Reports that the Raiders would pass on the chance to use their franchise tag on defensive end Lamarr Houston proved to be correct.
Houston was not given either the franchise or transition tag ahead of Monday afternoon’s deadline and neither was left tackle Jared Veldheer. That leaves the Raiders with the rest of the week to hammer out a contract with the impending free agent before he can start talking to other teams about leaving Oakland.
Veldheer said last month that he was hoping to see more urgency from the Raiders on contract talks and now would be a good time for them to pick up the pace if they haven’t already. The Raiders have said retaining Veldheer is a top offseason priority and he would likely see several suitors if he’s allowed to hit the open market.
Giving Veldheer the franchise tag would have put the Raiders on the hook for $11.654 million and Oakland has the cap space to swallow such a figure. Their choice not to go that route could suggest a hopefulness about signing Veldheer to a long-term deal, but it’s a risk with the start of free agency right around the corner.