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Wednesday, September 18, 2013
GM eyes Veldheer, Houston for extensions

By Paul Gutierrez

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Three Oakland Raiders players entering their contract years with the team have already been signed to extensions, and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Wednesday he has reached out to the agents left tackle Jared Veldheer and defensive end Lamarr Houston.

“Make no bones about it, we want to sign as many of our good players as we can,” McKenzie said. “With the cap is the way it is this year, we won’t have a chance to do a whole lot with big-money guys like those two guys. It’d be highly unlikely we could do two, but at least we’re in a situation next year to retain some of our high-dollar guys.”

Veldheer is on the partial-season injured reserve list after undergoing surgery on a torn left triceps during the preseason. He has not had any setbacks and has yet to perform football-related activities, though he is a constant observer at practice.

McKenzie, who held a half-hour roundtable meeting with seven Bay Area-based reporters, signed long-snapper Jon Condo and place-kicker Sebastian Janikowski to extensions in training camp and announced a three-year extension for fullback Marcel Reece on Friday.

“We’re working diligently to keep our own,” McKenzie said.

Another player in his contract year who has much to prove as he has yet to play more than 13 games in a season: sixth-year running back Darren McFadden.

Then how important is it for McFadden to stay healthy this season to be considered a player McKenzie wants back in 2014?

“He knows it’s important,” McKenzie said. “He wants to be out there, he wants to show what he can do for the year. It’s important because contracts are important to players.

“Definitely not going to take that outlook away from him or any other player. Everybody wants to play well so they can get that contract.”