Randall Cobb agreed to a hometown discount to stay in Green Bay. That was Saturday night.
Sunday morning brought more bad news for Raiders fans. Star defensive tackle and Raiders target Ndamukong Suh is reportedly set to join the Miami Dolphins on a six-year, $114 million contract with $60 million in guaranteed money. ESPN first made public parameters of the deal, which, barring a setback, will be executed when free agency formally begins on Tuesday.
While the Raiders were confident in their offer to Cobb, there was a sense on Saturday that Suh was headed elsewhere. The Silver and Black pursued the former Detroit Lion, but reports have long indicated that the Miami was the clear front-runner with his old team in pursuit.
According to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the Dolphins proposal deterred many suitors, but the Raiders helped drive the offer up.
Terms of a deal Suh is expected to sign is a record for a defensive player, a monstrous amount well above the six-year, $100 million deal given to Houston’s J.J. Watt last season.
Suh is an excellent player who rarely reaches the free-agent market, but those contract terms are extreme for a non-quarterback and can have a lasting impact even on a Raiders team now flush with salary cap space. They plan to spend much of it soon, and can spread it around some and make the overall team better.
[REPORT: Suh to sign mega-deal with Dolphins]
Matching the Dolphins offer – or exceeding it to account for high California state income tax – would have handicapped a larger agenda to improve the roster in its entirety.
That offers little comfort to Raiders fans reeling over early disappointments. The Raiders were aiming a top targets, and will not get two of the very best. At this incredibly early stage, the sky isn’t falling. There is plenty of talent left available.
While losing out on a chance to sign Cobb was a significant blow, missing a chance to get Suh at those astronomical contract terms doesn’t nearly hurt as much.
The initial sting will dissipate if the Raiders act with strength, smarts and conviction in the coming days and weeks.