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Reggie McKenzie avoids franchise tag with Houston and Veldheer (Photos)

Lamarr Houston #99 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after he recovers a fumble by Peyton Hillis of the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 10, 2013.
Lamarr Houston #99 of the Oakland Raiders celebrates after he recovers a fumble by Peyton Hillis of the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on November 10, 2013.
Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

General Manager Reggie McKenzie of the Oakland Raiders decided not to tag Jared Veldheer or Lamarr Houston on Monday. Whatever McKenzie is up to better be good because Veldheer and Houston are one of the best free agents on the market this year.

It was reported on Monday by the NFL website that McKenzie chose not to keep a maintaining control of, most likely, his top two players.

Well, a franchise tag can only be done to one player per season, and McKenzie chose neither. That is a huge surprise considering that Houston and Veldheer are the best defensive and offensive linemen in the league.

Showing signs that McKenzie wants to keep neither of them is not good. Lamarr Houston who was one of the best defensive lineman Oakland has is needed badly.

Last season, the Raiders had a huge improvement defensively and could work around the holes for next season. Now, the possibly best defensive player might leave!

As Jared Veldheer, he is considered as one of the best left tackles in the league and is badly
needed to protect whoever is going to be the starting QB for the Raiders next season.

Yes, Veldheer was hurt most of the season last year, and could be considered as a factor as why the Raiders lacked QB protection, but his talent is highly respected, enough to make him stay over anyone else in the squad for the most important position of the O-line.

It was also reported that Reggie McKenzie has until March 8 to make things happen with either player, but not using the franchise tag on either player could drive one away.

See the tag guarantees top pay for a player. That way, the player with a tag will not think twice to leave the club. With no tag, the top pay might not be available for the player. So, they have the choice to go for the highest bidder in the market.

If this is a way for McKenzie to save money, then let it be, but he should have at least the franchise tag on one of them. McKenzie has enough cash ($60 million) to spend this offseason.

Anyway, by March 8, fans will see what this Reggie McKenzie strategy was all about.