The doom and gloom from a few weeks ago, when the Oakland Raiders were announced to be approximately $20 million over the salary cap, has been replaced with an excitement from the fan base to see what the team has in store.
Carson Palmer, Richard Seymour, Michael Huff, and Aaron Curry have restructured their deals to give the Raiders salary relief this season, while defensive backs Chris Johnson and Hiram Eugene were let go.
Still on the agenda is the contract situation of Kamerion Wimbley, restructuring franchise player Tyvon Branch to a long-term deal, and what to do with their own free agents.
The league year starts this Tuesday, and I expect the Wimbley situation to be resolved before then. Either he will take less money and stick around or he will be released.
Regardless, even with Wimbley's hefty contract on the books, the Raiders are close to meeting the yet to be determined salary-cap figure.
While Reggie McKenzie came from a regime that did not put an emphasis on signing free agents, the Raiders have already shown via the restructuring of contracts that they are looking to be competitive this season and not be in a rebuilding mode.
With only a handful of draft picks to improve the roster, look for the Raiders to take a judicious approach to free-agent signing.
In this list, I have included current Raiders that the team should really consider keeping, in addition to players from other teams that Oakland should pursue at certain key positions.
Let's take a look at the offensive side of the ball first.