Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: 2014 Offseason New Year's Resolutions

With 2013 ending on such a sour note for our Oakland Raiders, it’s time we look forward to the 2014 offseason and to what the team can do to build on whatever momentum they built this year. To get out of the AFC West basement and reach the playoffs, the Raiders need to make some New Year’s resolutions that they can actually keep.

Lose some weight:

We’ve all been trying to lose those stubborn 10-15 pounds that just won’t come off but surprisingly enough, this is one of the easier resolutions for the Raiders to keep. With over $50 million in dead cap space coming off the books for the 2014 season, the team can sign some key free agents and shore up their depth, the lack of which has been on clear display since the injuries at key positions started piling up. The dead money accounted for roughly 45% of the Raiders cap space, an astonishingly high number in a sport where rosters need to be solid all the way through the depth chart in order to compete. Shedding some pounds in the form of underperforming players is also key and will be as straightforward as not re-signing Darren McFadden ($5.8 million) and Jacoby Ford ($1.2 million).

Make smarter financial decisions and save money: 

All the money being freed up needs to be spent wisely and not on players that got the team in to this mess in the first place. It can be easy to get caught up in the excitement of some extra cash to spend, but as we’ve seen from teams like the Redskins, Cowboys, and Eagles, signing high-priced free agents does not guarantee success. The late Al Davis, like his good friend Jerry Jones, had a history of signing players he considered “his guys” to big money contracts even if they were past their prime or simply not good enough. Guys like Richard Seymour making $13 million in 2013 is absurd considering the fact that he couldn’t even land a roster spot on any other team this year. Making smart decisions and letting players go when they become ineffective can and will save the Raiders from another salary cap hell a few years down the road.

Hit the dating scene but don’t give your heart to just anybody:

Drafting a player is a lot like dating. You can fall in love at first sight and focus on all the positives like 40 times, bench reps, and bench reps but be so infatuated that you overlook all the possible negatives such as character issues, lack of fundamentals, poor work ethic, and more. The Raiders have missed on far too many draft picks in recent years and that needs to change. Some didn’t have the talent to contribute and some just didn’t have the character to make it in the NFL. The draft is the best and cheapest way to add impact players and depth and with the rookie wage scale implemented in 2011, having a top five pick is no longer as financially crippling as it once was.

The Raiders seem to be heading in the right direction by maintaining some consistency at head coach, something sorely lacking over the past decade and now that the team’s “destruction” phase is over we can all enjoy the “reconstruction” of the greatness of the Raiders.

Do you have any resolutions you want the Raiders to make? Let us know in the comments section!

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Tags: AFC West Al Davis Fans Oakland Raiders

  • Silvia Arredondo

    Thats exactly what needs to be done.

  • Ricky Bobby

    Just one: FIRE DA

  • Mo Zaky

    Great article. Agreed that keeping Allen as HC is crucial – organizational stability is key to building a winning franchise and also helps to attract FAs.

  • darkraider 1

    Get rid of Allen, but I guess that’s not gonna happen so I guess we can chalk 2014 up as another lost season !

  • khaled74

    i think the KC game showed me that the guys are still behind DA and that should count for something. Getting another coach wouldnt solve all our problems unless its somebody thats a proven winner like Bill Cowher or Gruden and I dont think thats ever gonna happen.

  • Jetlife510

    Dennis allen is a soft fucking coach! Raidersdont need tjat soft shit. Bring in jon gruden. I heard mark davis wants to speak to Green Bays head coach but after niners vs packers game

  • khaled74

    mccarthys a great coach but why would he leave a great team in GB and a potential hall of fame QB in rodgers for a rebuilding project like the raiders?

