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Given the Raiders' cap space, they had the option of going after pretty much any player they wanted. Oakland wasn't able to add or keep all of the players it wanted, but some of these misses turned out to be blessings in disguise. The team will not feel these absences moving forward.
As far back as December, Houston was hinting that he wouldn't return to Oakland, so it could be argued that the Raiders never really had a chance to re-sign him.
Still, Houston was the Raiders' most consistent performer on defense for years, and it would have been a good sign to see the team make more of a push to keep him. He would have provided production, but more importantly, he would have provided leadership, something this unit will be looking to find with so many new faces.
However, Raiders have done a lot to address the defensive line this offseason with the additions of Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and Khalil Mack, so the loss of Houston won't affect the unit's performance.
This one made more sense before the Raiders traded for Matt Schaub back in March. Prior to this trade, the team only had Matt McGloin and Trent Edwards at quarterback on the roster—a depth chart that wasn't impressive, to say the least.
Freeman seemed like a logical fit given his previous success under offensive coordinator Greg Olsen when they were together with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He also could have been acquired relatively cheap, which would have fit right into the Raiders' model of signing high potential at low cost.
Since then, Schaub and Derek Carr have joined the roster, so the quarterback position has been addressed.
Verner would have been a great signing for the Raiders, who were in desperate need of talent and consistency at the cornerback position.
Unfortunately, the Raiders had to take the money they had and spread it around because they had an entire roster to rebuild. Verner ended up signing with Tampa Bay for $26.5 million over four years. Oakland still could have signed him, but this one addition wasn't going to fix all of Oakland's defensive problems.
Ultimately, it was best for the team to look elsewhere for help in the secondary.