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Implications of Salary Cap Rollover

To me, one of the most important yet least talked about changes to the Collective Bargaining Agreement that was signed in 2011, is the ability for teams to rollover any unused salary cap from one year to the next.

What this means is that if your favorite team is $5 million under the salary cap, they can notify the NFL that they want to take that amount and add it to the following year’s salary cap. Your most hated team only has $1 million in cap space and chooses to roll it over to the next year. Therefore, your team has $4 million more available to spend next year than your opponent. So you can see the benefits of being frugal already, right?

But let’s talk about why this even happened in the first place. In negotiating the current CBA, both owners and players were looking for compromises that would benefit them the most. This was a compromise that both parties agreed to willingly because it serves a benefit for each.

The players loved the idea because previously any unused cap space wo…

2012 NFL Strength of Schedule

Disclaimer

Some strength of schedule models calculate strength of schedule based on the opponents the team has faced to date.  My model calculates strength of schedule based on all the opponents on a team's schedule.  The reason for this is because it reduces weekly fluctuations.

For example, when a team plays their Week 17 game, in the traditional model their strength of schedule would change by 31 games...their Week 17 opponent's 16 games plus the additional game played by each of their prior 15 opponents.  In my model, when a team plays their Week 17 game their strength of schedule will only change by 15 games...one additional game for each of the opponents on their schedule.

Week 11 NFL Power Rankings 2012

I made some improvements to the power rankings this week. Let me explain some of my reasoning and method.

First, I decided that power rankings look at what teams have done and not what they will do so there is no projecting values. Second, these are totally unaltered rankings after I created a formula to judge a team's "power" compared to other teams.

The rankings have four components. The first two are Pro-Football-Reference.com's offensive and defensive simple rankings. When combined they for PFR's simple rating system. I chose to treat offense and defense separately for one reason: I think offense is far more important in today's NFL.



How much more important? After playing with the numbers and seeing how teams landed using different numbers I decided on 25 percent. That is, offense is 25 percent more important than defense. This is arbitrary, but it gave me results that I looked fair to me. These are my power rankings after all.

I ordered each team by their si…

Week 10 NFL Power Rankings

[caption id="attachment_2543" align="aligncenter" width="214"] Green: Elite
Light Green: Very Good
White: Good
Hot Pink: Average
Red: Bad
Dark Red: Very Bad[/caption]

Oakland Raiders: Year in Review

Three-hundred-and-sixty-three days have passed since the Raiders opened the 2011 season against the Denver Broncos on Monday Night Football, and at the time many believed the Raiders were finally back on track. Penalties were going to be a thing of the past, bullies were being built, and the only injury known to man was a "nic." Just one year ago the Raiders were about to usher in the Hue Jackson era, and fans were hyped to see this newly created "bully" in action. Everything seemed to be falling into place for the Silver and Black and the team was poised to make a serious run at the playoffs for the first time since 2002, except the season began unfolding as if it were being scripted by the writers of Lost.

After managing to stumble to a 2-2 record to start the season, shock waves rippled through the franchise as news broke that legend and Raiders owner Al Davis had passed away.  With plenty of mixed emotions, the Raiders had a game to play the next day against the…

Mike Mitchell: The Line Between Fame and Failure

Mike Mitchell's journey to the NFL has not exactly been the path of least resistance. The strong safety from Ohio University put up some impressive numbers in college including 212 total tackles, 7 interceptions, and 4 forced fumbles. However, like many that come from a lower tier college, Mitchell was met with a lot of doubt because of the level of competition he played against. A player who never seems to be lacking confidence on the field, would need to quickly find an abundance of it in order to make one last effort to prove his value to scouts prior to the NFL Draft.

Mike's impressive play on the field was not his only meal ticket though. He also had the measurables that most scouts would drool over. At 6' 1" 220 lbs Mitchell ran a 4.39 forty yard dash and put up 22 reps on the bench. With those kind of numbers he was sure to be noticed by scouts all over the place. The classic workout numbers that sends guys shooting up draft boards every February and making them…

Scouting The Enemy: KC Chiefs 2012 Training Camp

Al Pacino said "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer", and that's exactly what I did Wednesday as I traveled to St. Joseph, Missouri to attend Chiefs training camp. The Raider Nation has tremendous dedication and support for their team, but understanding how they match up against familiar foes within the division is taking it to another level, so I went inside Chiefs training camp to bring you an unbiased opinion of what the 2012 Kansas City Chiefs bring to the table.