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    Dennis Allen, say that he not sure the QB of the future is not on the team. He need to stay on Defense. A rookie Qb will be no better than what we have now. Need to strengthen the front line so that the QB’s can go through there digressions. If we going to go veteran, go back to Vince Young. He has a winning record and he is accurate as well as 2yr. 5Million compared to someone we have to trade our draft picks for. The lines on both sides and the depth of the DB’s and safeties’. This year if the draft suck like they did last year, Dennis will need to go. Instead of DJ Hayden we could have had Star Louleti. DJ would have been their for the second round. Watson is a project. So those was C draft picks.

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    I would like Bill Cowher, or Jay Gruden if Jon don’t come back. But let’s see what McKenzie and Allen do with on restrictions this year. If he has not learned how to manage games and grow players then it will be time to replace him. Both of the Qb’s are good and could be great with time in a system. Even Payton was not good in his rookie year. I am counting this as Pryor Rookie year. He would have been a rookie out of college this year. as well as needed to be in the same system. to learn it. Ask Matt Flynn.

  • Jetlife510

    Maybe RM has a good future for him and the Raiders

  • Peter Brown

    Being a 49er fan makes me suspect in discussing the Raiders, but what you say is truth, what remains is that with Davis gone, but not buried a lot of his ethos survives to bedevil his team. They need to put down anchors and build around them. Keeping the coach is good, letting the coach build would be better. The Raider ethic has always been on the quick fix, money no object. Time to do the slow mend, counting pennies.

  • James Holtslander

    Watching Johnny football right now Texas is coming back on duke , it’s 38-41. If the raiders pass on manziel , I will be bummed. I didn’t like his cockiness until I actually started watching him play.

  • PJ

    Best rebuttle yet. Anyone who thinks 8-24 in 2 years is stability must struggle in life themselves. A winning educated HC wins immediately. If they dont, then they are shown the welcome mat at the back door called NFL (NOT FOR LONG). They need to pick high and buy low. We need both supply, and demand, and in business if not managed financially intelligent it can spell disaster. We can not be losing precious draft pic investments at this stage of development and build back a Dynasty with two Duck Commanders in RM & DA! We really need to nail this draft with trenchmen and build out from there to sustain youth,depth and continuity as our foundation.

  • PJ

    RM may want to talk to McCarthy, but I have a hunch MD has Wisenhunt in his cross hairs. Thats why he wants to wait and watch the POs this weekend before speaking with DA. Its most likely that SD will be 1and done. Then MD can make a move. Jmo?

  • PJ

    Good point and he wont.

  • PJ

    Do we really need another rookie QB to start over with and develop? TP is the most experienced and has all the attributes that can still be improved. He has been through 2 owners, 1 GM, 3 HCs, 3 O coordinators, 3 different playbooks and 6 other QBs and 11starts in 3 years, yet he is still here taking all the blame as a team player and completely committed to excellence! Thats a leader and a tough one. They need to go experienced QB if they want one. I do like Vince Young along with Prime Time who endorses him as well. He is experienced and would come cheap with no trading pics or paying out the Ass for one who is not available anyway. Unless you like Cutler? I dont trust him!

  • PJ

    Thats the pitch he used on all the GB busts he brought in here and are gone. Never going to happen. Walk away from Rodgers who just signed a huge contract? For this team? Not a chance!

  • Phil Mokate

    Your right building stability is essential. Building continuity with the RIGHT COACH is just as important. A HC that has lost 75% of his games in two years is not stability unless it’s in losing. There are how many HCs in their first or second year that are in the playoffs or with Atleast .500 or better except DA and the Jags. Reid, McCoy, Trestman, Kelly, Ariens, etc.. and several others that are now into their 3rd year and on. DA has to go! He is a gold fish in Shark infested waters and its just a matter of time.

