The Raiders added some veteran free agent talent to their 2014 roster. They paid decent money to several imports this offseason, but few that truly broke the bank.
That fact, plus the demotion of veteran quarterback Matt Schaub, has given the Raiders an interesting distinction. According to research conducted by sports finance website spotrac.com, the Raiders employ the cheapest starting offense in the NFL. That data is based on players who started during Week 1 games.
The site reports that the Raiders are using just $24.6 million in cap space on their first string. Spotrac.com says that total is just 18.8 percent of their overall adjusted salary cap.
Dropping Schaub’s $8 million cap number – it’s all guaranteed, through base salary and a roster bonus -- for rookie Derek Carr’s second-round salary was the catalyst of this low total. Carr is worth just $976,691 against the cap this season.
Left tackle Donald Penn has the biggest cap number at $5 million, with right guard Austin Howard ($4.4 million), fullback Marcel Reece ($3.98 million) and receiver James Jones ($3.8 million) close behind.
The total is also low because so many starters are on their rookie contracts and are therefore playing on the cheap. That list includes receiver Rod Streater ($573,333), left guard Gabe Jackson ($567,844), center Stefen Wisniewski ($1.315 million) and tight end Mychal Rivera ($521.213).