The Oakland Raiders have been busy in free agency, making several signings, but have also lost a few of their own marquee players, including defensive end Lamarr Houston and offensive lineman Jared Veldheer.
The Raiders tried to replace Veldheer, who signed a five-year, $35 million deal with the Arizona Cardinals, with Rodger Saffold, but the deal did not work out and he returned to the St. Louis Rams.
Vic Tafur of The San Francisco Gate asked Raiders’ general manager Reggie McKenzie about the offseason at the NFL Owners’ meetings in Orlando.
Veldheer came up when I was actually asking about the botched Rodger Saffold signing, and if that was a setback, considering the players the Raiders lost out on on the first day of free agency.
“No, “McKenzie said. “It really wasn’t a setback. … The setback was the one that got away from us.
“Losing Veldheer was a blow to me. He didn’t want to come back. It wasn’t about finances. The kid didn’t want to play for the Raiders anymore, and I struggled with that.”
McKenzie said it was “the same boat” with departed defensive end Lamarr Houston but “he was a little more sincere about wanting to come back.”
The Raiders wound up signing Austin Howard away from the Jets.