The Oakland Raiders may have beau coup bucks to spend when free agency begins in March.
According to Pro Football Talk, citing a league source, the Raiders only have 32 players under contract for 2014 and just $57 million in cap commitments.
The salary cap for 2014 is expected to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $125 million, leaving Oakland around $70 million to play with when the $2.7 million in cap space this season, which is rolled over, factors in.
Obviously, the Raiders will have to spend some of it on mundane needs—such as filling 21 roster spots that would be vacant. But should an established veteran quarterback hit the market, Oakland would be in a position to make a serious play at such a free agent.
Of course, free agent quarterbacks haven’t always paved a path to success. The Seattle Seahawks two years ago committed $26 million to Matt Flynn. He’s since been beaten out for the starting job by Russell Wilson, traded to the Raiders, beaten out for the starting job by Terrelle Pryor, released, signed by the Buffalo Bills, released, and signed by the Green Bay Packers as a backup, which is where he started in the first place before turning two starts and one victory into a $26 million deal.
In the salary cap era, only three teams have won a Super Bowl with a veteran quarterback signed through free agency—the 2000 Baltimore Ravens with Trent Dilfer, the 2002 Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Brad Johnson and the 2009 New Orleans Saints with Drew Brees.