Well, that’s disappointing, but not unexpected. Suh made it clear from the start that he was going to follow his wallet, and the Raiders had at least a 13.3% disadvantage to Miami in that department, since Florida has no state income tax.
Cobb re-signing with Green Bay before even visiting other teams is a little more surprising, as a handful of teams (including Oakland, of course) were jumping at the chance to throw money at him. He could have made a lot more money, guaranteed and overall, and chose to stay in the tundra. That sort of loyalty deserves some respect, but it still doesn’t get the Raiders the WR upgrade they sorely need.
Of the rest of the FA WR crop, there’s nobody really worth throwing a lot of money at. Jeremy Maclin maybe. The Jaguars’ Cecil Shorts might be worth taking a look at, but he wouldn’t be a marquee, big money signing.
And the Raiders really need at least one or two of those big-name signings, not only to show that they’re serious about making a statement and showing that they intend to compete, but also because they have so much money to spend. Remember, there’s a salary floor as well as a salary cap, and teams need to spend 90% over the four-year period, from 2013-2016.
Suh is one of those players that would make a difference wherever he happened to land, including Oakland. The good news is that the Raiders can probably get equivalent value by grabbing Terrance Knighton (Denver) and Dan Williams (Arizona), who together should cost a fraction of what Suh would have commanded.
Another position in serious need of an upgrade is middle linebacker, as Nick Roach has also been cut, and his career is probably over. Rey Maualuga would have been a great FA pickup at the mike spot, but of course the Bengals re-signed him. Brandon Spikes (Bills) or Mason Foster (Bucs) should get a look, but both of those players had injury issues last season.
Hopefully the Raiders intend to draft Amari Cooper and Melvin Gordon as their first two picks, as they would add much-needed punch to a mostly punchless offense. The addition of veterans such as Maclin at WR, and maybe C.J. Spiller to complement Latavius Murray at running back, would make a real difference, and still leave plenty of cash and draft picks to continue improving the lines.