The start of free agency begins next week, and the Cincinnati Bengals still have yet to strike a deal with offensive tackle Anthony Collins. Other teams have been more diligent in re-signing their best lineman, including the Oakland Raiders.
With left tackle Jared Veldheer set to become a free agent, it came as a bit of a surprise the Raiders didn't place the franchise tag on him, or any Raider for that matter.
As it turns out, it probably was because they were on the verge of locking up Veldheer, according to Christopher Hanson of Raidersblog.com:
Source tells me the #Raiders and Jared Veldheer have agreed to 5-year deal with 6th year option. $23 guaranteed. Total value $55M.— Christopher Hansen (@ChrisHansenNFL) March 7, 2014
However, Ian Rappoport of the NFL Network reports the deal is not done, but could be this weekend:
Update on #Raiders & Jared Veldheer: He’s going to take his decision into the weekend, weigh his options and the market. Nothing imminent.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 7, 2014
$55 million is a lofty price tag for Veldheer if the number is true, especially since he missed the first 11 games of the season last year due to a triceps injury.
With his signing, here's what the free agency market looks like now for offensive tackles:
1. Eugene Monroe - BLT
2. Jared Veldheer - OAK
3. Branden Albert - KC
4. Zach Strief - NO
5. Rodger Saffold - STL
6. Anthony Collins - CIN
7. Michael Oher - BLT
8. Austin Howard - NYJ
9. Will Svitek - NE
10. Charles Brown - NO
11. Breno Giacomini - SEA