As the Oakland Raiders continue their re-build for 2014, their needs are many and varied, but as they cast about for new rookie and free agent talent, there are some players they need to keep for at least another season or two. Currently the Raiders have 23 free agents on their roster, and they will probably sign at least a dozen of them. Here are five players they should hold on to if they want to improve their record.
Tackle Jared Veldheer. The Raiders perhaps didn’t realize how valuable Veldheer, 26, was to the team until he got injured and was out almost the entire season. He is arguably one of the best offensive players Oakland has and his absence was felt. The Raiders’ O-line fell apart as players shuffled around and in and out to make up for it. At 6-8 and 321 pounds, Veldheer shields his quarterback as he pushes back on defenders. Despite giving up 10 sacks in 11 starts in his rookie season of 2010, Veldheer has steadily improved every year and is considered one of the best pass-blocking left tackles in the league, allowing only four sacks each in 2011 and 2012 in 16 starts.