The futures of defensive lineman Richard Seymour and kicker Sebastian Janikowski, as well as coach Tom Cable, have yet to be decided by Raiders managing general partner Al Davis.
Cable still hasn't been told whether he is going to be the Raiders coach next season. Seymour and Janikowski highlight a group of prospective free agents whom the Raiders are figuring out ways to bring back for at least one more season.
Davis traded a 2011 first-round pick to the New England Patriots for Seymour shortly before last season started. Therefore, there's almost no way Davis will let Seymour walk after only one season.
The Raiders have three options regarding Seymour: Sign him to a long-term contract that includes a hefty signing bonus; place the franchise tag on him before the Feb. 25 deadline; or let him enter free agency without any compensation.
Thursday marked the first day of the two-week window for using the franchise tag. Using the tag on Seymour would obligate the Raiders to pay him $12,398,000 for 2010.
The franchise tag guarantees a player the average of the top five salaries at his position for the previous season. The Raiders also have the option of using the franchise tag on Seymour and working out a long-term deal in the coming months.
Seymour's agent, Eugene Parker, did not return a phone call seeking comment for this story. A Raiders official said Seymour is in the team's plans and re-signing him is among its top priorities.
As for Janikowski, he is fresh from the best season of his 10-year NFL career. The Raiders are attempting to sign him to a new contract that would keep him in Oakland for the foreseeable future.
If they aren't able to reach agreement on a long-term contract, the Raiders will have the option of using the transition tag on Janikowski if the league and the players association aren't able to reach a new labor agreement by March 5.
In years past, teams were allowed to use only one of the two designations each season. Using the transition tag would obligate the Raiders to pay Janikowski $2,629,000 in 2010.