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Showing posts from March, 2008

Raider Open in Primetime, Sign Center Wade

Home Game, Monday Night, Broncos, PRIMETIME.

Al Davis' offseason moves have already left a favorable impression on the NFL schedule makers.

We rarely have received Monday night games the past few years, and we hardly ever get them in Oakland. A home game in primetime is truly exciting for Raider Nation and I al already pretty excited about it.

Also the Raiders signed Center John Wade. He has started every game for the past three seasons. I'd expect Grove and Wade to battle it out. Grove has to prove he can stay healthy to earn a role. This may mean we don't want to roll the dice with Newberry and perhaps could spell the end of his illustrious career. Or it could mean Grove is out, either way, we are picking up deals on the offensive line to round out Tom Cable's system fits.

It's That Time of the Year

Before the draft and after most of the major free agents have been signed there is a significant lull in the offseason. Most teams are hard at work evaluating college prospects and setting their draft order. Little news is coming out and we have rehashed the Lane Kiffin situation so much so the very idea of bringing it up again would make it a mashed pulp worthy to be made into the very newsprint the old timer articles are written on. Likewise the draft talk has been regurgitated more times than hay in the belly of a sow. Frankly I'd rather chew cud than once again talk about who we will draft.

The saving grace for sports fans right now is March Madness, the NBA and NHL Playoffs, and the start of the baseball season.

I rarely will stray from Raiders news here, but given the pace of the offseason now, I feel I should comment. For those out of region Raider fans, don't feel that you have to keep reading...but do if you want.

NBA: Warriors are exciting, just not sure they have the k…

The Full Monte

So its been a pretty dull couple of weeks since DeAngelo came to town. I want to bring attention to an article by Monte Pool. Some of you may have read it.

Here are some highlights with my commentary.


The focus, instead, is on Al. How he's betting the house. How — by committing to roughly a quarter-billion dollars in new contracts — he's spending like with utter disregard to anything beyond 2008.

Failure to see past the dollar signs and the CBA Monte. The veteran player contracts will balloon when they fix the rookie contract situation. A new CBA is coming after the owners opt out and will certainly be more player favorable. Not mention the slight chance there is for no cap.


If Al wants Kiffin gone, find $3 million or $4 million to pay off his contract. The parade of wealthy new Raiders is proof the boss will spend for the right cause. If Al trusts himself enough to pay Kwame Harris $14 million over three years to protect JaMarcus Russell's blind side — yes, Harris is penci…

Raiders add a Hall of a Weapon

As expected, DeAngelo Hall has been traded for a 2008 second round pick and 2009 fifth round pick. He has signed a deal worth about $25 million in guarantees.

What does this signing mean to the team's likelihood of success in 2008? It would make sense with all the offseason moves and a #4 overall pick in the upcoming draft hat we could see a huge jump in wins. While some of the media may continue to "Raider hate," I think we have catapulted our team into the AFC elite in one offseason.

There sure isn't a lot of teams as loaded as we are now. Chargers, Jaguars, Colts, Patriots, Steelers, and um...I can't really think of any more. With most of the Raiders hopes resting on a few weak knees and on the arm of a second year Quarterback. You can't argue with the talent level of the Raiders now. As Mark Schlareth said, "The Raiders are the most impressive team coming off the bus."

Also, the Hall trade and signing is somewhat of a revelation of sorts as Lane Ki…

Hall in Oakland

Check out the latest....


[powerpress]



Cash Flow and Kiffin

Amongst the news that DeAngelo Hall is coming to Oakland is a realization. Davis is in complete control. Although I am not sure about the Hall signing, I may warm up to it. Routt did decently at CB, but not great and Washington has completely lost his confidence.

Maybe the fact Davis is complete control was obvious before, but I am now convinced I know what has happened in the Raiders front office. I don't think Davis was in complete control and I think he has tried for quite a while to relinquish SOME power.

Just a side note: the Raiders got the cash to sign these free agents this past season with the sale of 20 of the 31 percent of team that Al Davis got from the McGah family settlement giving Davis the necessary cash flow to front the guaranteed coin.

That said, Davis decided after many years of attempting to relinquish pieces of control (not all) that his teams always did better when he was the PRIME personnel man.

This is what started the tension between Kiffin and Al Davis.

I am …

DeAngelo Hall-elujah

Compensation has not been reached between Raiders and Falcons 5:19 p.m.

Second AND Sixth Round draft choices for Hall confirmed by multiple sources. Contract Negotiation with Hall on going. 6:05 p.m.

Once we get Hall, which it looks like it is done or near done, we are required to give him a new deal. We might try to give Aso and Hall deals at the same time and thus eliminate the ability to use either contract against us in negotiations. Still it might be a week before Hall is official since the trade is contingent upon Hall getting a new deal.

