Raiders don't tag Veldheer or Houston

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Raiders don't tag Veldheer or Houston
March 3, 2014, 1:15 pm
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Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston just finished their fourth seasons with the Raiders. (USATSI)

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The deadline to apply franchise or transition tags has come and gone. The Raiders didn’t designate defensive end Lamarr Houson or left tackle Jared Veldheer with either one.

[RELATED: Raiders official salary cap space: $64.667 million]

The Raiders declined to use those options to help secure rights to either player, a decision expected for months now. General manger Reggie McKenzie said in January that he didn’t want to use tags on anyone, a preference that makes sense given the price tag with Veldheer and Houston playing premium positions.

Applying a tag would’ve been expensive. A franchise tag varies based upon exclusivity, but it would’ve guaranteed an eight-figure salary for both players. A transition tag would’ve equaled the average salary of the top 10 players at a given position and insured a right to match any offer made to the player.

The NFL released the tag numbers on Friday. Here they are:

Defensive end
Franchise tag:
$13.116 million
Transition tag: $10.663 million

Offensive line
Franchise tag:
$11.654 million
Transition tag: $10.039 million

Veldheer and Houston are talented, upper-echelon players, but they aren’t worth that steep value. The Raiders hope to retain both players with long-term contracts. Sides have talked in both negotiations, and are committed to reaching an accord before the March 8 date when other teams can negotiate with prospective free agents. Veldheer would certainly prefer to sign before that date, but an accord has not been reached.

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