Oakland Raiders Nate Allen on “All-Bad Contracts Team”


Dec 28, 2014; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Philadelphia Eagles strong safety Nate Allen (29) intercepts a pass intended for New York Giants wide receiver Rueben Randle (82) in the fourth quarter during the game at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

When Nate Allen signed with the Oakland Raiders during 2015 NFL Free Agency it was a needed move at safety after general manager Reggie McKenzie moved on from the injury prone Tyvon Branch. Allen providing stability at the position as the Raiders paired the former Eagles veteran with Charles Woodson at the backend of the secondary for the 2015 season. Giving the team a proven talent who can be with the team for years to come once CWood hangs up his cleats down the road.

More from Las Vegas Raiders News

However not everyone felt the Allen signing was a good move by McKenzie as the price tag for the safety was perceived to be above market value. The Raiders making a player that the Eagles no longer wanted the seventh highest paid safety in the league with $12 million in guaranteed money making the contract an overpay despite Allen’s starter status and upgrade over the absentee in Branch.

Grantland NFL columnist Bill Barnwell resurfaced the debate over Allen’s contract in his annual “All-Bad Contracts” column on Wednesday. Pegging Allen as the only Raiders player, and one of three AFC West players to make the list as the Chargers had two players slapped with the distinction of being one of the worst contracts at their position.

Barnwell cited the amount of guaranteed money in Allen’s deal as the primary reason for making the list, adding that the Eagles reportedly were shopping Allen during his contract year during the 2014 season as one of the big reasons as to why the Raiders ended up paying well over market value for the player. Something that may be true as Allen is certainly not the seventh best safety in the league despite his new contract paying him as such.

From Barnwell’s All-Bad Contract Team column:

"Safety: Nate Allen, RaidersContract Flaw: The Marginal PlayerAs is the case in Jacksonville, Oakland often needs to overpay to try to lure veteran talent to its never-ending rebuilding project in the East Bay. Too often, that’s meant players on the wrong side of 30 in need of one last paycheck, like Justin Tuck and Donald Penn. The moves got younger this year with Rodney Hudson and Allen, and while Hudson was a very good center last year for the Chiefs, Allen’s most notable moment was getting burnt for a game-winning touchdown against the Cardinals. The Eagles were reportedly interested in trading for a safety last year to replace Allen, but after they let him leave in free agency, the Raiders gave Allen nearly $12 million guaranteed. He’ll have the seventh-largest cap hit of any safety in 2015."

Even if the most diehard homers in the Raider Nation can’t deny that the team overpaid for Allen based on his status as one of the Top 10 cap hits at his position despite not being a Top 10 talent for the Raiders secondary. Allen can and will likely be an above replacement level starter for Oakland, which is why he was signed as the team has had a hole at the position thanks to Branch’s injury woes, but that doesn’t justify the price tag they were willing to pay him based on the market value he would have seen elsewhere. The hope is that Allen proves the doubters wrong, but as far as recent team contracts go it is easy to peg Allen’s as one of the worst with the cap hit and guaranteed money making it one of McKenzie’s lesser deals that he has negotiated.