NAPA – Dennis Allen wasn’t naming names, but he said there are current players the Raiders would like to lock up for the long-term.
Sooner rather than later, it seems.
The concept was broached a day after kicker Sebastian Janikowski signed a four-year, $18.9 million contract extension, and the team’s head coach was certainly open to it. The Janikowski deal was a sign that the Raiders were willing to use some of their 2014 salary-cap space ahead of time for the players they really want to keep.
“I’m not going to get into real negotiations,” Allen said, "but there are some players that we’d like to go ahead and shore up.”
With an estimated $51 million in salary cap space next season, the Raiders can break out the credit card, buy now and pay later.
Janikowski’s deal can be a template for near-future signings. His 2013 salary hasn’t changed, but his future earnings are laid out.
The same could be done with several other players entering a contract year. There are several productive Raiders who might come cheaper now than after a true breakout year, including left tackle Jared Veldheer, defensive end Lamarr Houston and fullback Marcel Reece.
The team could be more likely to take a wait-and-see approach with oft-injured performers like running back Darren McFadden and receiver Jacoby Ford, who also have expiring contracts.