Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis on the field before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Out With The Old and In With The New

Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis on the field before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 8, 2013; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis on the field before the game against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

It must be that I’m not built for the whole “Drama” aspect of reporting or sports blogging, because I have to admit that I am sick and tired of hearing about Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston.  I’ve always been pretty good about moving forward and on with my life, even when the bad things happen.  I don’t dwell on the past, so why do I keep hearing about Veldheer and Houston?

This all stemmed from the NFL Owner’s meeting in Florida.  Oakland Raiders General Manager Reggie McKenzie was interviewed by the press and asked about the losses of both Veldheer and Houston.  McKenzie said that he hated losing his players to free agency, but he wasn’t willing to pay the amount of money needed for the Franchise Tag/Transition Tag.  When asked specifically about Veldheer, McKenzie’s response was, “The kid didn’t want to play for the Raiders anymore, and I struggled with that.”

Jared Veldheer was recently interviewed on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM, and he told the broadcasters, “It’s not that I didn’t want to be there (Oakland)… A deal didn’t get done at the table and that led to free agency.”

What are we, Raider Nation, to believe?  I guess whatever we want.  Sure there are those that will side with Veldheer and Houston, and others will side with McKenzie.  In the end, the players are still gone and both sides have moved on.  It’s time that Raider Nation do the same, move on.

The culture is changing in Oakland, and the change caused the loss of a couple of decent players.  One was arguably better than the other, Veldheer was better than Houston, but they are both gone.  There are new players in town to make the Raiders a better team, and we, Raider Nation, should be embracing and supporting them.  So let’s get behind the players on the current roster, and we can drop the decayed discussion about players the Raiders have lost.

Out with the old and in with the new!

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Tags: Jared Veldheer Lamarr Houston Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie

  • raidersfanbob


  • Travis Myers

    I won’t lie I was pretty pissed at the whole Veldheer saga especially with the contract they were ready to give Saffold. At this point though who cares Veldheer and Houston are gone. And from all reports McKenzie has tried to get big name free agents to come in but it has been a tough sell. J.Allen took less money to go to the Bears over the Raiders. All in all he has made some pretty crafty signings for guys who could really contribute. And unlike Al he didn’t break the bank doing it. If they rack up some wins next year I think they can bring some bigger name guys.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    That is the hope, I guess. Interesting thing that I just learned about the Saffold deal, Veldheer was the first choice at LT. When it was obvious that Veldheer didn’t want to stay for the contract offered, McKenzie had to scramble to get Saffold in as their second choice. We were lucky just to have Donald Penn go on the market, and we were lucky that he was not happy with his contract offered in Tampa. Only time will tell if these moves worked out. One can always hope, but it’s been a rough road for all of us.

  • bigninaross

    Thanks for always writing what I’m thinking Shane!

  • JoeSchmoo

    What we can believe about the Veldheer issue was that his brother was the main reason a contract did not get done. Despite what JV and Mary say, they should save their negative comments toward the Raiders and get a legitimate agent next time.

  • Jay Haskins

    You mean out with new, in with the old.

    Lost: Jared Veldheer 25 years old Lamarr Houston 27 years old
    Gained: Justin Tuck 32 years old Lamarr Woodley 31 years old

    Is EVERYBODY associated with the Raiders delusional?

    (1) DA makes a statement declaring that Matt Schaub (ranked 31st last year) is on par with Peyton Manning. The late night comedy jokes will continue when Matt McGloin beats him out. I don’t even think it will be that hard

    (2) RM tells the media that the Raiders are not looking for stop-gaps, when stop-gaps like Tuck, Woodson, etc are clearly on the roster.

    If you are a Raider fan, it must to be hard to sleep with the three stooges (RM, DA, MD) running the organization

  • eddytap

    well Jay..what are they suppose to do? A GM is suppose to get players that want to be in an organization. It’s obvious beyond all they say, they didn’t want to be Raiders. And overpaying for talent is not the way. It’s been tried before – see Al Davis. it doesn’t work. Yes, the talent they picked up is older but just because its older doesn’t mean is not productive. Both of the individuals you identified (Veldheer and Houston) weren’t as productive last year as the individuals they brought in and probably won’t be this year. Plus, there’s this thing called the draft that bring in new player every year. So, I’m quite sure Reggie is targeting some young talent to help ease the pain.

