Tommy Kelly has been mentioned as a prime candidate to be released this offseason because of his massive contract that he signed back in 2008, and now it appears even he is buying into the speculation.
Kelly formed a solid tandem with teammate Richard Seymour in the middle of the Raiders' defensive line and were among the NFL's best defensive tackle tandems in 2010. But that was three years ago, and the Raiders are ready to move on, according to Kelly.
Kelly, whom the Raiders signed as an undrafted free agent back in 2004, endorsed Desmond Bryant and Lamarr Houston saying, "the young guys are ready" and that he helped develop those two over the last few years. Kelly also said the Raiders would be "crazy" to not re-sign Bryant.
With that $10 million in cap space, the Raiders would likely have enough money to re-sign their high-priority free agents such as Philip Wheeler, Bryant and Brandon Myers before the start of free agency on Tuesday.
Kelly's release is not yet official, but if he is released, the Raiders better have a deal in place to keep Bryant. Otherwise, the Raiders' defensive line would lose their top three defensive tackles from the last several years in one offseason, leaving just one on the roster.
I'm not quite ready to endorse Christo Bilukidi as the Raiders' best defensive tackle.