Raiders free agents Veldheer, Houston headed out of town?

Raiders free agents Veldheer, Houston headed out of town?
March 11, 2014, 7:00 am
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Reports have Jared Veldheer going to Arizona and Lamarr Houston going to Chicago when free agency opens. (USATSI)

Programming note: NFL free agency begins today at 1 p.m. Watch SportsNet Central every night at 6 and 10:30 p.m. for all the latest football news.

The Raiders would prefer left tackle Jared Veldheer and defensive end Lamarr Houston remain in Silver and Black. It’s uncertain, some say unlikely, that they will after free agency begins on Tuesday at 1 p.m.

The team’s high profile free agents have been heavily linked to other teams. Several reports have Veldheer set to sign with the Arizona Cardinals as early as Tuesday despite overtures from the Raiders.

The Green Bay Packers and others have courted Lamarr Houston, but the Chicago Bears might stand in the way of a return to Oakland. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport said the Bears are “pushing hard” to sign Houston after Michael Bennett re-signed with the Seahawks. NFL.com indicated that Houston might sign early Tuesday afternoon.

While those links are legit and Veldheer and Houston seem to be headed out of town, the Raiders aren’t officially eliminated until a signature is applied.

Losing both would prompt significant fan backlash, especially in the short term, but leave plenty of money to spend on other talent.

Just hours remain until the first wave of free agency crashes, and it will be interesting to see how the Raiders react during this pivotal time.

Stay tuned to CSNBayArea.com for Raiders updates throughout the day and watch Tahoo Sports Talk Live and Sportsnet Central this evening for even more Raiders coverage.