  • Raider Duke

    I feel everyone’s pain, I just want the Raiders to get back to being competitive! Of course I want the Raiders to get back to the super bowl but us Raider fans have to be realistic, we want a steak and lobster dinner but only have enough money for taco bell! I believe it hasn’t been DA and RM fault, they inherited a bad team with NO money and few draft pics, that resulted in a patch work team with too many discounted and undrafted players on it and not to mention the players who did not perform and all the injuries. That’s not going to be the story next year (hopefully) because of what RM and DA have accomplished (trimming the fat) next year the Raiders will have LOTS of money and draft pics to turn this franchise around. I’m tired of new coaches every two years, we need to build continuity, yes some heads should role to pay for the two 4-12 seasons but it should be the players who haven’t performed and assistants who were poor at their job.

  • Dean Thomas

    But those teams already had talent and we’re not in the salary cap abyss. DA deserves a chance with good players and depth.

  • Bob

    I came to the realization that those of us who bought season tickets and spent hours driving to the games the last two years during the “deconstruction” phase were essentially robbed by the Raiders organization with the product put on the field. I will not be robbed next year and am not buying season tickets.

  • holy roller

    Lets not forget Hue the Mouth…….8-8 didn;t seem that great………..until now. Remember, DA says we “just didn’t have the talent”………once again , he musta been lookin in the mirror when he uttered that bit of nonsense.

  • holy roller

    thar goes that “no talent bs again……please see my note regarding Baby Hughie and his top ten…..”NO TALENT…offence 2 years ago.

  • Dean Thomas

    Ok, I was not in support of getting rid of Hue either when Reggie took over. I felt we just needed more talent on defense with Hue’s offense. But, it is what it is and Reggie had to cut the fat, so to speak. This team has talent as shown by the way they played te first half if the season. Problem is, they don’t have depth. When injuries started piling up, they where worn out and done. I feel we need a franchise QB, and build depth along both lines. Also need a pass rusher or 2 to take some pressure off the DB’s. I agree that DA’s game management was horrendous at times, but like a 2nd year player, u can’t expect a 2nd year coach to be a hall of gamer either. The Raiders job, albeit better now, is still not the most desirable for a “proven” head coach. Al went off the rails when he moved the team back to Oakland from LA. From the 1960′s through the early 1990′s, the head coach was always promoted from within the organization and held the philosophy that made them the winningest team in professional sports, when Al went outside te organization and tried too many quick fixes it was all bad.

  • Eagle3294

    From what I have seen of the Raiders this year, Allen has made a mockery of Raiders football. You cannot manage a team for 3 quarter of a 4 quarter game. There were to many games this year, where piss poor coaching and relaxing the defense in the 4th quarter caused the Raiders to loss games. The Raiders to have some good talent, but the team needs leadership both on and off the field. A coach with a backbone to push the players and a QB that can take the bull by the horns and control that team.

  • holy roller

    that’s a mouthfull! Big Al “off the rails”, REALLY? wHO (REMIND ME) hired Gruden and let him do his thing? (sold him but still) Together they built a solid team.(too bad Big Al missed on mosta those high picks he got) Hire from within did work for years and I liked that (he did it with hue -oc to hc) and all these “busts”? Seymore comes to mind, did he get two pro bowls after Al got him? What a bust. DHB? Gave him away even though he was 55 yards off 1 thousand with hue in 2010. Big Al has made plenty of mistakes,don’t get me wrong but he always wanted to “reload vs rebuild”. RM had to cut the fat because MD isnt AD and thus had no clue how to “master” the cap like his dady did for years.
    As far as the hc job now? Should be one of the most highly sought after, cap space up the wazzu and an owner who (we think) will let ya do ur thing as long as you win.
    BTW, Hughie was a second year hc and got us to 8-8 with that no talent team.
    Nice talkin at ya, GO RAIDERS!

  • Dean Thomas

    He also traded Gruden to Tampa Bay, didn’t exactly work out for us in Super Bowl XXXVII. Raiders moved back to Oakland in 1995, they’ve had 4 winning seasons in 18 years. Not a great formula. And, yes his picks were a joke, look back from 2002 forward, see who Al picked (usually the fastest 40 time) and the next player taken. It’s a pro bowl roster!!!