    Secondly, what else are they suppose to say? Their quarterback sucks and their talent stinks. Get real. They have to PR this thing as best they can. They know they are a couple of years away but they still need to pack the stadium.

    Last, Reggie has managed to get them 60 million plus under the cap by getting rid of bad contracts and dead weight. Just for this he deserves a break and a chance to set up his roster.

    So, Jay, you are definitely entitled to your opinion, but as far as I can see you come across as a biased Raider hater. It’s going to take time to get this organization in order, it took years for it to get to this point. Us true Raider fans understand this quite well. Oh and by the way, I sleep damn good at night. Football ain’t my life bro.

  • James Holtslander

    The culture is changing , however, Veldheer claimed he wanted to be a raider for life not long ago. So for Reggie to come out and say he did t want to be a raider anymore is confusing. If it was a matter of money , I want my GM to tell me that. Reggie’s comment makes Veldheer look like a liar.

  • eddytap

    Veldheer wasn’t lying. He did want to be a Raider but at 10.5 million per year.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Great points made Eddy, I don’t even think a response from me is worth it. You covered it all. I will say this though, there is young talent on the Raiders, and that talent needed some positive veteran influence. RM had brought that to the Raiders. Matt Schaub is an upgrade at QB from where the team was last year. Now he can be the starter while a QB, perhaps through the draft or Matt McGloin, can develop behind him. Besides, Tom Brady, Joe Montana, Jim Plunkett, Ken Stabler, Steve Young, and many many other QB’s weren’t made overnight. They had to develop.

  • El Savior

    Agreed. #RaiderNation

  • Aethelred

    Yes, yes – EVERYBODY associated with the Raiders is delusional. That is why they signed sacks of potatoes rather than football players. Oh wait, what’s that? They did not contract with various and sundry inanimate objects and did in fact acquire real, live football players? Hyperbole sure is fun.

    1) Schuab was 31st according to whom? And regardless, he has, I believe, been a starting quarterback in the NFL for more than one season. Perhaps you would do well to look at his body of work rather than one year in which the organization around him crumbled. Here’s another point: of the majestic two whole games the Texans won last year, the quarterback in two of them was Matt Schaub. According to my calculations, that comes to approximately 100% of their wins.

    2) I don’t know about your crazy fantasy league, but in mine, points are awarded for all sorts of stats; age is not one of them. As I understand it, things work fairly similarly in the real league. If you would like to dwell on last season, as you seem intent on doing with Matt Schaub, I would point out that on PFF, Justin Tuck was the 7th best 4-3 DE. Lamarr Houston was 11th. Our new Lamarr, by the way, was the 10th best 3-4 OLB. Austin Howard and Donald Penn were both ranked higher than Veldheer. Now, as I’ve mentioned, I think it is foolish to focus on one season without the context of a player’s entire career. And doing so for the above-mentioned players only strengthens the argument for Tuck, Woodley, etc. as compared to the high-priced free agents whom Houston and Veldheer believed themselves to be.

    The point is not that Reggie McKenzie has been flawless. He has not been by any stretch of the imagination. The point is that all GM’s make choices, some good, some poor, but none of them delusional. (Remember St. Elway and the Great Fax Machine Debacle of 2013 that led to Elvis Dumervil packing his bags for Baltimore and continuing to play at a very high level there while the Denver pass rush floundered?) And on the whole, Reggie McKenzie has done a solid job in year three of the Raiders’ five-year monumental rebuilding project. I sleep quite soundly, thank you very much.

  • eddytap

    Thanks Shane… totally agree with you. We definitely need more veteran presence on this team and that’s what Reggie and Dennis saw this team needed first.

