Oakland Raiders: A More Attractive Free Agency Option in 2015

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Jan 25, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Oakland Raiders cheerleader performs in the 2015 Pro Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and for fans of the Oakland Raiders there is nothing more beautiful in football then the Silver and Black. Unfortunately over the past years others outside of the fan base and organization would consider the Oakland Raiders the “Ugly Betty” of the NFL. An organization marred by overpriced players, under-paid coaches, and out-dated facilities, surrounded by a city more known for its gang activity and police shootings then winning football.

The “Cap Hell” dilemma is over, yet last year proved the Oakland Raiders were still destination #32 for most free agent players. Money is usually the biggest factor for players set to hit free agency, but in todays NFL being a contender is a very close second. With clever cap manuevers and contract re-structuring, even the most cash strapped teams have found ways to sign high-priced free agents.

"“The only way I’d play for [team name] is if they doubled my salary.” Raiders received 23% of the vote from players, the highest number in the NFL via ESPN"

So outside of money what attracts a player to a team? Location, a solid quarterback, dynamic facilities, and of course a great coaching staff. Looking at that list it is easy to see the Raiders are finally getting serious about attracting quality players through free agency.  And unlike last year, the Raiders may find themselves at the top of the list when it comes to big name free agents.