How the Raiders can meet salary cap/cash threshold

The Oakland Raiders have a lot of reasons to spend most of their salary cap room in the next two years.

Of course, a primary reason is their rebuilding roster needs help at several spots. But, as the NFL Player’s Association pointed out this week in an email, Oakland has some to spend as part of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement.

NFL teams, spanning the 2013-16 season, most spend at least 89 percent of the salary cap in cash. According to the NFLPA, the Raiders have spent 80.19 of the cap in cash with half of that time expired. Thus, they have to spend nearly all of their cap room in the next two years to meet the threshold. If by the end of the 2016 season Oakland doesn’t meet the cash/cap threshold, they will owe all of their players on the roster at the end of the 2016 a check to make up for the remaining balance.

Thus, it would be a waste of cap room. The rule was implemented to force teams to use their cash and cap instead of sitting on it.

Oakland, which used a large chunk of the cap last year on aging, unproductive players, could have upwards of $60 million in salary-cap room. Most teams do spend most of their cap each year. For the next two seasons, Oakland needs to be one of those teams.

One bummer for the Raiders is they can’t use any of their cap room in the next two years on potential young stars in quarterback Derek Carr and linebacker Khalil Mack. By rule, players can’t get new contracts in their first three seasons in the league.

Between the end of the 2016 season and March of 2017, Oakland could extend 2013 draft picks and apply it to the threshold. Candidates include DJ Hayden, Menelik Watson, Sio Moore and Latavius Murray if their play warrants it.