NFL free agency unofficially started on Monday, when teams were first allowed to contact and negotiate with agents representing players from other franchises. It opened a two-day discussion period which precedes the ability to formally offer and execute contracts on Wednesday afternoon. That’s when free agency actually begins and players start signing deals and switching teams.
There is plenty of action before contracts can be executed. That’s certainly true of the Raiders, who are expected to be active in free agency this season.
Here’s a feed of Raiders free-agency info, which will be updated regularly:
Wednesday, March 9
4 p.m.: Raiders made what they believe to be a strong pitch to CB Sean Smith. At this time, they're still waiting for Smith to make a decision on which contract offer to accept.
2:20 p.m.: Texans sign Raiders C/G Tony Bergstrom to a two-year contract, per the Houston Chronicle. Bergstrom was general manager Reggie McKenzie's first draft pick, coming in the third round in 2012.
1:11 p.m.: Denver linebacker Danny Trevathan agreed to terms with the Chicago Bears. Despite a need at interior linebacker, the Raiders were never truly interested in this commodity.
1 p.m.: The running back market has thinned considerably with Chris Ivory headed to the Jaguars, Matt Forte to the Jets and Doug Martin staying in Tampa Bay. The Raiders reached out to Ivory and Martin, but that market proved too steep for the team.
12:30 p.m.: Source tells CSN California that the Raiders are still major players to sign Kansas City cornerback Sean Smith. Sports Illustrated reports that the Chiefs and 49ers are also in play for Smith's services.
7:04 a.m.: USA Today gave greater detail to Kelechi Osemele's five-year agreement with the Raiders. Tom Pelissero reports that the deal is worth $58.5 million ($11.7 million average annual value), with Pro Bowl incentives that could increase the payout to $60 million. The contract contains $24.5 million in guaranteed money.
7 a.m.: According to USA Today reporter Tom Pelissero, the Raiders agreed to terms with linebacker Bruce Irvin on a four-year contract worth up to $37 million. The deal has $12.5 million in guaranteed money, and all comes in the first year. He has a $2.25 million roster bonus due in March 2017, and a $4.5 million base salary becomes guaranteed around the same time. This is a smart contract that won't handicap the Raiders long-term should Irvin not work out. The final two years are pay-as-you-go options that the Raiders prefer.
3:24 a.m.: New York Giants agree to terms with cornerback Janoris Jenkins, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. Jenkins was a player the Raiders had great interest in signing. Jenkins became the NFL's second-highest paid cornerback with a five-year, $62 million contract.
Tuesday, March 8
7:11 p.m. -- Running back Chris Ivory is expected to sign with the Jaguars, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. According to NFL Network, Ivory is expected to get "well above $6 million per year." The Raiders were reportedly one of several teams interested in the former Jets' back.
9:03 a.m. -- According to FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo, the Raiders are trying to re-sign receiver Andre Holmes before free agency formally opens on Wednesday afternoon, but there should be competition for his services. Other teams could offer more playing time, considering the Raiders have a top trio of Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Seth Roberts (ERFA) expected back in 2016. Holmes proved to be a solid special teams player who came up with some big catches in the passing game.
8 a.m. -- According to NFL Network reporter Rand Getlin, the Raiders have reached out and expressed interest in Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin, widely considered the best running back on the open market. That, and Monday's effort to show interest in Chris Ivory, indicate that the Raiders aren't sold on Latavius Murray as a true featured back. Murray had 1,066 yards last season and made the Pro Bowl, but was less effective near season's end. He could benefit from sharing the workload, though a player like Martin would be paid to be the No. 1 back. Interesting to see what happens at the Raiders running back position.
7:09am -- The Raiders agree in principle on a contract with Baltimore guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele, according to a report from NFL Network's Rand Getlin. Osemele's contract length and value isn't yet known, but he's expected to make upwards of $11 million annually. Osemele is one of the league's best linemen and was one of the biggest targets on the free-agent market. He is a natural guard, but could play left tackle if the Raiders don't re-sign Donald Penn, another veteran or draft a natural left tackle.
Monday, March 7
5pm -- Mike Klis of Denver's NBC affiliate 9News reports that the Raiders are among four teams who reached out and expressed interest in Broncos defensive lineman Malik Jackson. Jackson is considered high among the NFL's best free agents. Head coach Jack Del Rio worked with Jackson when he was Broncos coordinator. The Jaguars, Bears and Broncos have also expressed interest in Jackson.
3:45pm -- ESPN reporter Adam Caplan reported that the Raiders are among several teams interested in Jets running back Chris Ivory. Ivory edged out Raiders feature back Latavius Murray for the AFC rushing title, and would be a solid compliment to the Raiders attack. I discussed a possible Murray-Ivory pairing last week.
11:44am -- A source confirmed to CSN California that the Raiders have strong interest in Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith. The 28-year old is a tall, physical cornerback who would fit well into the Raiders system.
CSN Bay Area 49ers insider Matt Maiocco reported that the 49ers have also had discussions about Smith.
10:02am -- According to Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star, the Chiefs have interest in Raiders receiver Rod Streater, entering unrestricted free agency for the first time.
10am -- The Raiders' exclusive negotiating window with Donald Penn closed on Monday, when other teams were allowed to contact the veteran left tackle. The Raiders are still an option for Penn, considered high among the best free agent left tackles available. Penn reps talked with the Raiders a few times this offseason and couldn't reach an accord. Check back for more info on this developing story.
9:08am -- Rand Getlin of NFL Network reports that Ravens guard/tackle Kelechi Osemele will “100 percent” be testing the open market.
That was good news for the Raiders, who are among several teams with keen interest in the versatile lineman. Sources have long said the Silver and Black rank him high on their priority list, and have shown a willingness to pay handsomely for ascending offensive linemen.
7am -- Veteran safety Eric Weddle, a two-time All-Pro who enters free agency after playing his entire career in San Diego, told the MMQB’s Peter King that the Raiders were among four teams he considered a solid fit.
Weddle also mentioned New England, Pittsburgh and Carolina in that group. The Raiders need leadership and production at free safety after Charles Woodson’s retirement, and Weddle could provide both of those things in spades.