What the Oakland Raiders Should Do With Expiring Contracts

1 of 2

Sep 21, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Oakland Raiders center Stefen Wisniewski (61) during the second quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

The time to re-sign impending free agents has almost arrived in the NFL, and teams are now deciding who to re-sign or extend, and who to let hit the open market from their rosters. Some of these decisions are harder than others, especially for teams with tight cap space in 2015. For the Raiders, this decision will be easier: the Raiders could potentially re-sign every single expiring deal on the team and still have plenty of money left over to land a high-value free agent in March. But some players are worth it and some aren’t, here is one writer’s opinion on who should be re-signed and who should be released at the end of this league year.

This list is from looking at the Raiders contract information page on Sportrac.com. If there is inaccurate information on Sportrac.com, good chance it’ll end up in here, and I apologize for that in advance if it occurs. Here we go:

Khalif Barnes – Re-sign: Barnes played solidly last season at the right tackle spot and has been a fixture on the Raiders for years now. If he is willing to come back for another 2-3 years for cheap, I think he has great value for depth and versatility on the offensive line.

Stefen Wisniewski – release: Wisniewski is a solid starting center but has had some struggles over the past two seasons, meanwhile there are some good options for upgrading the position potentially available in free agency or in the draft. Wiz might be able to go somewhere else and get a big deal a la Jared Veldheer, and if he can, then he should. Let him get to the market.

Live Feed

Stefen Wisniewski retires as an underrated, important piece in KC Chiefs history
Stefen Wisniewski retires as an underrated, important piece in KC Chiefs history /

Arrowhead Addict

  • Penn State Football well represented in NFC, AFC Championship Games Victory Bell Rings
  • Eric Bieniemy says Stefen Wisniewski should be ready to help Chiefs soon Arrowhead Addict
  • Stefen Wisniewski officially joins Chiefs practice squad Arrowhead Addict
  • Chiefs bring back former Super Bowl champ to help protect Patrick Mahomes FanSided
  • Kansas City Chiefs bringing Stefen Wisniewski for free agent visit Arrowhead Addict
  • Tarell Brown – release: Brown improved during the course of the 2014 season after a slow start, and can probably be a quality starter. But with the development of DJ Hayden and TJ Carrie, the veteran corner is now expendable for the Raiders.

    Carlos Rogers – release: Rogers is getting up there in years, and was hurt much of last year. He may want to start thinking about life as a safety, but it won’t be in Oakland.

    Denarius Moore – release: The fast, athletic Moore once showed promise as a potential deep threat in his first two years. Then Carson Palmer left and Moore apparently left with him. Moore’s lack of development as a receiver and unremarkable showing as a return man aren’t worth holding on to for another year.

    David Ausberry – release: The athletic receiving tight end has every measurable asset you’d want at the position. But he can’t stay on the field, and even when he is on the field he can’t produce. Let it go.

    Darren McFadden – release: This is hard. I really like Darren McFadden, he’s been very committed to this organization and he clearly wants to do great things in a Raider uniform. Unfortunately he appears to have missed his prime with injuries and now is on the wrong side of his best years. He has value somewhere as a 3rd down back or change of pace back, I just don’t see that somewhere being Oakland.

    Rod Streater – re-sign: Rod Streater was the team’s leading receiver in 2013 and looked like he’d be a top target again in 2014 but was injured in the opener after scoring the season’s first touchdown and is now set to enter restricted free agency. He’s big, fast, and talented, and while he is going to be an RFA, he was an undrafted rookie and as such would be worth other teams shooting him an offer sheet. If this happens, the Raiders should match unless the number is just extravagant.

    Pat Sims – release: Sims started the year as the starting nose tackle but was eventually replaced by the rookie Justin Ellis. His skills seem to be in decline, and with other options available out there for depth in the interior defensive line rotation, his value is diminished greatly.

    Marquette King – re-sign: he’s a very good young punter with nothing but better years ahead of him. Definitely keep Marquette.

    Andre Holmes – release: he’s a big wide receiver who was targeted quite a bit last year in the absence of Rod Streater, but caught roughly 47% of his targets, though he did lead the team in receiving yards. Still, after four years in the NFL, Holmes struggles to be more than a guy who should be the #4 wideout on most NFL teams.

    Vincent Brown – re-sign: Vincent Brown is a promising young receiver who didn’t get enough playing time to really stand out last year, but can probably be kept around for another season for not a lot of money. He’s a smaller bodied, faster guy who projects well as an underneath slot receiver, and worth a full offseason of OTA’s and a training camp to get a good look at before 2015.

    CJ Wilson – re-sign: Wilson is a young, able defensive lineman who can be used in a number of different alignments and fronts and had some strong production as a backup last year. He’s a good player to have on the defensive line rotation and probably can offer a few more years of cheap productivity in a backup role.

    Chimdi Chekwa – re-sign: Chekwa is a very fast corner with good size and strength who just hasn’t managed to find his way over his first four years in the NFL, but has shown up well in special teams play and has had a few strong moments at the cornerback position as well. He’s still young and unproven with good upside and should at least make it as far as a few preseason games before the plug is pulled. Worth a one-year “prove it” extension.

    Jamize Olawale – re-sign: Olawale is a capable dual-threat fullback who would probably be a regular starting fullback on most NFL teams that don’t have Marcel Reece. This depends on Bill Musgrave’s plan for the running game, but he’s generally liked to retain at least 2 fullbacks in his previous Offensive Coordinator stops.

    Kory Sheets – release: Sheets, who was a superstar in Canada, suffered the second achilles tear of his career last preseason and at 29, having failed to ever catch on in the NFL, he will either return to Canada or simply hang it up altogether. Talented player, lousy luck.

    Brandian Ross – re-sign: The worst safety in the league in 2013 was perhaps the most improved player in the league for 2014, when the Raiders brought him back from the scrap-heap after injuries to both Tyvon Branch and Usama Young. Ross played very well during the last half of the year and a full slate of OTA’s and training camp with Marcus Robertson might allow him to take his game to the next level.

    Neiko Thorpe – re-sign: Another promising young cornerback who can be brought back cheaply as a Restricted Free Agent and have a chance to fight for a roster spot in the 2015 preseason. You cannot have too many young DB’s on your roster in the preseason in this league.

    Matt McCants – re-sign: McCants is set to become an Exclusive Rights free agent if the Raiders do not offer him a new deal by the deadline. The qualifying tender won’t be very high for the former 6th round pick, but he has value as a depth player on the offensive line – he was occasionally used as the extra lineman in heavy sets by Greg Olson last year.

    Larry Asante – re-sign: The required minimum tender for this potential ERFA will be that of a 5th rounder, probably worth it after what Asante was able to do in run support in limited action last year. Another able DB to bring into training camp. Do it.

    Brian Leonhardt – re-sign: Another young ERFA candidate, his minimum tender number will be low. He was a capable blocking tight end for the team last year and should go to camp again, where he’ll likely compete with Nick Kasa for a job.

    Next: List of Potential Cap Space Cuts