Should Raiders spend cap surplus?

June, 27, 2014
Jun 27
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The Oakland Raiders' offseason roster is at its limit of 90 players.

After a few fits and starts to begin free agency, the Raiders rebuilt their offensive and defensive lines and addressed the secondary and offensive backfield while adding veterans with championship pedigrees.

In the draft, Oakland scooped up the best player available in linebacker Khalil Mack, who has been nothing short of impressive in the offseason workouts, while picking up the franchise's quarterback of the future in Derek Carr (who has been elevated to second string) and a potential starter at left guard in Gabe Jackson.

[+] EnlargeReggie McKenzie
Bob Stanton/USA TODAY SportsRaiders GM Reggie McKenzie still has $10 million in salary-cap space to use for roster upgrades.
All draft picks are signed, so there will be no training camp holdout drama.

But if you think the Raiders are done tinkering with the 90-man roster, think again. General manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen have said all along they expect to make moves that, in their estimation, make the Raiders a better football team.

Plus, they have money to play with when entertaining such ideas. According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Raiders still have more than $10.7 million in salary-cap space. But again, to paraphrase McKenzie's refrain, just because he has money in his pocket does not mean he's going to spend it … on junk.

Sure, $10 million may sound like a lot, and the Raiders are far from a perfect unit -- Allen himself equated his roster situation to a kid sitting on Santa's lap and not getting everything he asked for -- but Oakland's cap surplus pales in comparison to the likes of the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have more than $27 million in cap space. Yet it's enough to make the New Orleans Saints and their relatively meager $1.9 million in cap space squint with jealousy.

Still, are there any free agents still out there who would put the Raiders -- coming off consecutive 4-12 seasons and with the NFL's toughest strength of schedule in 2014 -- over the top?

Meh.

Yes, the Raiders could still use a true No. 1 receiver. They could also use some veteran help at tight end. And sure, with D.J. Hayden's injury, another tried and tested cornerback would seemingly fit the bill, which is why the Raiders non-pursuit of Brandon Flowers was a head-scratcher of sorts. Instead, Flowers went from one division rival (the Kansas City Chiefs) to another (the San Diego Chargers).

McKenzie has already made an assortment of minor roster moves this offseason, and with more than $10 million still at his disposal, what he decides to do with it will tell you all you need to know about how he feels about the current roster.

Should McKenzie stand pat, or are there players out there he should target? Would it be more prudent to possibly use that salary-cap space on camp cuts?

Paul Gutierrez

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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