That also frees up money from Asomugha's Franchise Tag which gives some cap space for the remaining lesser free agents and draft picks.

Could we be banking on an uncapped year?

This move is likely Washington's ticket out of town, but who knows what we decide to do. I guess the Raiders think the secondary was the problem in run coverage?

Could be true, check out what Jason Jones said, "One of the big problems with the run defense (accordi…

JAB (Jerry, Al, Bill) Could Make the Big Move

The more I think about this offseason, the more I wouldn't be shocked if we moved up to get Chris Long. I am not usually one to make up possible trades, but if ever one made sense, this one does. Per NFL.com's Adam Stiffler, the Raiders still want to make a big move.

Here is something I could see happening.

The big three know each other well (Parcells, Jones, Davis)

Raiders trade: #4 Pick, Fabian Washington, Turd Sands
Miami trade: #1
Dallas trade: Both first round picks and a 4th.

Raiders receive: #1(Chris Long), Cowboys 4th rounder
Dallas receive: #4 (McFadden), Turd (NT in the 3-4)
Miami receive: Two first rounders, Washington

There may be some other parts, but that would be the base of the deal.

Not only does JAB know each other well (and thus talk to each other), but the deal makes sense for all parties. Also, because they know each other well, it is easy for the three teams to keep it a secret. The trade might not go down until after McFadden falls to #4 to ensure the Cowboys get …

Jarrod Cooper Coming Back

Coop said he is working on his contract and will finish his career in the Silver & Black at The Commitment to Excellence Award Dinner. He also made a prediction of a "winning season" for the Raiders in 2008. Last time he made a prediction....Devin Hester. Don't mess with the Coop!

I think most of us expected him to be back. When Cooper and Ekejiuba both play our special teams is great and when they don't it is horrible. He is basically our special teams captain and I look forward to watching him blow up return men for a few more seasons.

Drew Carter Speeds Up Receiver Core

Drew Carter signed today to a one year, $2 million deal. Seems to me we really got a discount on the guy. He has good size and speed and performed well in Carolina. Why might he come so cheap? The answer could be he has injury history himself or as Rotoworld put it, he has trouble doing the little things. Lofton should be able to mentor him and get him on the right track. If he is a big time player that just needs to work on the little things you have to like this deal. One year deal says to the player: Prove your worth. Prove you can do the little things. So Carter will be focused on doing just that.
You've got to love his hair too.

Carter's speed should stretch the field from the slot and force the safeties to stay back instead of jump the run. Should open up holes for the running backs.

We didn't overspend here, but regardless of whether we overspent, if we win games it is moot. Doesn't matter.

So while everybody should concede that we overpaid a lot of these free agen…

Gray to Visit, Russell 260

According to Jerry McDonald of ANG Newspapers who cites NFLN, Quinn Gray is expected to visit Tuesday. Gray did very well in reserve duty in Jacksonville and it would be nice to have a quality backup. A bit surprising he wouldn't want go to a team that would give him a chance to start.

Also Jason Jones of the Sacramento Bee reports Russell "is a lot closer to the 260 pounds or so he finished the season at than anywhere near 300."

I am unsure of why there is so many Raiders rumors. My guess is the haters are out because anyone with a bad eye can see we have improved and are improving.

Defensive End Might Be The Way To Go

Lets look at the defensive line as a whole, which many of us declared the weakest link of hte team last season

Sapp's retirement frees up Kelly to play the 3 tech DT spot, something he had rarely been able to do but we always wanted him to do. He should do well. I expect him to do well. Losing Sapp is not a real tragedy, because although he could play, he was also slowing. Sapp knows Kelly will do well at his old spot.

Warren could play the 3 tech spot, BUT even when Sapp was out of the game last year it was Brayton and not Warren playing the 3 tech spot. Warren is pretty good run defender as well and is more than capable of playing the other DT spot and also applying pressure. I expect him to start along with Kelly. Kelly also played well along with Sands in 2006 so expect that alignment quite a bit as well.

Sands is the run stuffer, and hopefully he can play up to his contract...because we can't really get rid of him with that contract.

Burgess has been a liability against the r…

BPA vs Need: Old Argument; New Concept

It isn't that you don't always want to get the best player; you do. However, a team can't just draft the BPA and ignore all their weaknesses. It is a balance. Too much on one side tips the scale.

Talent on one side and need on the other. If they have a lot of talent, but the team doesn't have any need to place on that scale, it wont do the team any good. Likewise if the team has a great need, but they take a much lesser player it doesn't do the team any good.

You want it to be as balanced as possible. Certainly if it leans a little more one way, you want it to learn towards talent as you can find ways to use a little extra talent in a place you don't need it as much. Such as a talented RB you could split wide as a receiver or a you may be able to use the player on special teams, etc.

