ALAMEDA, Calif. -- In the wake of the Oakland Raiders signing Derek Carr to a record-setting contract extension and right guard Gabe Jackson to a lucrative deal (as well as inking third-round draft pick Eddie Vanderdoes in recent weeks), the Raiders have $10,477,978 remaining in salary cap space, according to ESPN Stats & Information.
With Oakland's first training camp practice in Napa less than two weeks away -- July 29 -- the Raiders still have to sign their top two draft picks in first-rounder Gareon Conley (24th overall) and second-rounder Obi Melifonwu (56th overall).
How much cap space should the two rookies take up in Oakland? Using last year's 24th and 56th picks as reference, Cincinnati Bengals cornerback William Jackson III and Chicago Bears center Cody Whitehair held cap numbers of $1,764,662 and $768,103, respectively.
Conley -- who is still waiting to see if he will face sexual assault charges -- and Melifonwu figure to have slightly larger cap numbers, if for no other reason than inflation. That would leave Oakland with just under $7.9 million in cap space.
So what should the Raiders do with that extra space entering camp?
Many point to the lack of a veteran presence at middle linebacker.
Through OTAs and minicamp, the Raiders had Tyrell Adams, who did not play a single snap on defense in six games last season, and Cory James, who struggled at times as a rookie last year. James split reps at middle linebacker with the first-team defense, while Ben Heeney (who had issues starting at MLB last season before an ankle injury ended his campaign) worked with the backups.
Carr, whose five-year, $125-million extension made him the highest-paid player in league history, will carry a cap number of more than $15.7 million this season. Jackson, meanwhile, agreed to a five-year, $56 million extension and will have a cap number of $10.6 million.