With the NFL offseason still not officially underway, the league’s new year doesn’t begin until March 11, one of the Oakland Raiders pending unrestricted free agents is making it clear he has no intentions of testing the waters of free agency. In fact he his actively trying to get the tires spinning a bit faster on the highway to getting a new deal done to stay with the Silver and Black.
Even better news for the Raiders, it was one of the more important free agents in left tackle Jared Veldheer, whose impact on the team was noticed during his unfortunate absence until Thanksgiving with a torn tricep that never quite healed until he had surgery. Once Veldheer returned the Raiders offensive line improved as did their passing game under Matt McGloin and while the Raiders didn’t win any games after he came back into the lineup, Veldheer still wants to be apart of the franchise rebuild.
That good news comes with a bit of concern that the Raiders might not be as interested in signing Veldheer to a new deal right away as the left tackle has made the media rounds admitting he wishes the team could get a deal done before the free agency period starts.
Veldheer recently said on Raiders flagship station 95.7 The Game that “a little bit of urgency from the other side would be nice” when it comes to discussions about a deal that would keep Veldheer in a Raiders uniform.
“It’s tough when that kind of stuff happens, because it goes against everything that’s been said about being a cornerstone of the team that [they're] going to build around,” Veldheer said, via CSNBayArea.com. “It doesn’t back up those words with the right action. Right now it’s kind of, not at a stand still, but there’s not a lot happening. I think that we need to move things on a little quicker. There isn’t enough urgency, to put it in a football term.”
The stall in talks likely boils down to two things: One of them being money and the other being concern of Veldheer’s injury last season. Both of these things tie in hand in hand as if Veldheer wants a deal for an elite left tackle it is very likely that it is the reason the Raiders are balking at extending a deal. Reggie McKenzie has been open about his desire to remain salary cap conscious even with his newfound space and that includes overpaying on unrestricted free agents. Raider fans will want Veldheer to resign as soon as possible, but this may take awhile as both sides attempt to hammer out a deal that suits both of their best interests.