Like football, you want to be balanced. Offenses with very poor defenses don't historically (There are some exceptions) do well and vice versa.

Using this strategy doesn't ru…

Raider Nation: The Draft Rankings (Defense)

Here is the defense:

DE:
1a. Chris Long - Everydown DE. Limited upside at OLB IMO, but probably will be a very good DE. May not be able to live up to his hype in the NFL, but he has the tools that he could
1b. Vernon Gholston - Physical tools unreal, will be a pass rushing force at DE, I see great upside at 3-4 OLB as well.
3. Phillip Merling - Size and speed combo could make a him an every down DE in this league. One of the under appreciated DE in this draft.
4. Derrick Harvey - Could be a good pass rusher, but he may not have the size to be a good DE and play all the snaps. I could see him being a very nice OLB in a 3-4.
5. Calais Campbell - Lacks the speed to be a great pass rusher, but has the size to be an every down guy if he can at least get some pressure occasionally, boom or bust type.

DT: (This is the hardest position for me)
1. Dorsey - I have serious questions about his injury, but until I find out how they might effect him he remains a DT who can do it all and if he was injured w…

Raider Nation: The Draft Rankings (Offense)

I'll start with top 5 players at each position. If I feel like it I will do SECOND 5 (otherwise known as 6-10) at a later date. I base what I can on the games I have seen, the film I can find and a tiny bit on a few prognosticators, but they aren't that accurate so I disagree a lot. Defensive Rankings Coming Soon.

QB:
1. Chad Henne - Has the total package
2. Joe Flacco - Will develop into a very nice QB in time
3. Matt Ryan - INTs follow you to the pros
4. Brian Brohm - I don't see any upside, might be a solid starter
5. Erik Ainge - If he works on mechanics and doesn't get hurt he could be very good

RB:
1a. Darren McFadden - My only question is can he take the pounding in the NFL with his height and running style
1b. Jonathan Stewart - Size/Speed Ratio is amazing, Every down back
3. Rashard Mendenhall - Has the size and speed, one year production could be a concern
4. Chris Johnson - Will be useful as a change of pace back and be a big play threat
5. Jamaal Charles - Could be a v…

Mixed Messages

What an offseason it has been. $50+ million in guarantees to free agents. Just plain wow! Holding the #4 pick the Raiders keep throwing the fans and media off their trail. First they sign Fargas to a a contact and McFadden becomes and after thought. McFadden comes back into the picture when we sign Kelly to play DT and we realize Fargas deal is a one year deal in disguise. McFadden again is on the table.

Then instead of cutting Rhodes we restructure his deal. That gives us Bush, Rhodes, Fargas to make the roster. This leaves little room for McFadden if he falls to #4. Some well respected people don't expect McFadden to last that long, as the Jets or some other team will trade up to get him. If he does fall to #4 it puts us in a difficult situation with so many running backs on the roster. I compare this now to what I said about us not drafting a DT with #4. Just too many eggs in one basket. Even though I like McFadden a lot, again it doesn't make sense...maybe the Raiders will…

Al Davis Empties His Diaper and Robs His Own Grave

Javon Walker: 6 years, $55 million, $16 million in Guarantees, $27 million over the first three years.
Kwame Harris: 3 years, $16 million

I don't like these signings at all. Walker has a history of injury and Harris is a penalty machine. I thought we were trying to avoid penalties? Don't you always avoid injury prone players?

That said, this is a huge gamble. Walker is talented if healthy. He also has proven he can catch rockets in Green Bay. So maybe he can catch them in Oakland. He has good size and speed, so maybe it is a gamble worth taking. I find it a tough pill to swallow that he is making as much as Randy Moss, but I guess you do what you need to do. I would have rather had the durable Bryant Johnson or the other injury prone WR DJ Hackett, but Walker does fill a hole, so I guess we can't complain THAT much.

Harris is young and if anyone can do something with him it is Tom Cable. Tom Cable is officially a guru for offensive lineman.

While I don't want to be doom and…

Remaining Offseason Needs

Well, there is a lull in free agency now. So maybe it is a good time to review what our remaining needs are. This will be done from what I believe to be the team's perspective and not my own.

1. WR - I know they want to give some of the lesser known guys a chance to make the roster, so perhaps we aren't looking for multiple WR, but just one. Or we are looking for a few lesser WRs and hoping one sticks. Drew Carter visited this weekend so maybe the later. Still there is no doubt we need one. I would think we would have some interest in DJ Hackett or Bryant Johnson considering our huge need. The other possibility is there is one in the draft we really love or we are looking to trade for one. Whatever happens, we need to get one good or a couple lesser WR for Russell.

2. OT - Henderson is the only true OT left on the roster. We have acquired a bunch of backup caliber OTs, but we need a OT badly. Sims was cut to much fanfare from fans and McQuistan could play RT, but most think he i…