SAM FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Some NFL players are moving to new teams Tuesday, the first day of free agency signings.

Madden says retaining your own free agents first is often the priority, then you go out looking for a position of need.

“The general rule is you fill in free agency for need,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “You look at your team, and you need this and you need that, and you go out and you try to get the best one for that position with the money you have. And then when you have the draft later, then you can just draft the best players to really build your team… The better your team, the less you have to fill in [with free agency.]”

“Free agency is nice, but it’s really just a fill-in,” said the longtime coach. “A lot of mistakes are made during free agency.”

John said the teams with salary cap room and the most holes to fill can benefit most in free agency. The Raiders have more salary cap money than any other team, “In theory, I guess, [they will] be able to get a lot more on the free agent market than any other team in the league.”

One name being linked with the Raiders is former Tampa Bay and Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman. He could step in as the week one starter.

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Madden said running backs are no longer among the most sought-after free agents.

“The life of a running back isn’t very long in the NFL, the football life,” Madden said. “The other thing is that that position is being diminished it seems weekly. They used to be towards the top of the list, and now running backs in general are down toward the bottom of the list.” (7:05)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

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