    Another point is I get tired of hearing all the noise from the haters about how unrealistic Raider fans are with regard to winning. We get it. Right now, Oakland is not an attractive place for top free agents to come. It’s going to take winning to change this perception and that’s a process that takes time to build. So, given this understand, what else is Reggie going to do? He has to sign someone. He has to spend at least 90% plus of their cap over the next three years. So why not sign the best player available who have a desire to play and want to be here. At least you get some productivity and leadership out of them as opposed to just overpaying some guy who really doesn’t want to be here in the first place (see anyone Al Davis got during free agency). So, when you hear about this BS from the national circuit (ESPN) on how bad the Raider are mismanaged/disfunctional and how they don’t know what they are doing, it lets you know, know matter what the raiders do, they will be wrong. So, why worry about it? Let just enjoy the ride and see where we end up in a couple of years. Maybe by then, we won’t have to say anything because the results will speak for themselves.

  • Jay Haskins

    Secondly, what else are they suppose to say? Their quarterback sucks and their talent stinks. Get real. They have to PR this thing as best they can.

    They are suppose to say the truth because SOME of us can see it anyway. For example, you can’t tell somebody like ME, but maybe you, that Matt Schaub is on par with Peyton Manning. Or RM can’t tell ME that he isn’t signing any stop-gaps, when he clearly is. Yea they PR’d this thing alright. They are going to need to tarp off more of their seats. Problem is, I don’t even think they have any more left

  • Gregg Brennan

    Veldheer and Houston are okay players, but that’s just it, they’re okay, maybe slightly better than average at their respective positions. What kills me is people are acting like we just let Joe Thomas and JJ Watt walk out the door, so let’s have some perspective here people. The same people were saying the same things about Phillip Wheeler and Desmond Bryant last year. Honestly, did we miss either of them and did either wind up making a Pro Bowl for their new team? Nope on both counts. Get a grip folks.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Wow, and what football team do you like? It definitely doesn’t seem like you are a Raiders fan. If so, then I guess the last 12 years has really got you bummed out. As far as the Dennis Allen “On Par” comment, Matt Schaub gives the Raiders the best chance to win. Now, this is contingent upon a lot of things. First, he must regain the form he had in 2011 and 2012. Second, he’s got to stay healthy. Of course, that all begins with a better offensive line. Oh, that’s right, Reggie McKenzie is upgrading the offensive line. There must also be some wide receivers to throw to. Wait, Rod Streater, Brice Butler, James Jones, Andre Holmes, Denarius Moore, Juron Criner, and let’s not forget Tight End’s Mychal Rivera and Nick Kasa. Then, there are a lot of really good wide receivers in the draft this year too. Still, until 2014 starts, this is just assumption and speculation from all sides. I prefer the glass half empty side, and I prefer to be optimistic about my team, the Oakland Raiders!

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Soon enough, the winning will come again. There’s nowhere to go but up, and the moves being made have more upside than down.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Great, another non-Raiders fan who wishes to give his/her two cents about something they resent. Jealousy will get you nowhere.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Veldheer wanted more money than McKenzie felt he was worth. RM has a price tag on every player, and he will not budge on his price. Fact is, Veldheer didn’t want to stay in Oakland for what he was being offered. Veldheer wanted to get Franchise Tagged so the Raiders would have to pay big. McKenzie decided against it, and the deal didn’t get done. No liars, just business.

  • eddytap

    yep. me too. Jay you obviously see differently than the rest of us delusional fans so I’ll just agree to disagree.

  • Aethelred

    Thanks, Shane. I try to learn from the best, e.g., you. Keep the great work coming.

  • Seattle Raider

    Finally, someone who gets it. I’ll make this short. 1. The Raiders were one of the youngest team in the league last year. 2. This is the FIRST year of the rebuild. ( last two were evaluation and deconstruction. ) 3. Reggie’s Drafting? Did he have a #1 pick his first year? And all though it hasn’t been discussed here. Palmer wanted no part of a rebuild. so let that one go!

  • Chris Schroeder

    Just have a couple questions for you as we begin the first stages of your psyche evaluation… Ok 1. Did your mom drop you on your head when you were a baby? 2. When you shake your head back and forth do you hear the sound of marbles rattling around? 3. Do you have suicidal thoughts from time to time? 4. Are you a closet raider fan who is trolling raider articles looking to make mindless jabs at a team you secretly admire?

    Take your time to respond, and we will have your test results prepared momentarily.