want, I’m not sure. That’s out of my control. I play the best I can and do everything I can to contribute.”
What the Raiders do with Houston is important, they need to keep his talent on the defensive line and need to improve even more in the pass rush to get where they want next season. At the same time they cannot afford to overpay Houston, who is not going to give the Raiders a hometown discount and was never going to. This appears to be a situation that is more up to how much money Houston can get on the free market, based on how Sunday’s comments went it looks like the Raiders hopes of retaining Houston at a cap number they think is worth it will depend on if another team wants to pay him.