With an 0-4 start, it may not be too early for the Oakland Raiders to start thinking about next year.
The Raiders so far have not gotten much from the $60 million-plus in salary cap room they had. But they will have the chance to be spenders again in free agency next year.
Oakland is currently on pace to have $47 million in salary cap room in 2015. They could potentially have even more to spend with some of their easy-to-get-out-of deals. The Raiders could be in line to be players for the top free agents. While they stayed away from the big-ticket players last year, maybe that will change in the spring.
Among the best potential free agents are receivers Dez Bryant, Demaryius Thomas and Michael Crabtree, linebacker Justin Houston, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and cornerback Chris Harris.
The only priority free agent on the Raiders' roster appears to be center Stefen Wisniewksi. He is a fine player and there is no reason for Oakland to let him go. But as we saw with left tackle Jared Veldheer and defensive end Lamarr Houston, anything is possible. But I’d be surprised if the Raiders can’t keep Wisniewski.
I could also see scenarios where the Raiders look to keep tackle Khalif Barnes, defensive tackles Pat Sims and C.J. Wilson, cornerback Tarell Brown and safety Charles Woodson. None of these players will likely break the bank.
While the 2014 season doesn’t appear promising, perhaps the 2015 offseason will better serve Oakland.