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Raiders Prepared To Make Big Changes To Their Defensive Line?

Bill Williamson of ESPN.com writes that “change is in store” for the Oakland Raiders’ defensive line.

According to Williamson,DT Richard Seymourvery likely will not return” and  DT Tommy Kelly is a “top candidate to be cut.”

Seymour, 33, has been limited in recent years due to injuries, but was rated as the No. 12 best defensive tackle this year by Pro Football Focus. It really doesn’t make a lot of sense for the Raiders to re-sign Seymour seeing as he’s on the downswing of his NFL career and they have limit cash to work with.

Kelly, 32, could carry a cap figure as high as $11 million next season and given that his production dropped off in 2012, it seems likely that the Raiders will cut him loose. Releasing Kelly could save them $7 million, which is really a big deal, considering that they are still working to fix their financial situation.

Defensive ends Desmond Bryant and Matt Shaughnessy will be a free agent in the coming months, but it will be hard for the Raiders to retain Bryant given that there could be a lot of interest in him on the open market. Shaughnessy is a bit of a question mark, so unless he’s willing to sign a reasonable contract, he too could be playing elsewhere.

Williamson mentions that the Raiders could target a defensive lineman in the first-round of this year’s draft such as Texas A&M DE Damontre Moore, LSU DE Barkevious Mingo, Florida State DE Bjoern Werner (Florida State) and or Utah DT Star Lotulelei.

We have Oakland taking Lotulelei in the first-round of our 2013 NFL Mock Draft.