The Oakland Raiders will play their final home game of the 2012 season on Sunday when they host the Kansas City Chiefs at the Oakland Coliseum. After a season where the Raiders took a massive step backwards, and clearly have a lot of work to do on their roster, Sunday also marks the last game in Oakland for some of the bigger names on the Raiders roster. There will likely be players leaving in free agency as well as through trades this off season, and there are few players who are going to be back for certain.
Two of the biggest names that are almost guaranteed not to be in the Silver and Black next season are veteran punter Shane Lechler and defensive tackle, Richard Seymour. Both players are in the last year of their contract, and both players have been paid more under Al Davis than Reggie McKenzie, or anyone else for that matter, would have paid them. Plus, the Raiders wouldn't mind getting younger and may already have their punter of the future on their practice squad in Marquette King. With the Raiders unlikely to offer anything even close to their current salaries, both players will likely test the free agent market.
In addition to the players who will leave in free agency, Raiders fans should brace themselves for the prospect of some big names being traded as well. The Raiders need help at a ton of positions on both sides of the ball. Not only do they need to upgrade starters all over the field, but they also need to build some depth because of how weak the roster is. With no second round pick and an easier but not easy cap situation, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie must consider all options that would give the team draft picks or clear cap space.
At this point, it is unclear who, if anyone, will be traded this off season, but there are three big time names that are big time possibilities. Darren McFadden, Tommy Kelly and Darrius Heyward-Bey are all candidates to be traded. The often injured McFadden has shown an inability to stay on the field that makes it hard to build a team around him. In addition, he likely has the most value of any trade pieces on the roster. Tommy Kelly and Darrius Heyward-Bey are options because of their contracts, as both players earn far more than their on field production commands.
Oh, and then there is Rolando McClain who is guaranteed not to be a Raider next season. All that is left is to see how his tenure with the Raiders comes to an end.