Rejuvenated, a word I would use to describe the 2012 Chiefs squad who had their season derailed by injuries in 2011. They are returning a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball in 2012 and added a few key off-season acquisitions including right tackle Eric Winston, running back Peyton Hillis, and yes former Raider cornerback Stanford Routt. It wasn't long ago that the Chiefs won the AFC West despite the fact that Oakland swept the division in 2010. After an up and down 2011 campaign that ha…

Oakland Raiders Preseason Review: Training Camp to Preseason Game 1

The Oakland Raiders are through one preseason game and 11 days of training camp practice and you might have missed a training camp report or two along the way. That's why I decided to make sure you had easy access to all the training camp reports, previews and game reviews that I've done for Bleacher Report over the last few weeks.

Make sure you don't miss any of the real action by subscribing to NFL Sunday Ticket from TheSportsTicket.com.

Training Camp Report Day 1 - Includes DeMarcus Van Dyke, Terrelle Pryor and Pat Lee observations, etc.

Training Camp Report Day 2 - Includes DeMarcus Van Dyke, Tyvon Branch, Shawntae Spencer and Matt Leinart observations, etc.

Training Camp Report Day 3 - Includes Jack Crawford, Carson Palmer, DeMarcus Van Dyke observations, etc.

Training Camp Report Day 7 - Includes Shawntae Spencer and Brandon Myers, Desmond Bryant observations, etc.

Training Camp Report Day 8 - Spencer, Marcel Reece, Streater, etc.

Training Camp Report Day 9 - Streater, Lee,…

What To Expect From Terrelle Pryor

Terrelle Pryor was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the third round of the 2011 supplemental draft. It was the late Al Davis' last draft pick for a franchise that he ran for half a century. His last pick was the perfect story book ending to his great career. Selecting Pryor with a 3rd round pick not only fit Davis' mold of targeting the biggest and fastest players, but by selecting him so high he proved once again that he only cared about one opinion and one opinion only, his. That was last year though, and this year the Raiders find themselves with new management and a new agenda for building this team. Where Pryor fits into those plans, will likely be determined by his development over the next couple of seasons.

Because last years supplemental draft wasn't until August 22nd, Pryor did not get much practice time with the team in training camp. He also faced a 5 game suspension to begin his first NFL season for his violations of NCAA policy in college. While this is techn…

Why The Raiders Are The Most Versatile Team In The NFL

Training Camp. The time year when players have the chance to showcase their off-season hard work, coaches get the chance to put their visions into motion, and speculation begins flying around at an unprecedented rate. Some teams choose to stay the course from the previous season hoping to build on what they have accomplished while other teams turn to change and a fresh start to be their saving grace. Regardless of the route each team chooses to take, the target destination of Super Bowl XLVII remains the same.

The Raiders are no doubt introducing change across the board this season as they usher in the "New Era" of Raiders football under General Manager Reggie McKenzie. As part of this new era, much has been made of the obvious changes in philosophy on the field as the Raiders look to get away from their strict man to man base 4-3 defense of the past and look to be spontaneous and more "multiple" on defense in 2012. The change doesn't stop there though as the Ra…

Do the Raiders Need a Power Back?

Much like the understanding that the NFL has become a passing league, it has also has adopted the "running back by committee" model. In a day and age where running backs seem to be a dime a dozen, teams are less likely to commit to one guy and therefore take on the RBBC approach to the season. With the mindset of having multiple backs sharing the touches, many also assume that each team needs a "speed back" and a "power back". The idea, of course, being that the power back gets the tough yards and wears down the defense while the speed back plays the finesse role and provides the home run threat to the offense.

The last few years the Raiders have had the luxury of a backfield that consisted of Darren McFadden and Michael Bush. In some ways, it seemed to be the perfect combination power and speed that would be a nightmare for any defense. Except when you break down the games when both running backs were healthy last year, you saw more of McFadden wearing do…

Training Camp Day 4 Primer

Friday's training camp practice starts at 2:20 p.m. Did you forget what happened the rest of the week or are you still catching up from a busy work week?

No problem! Check out these links to my camp report series.

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

With training camp underway, our friends at TiqIQ bring you a "limited-time only" offer on discounted tickets from their partners at PrimeSport. Just click the image and use promo code: "TiqIQ" at checkout and you can save 10% off your purchase of Raiders tickets from now thought Sunday, Aug 5th. So take advantage of this deal soon and keep your eyes out for great deals from TiqIQ and PrimeSport throughout the season.

Seriously these guys provide an awesome service and it's worth checking out if you are shopping for single game tickets.

Oakland Raiders Training Camp Report: Winners and Losers from Day 1

As seen on Bleacher Report.

Owner Mark Davis and general manager Reggie McKenzie were in Napa, Calif. to watch the first practice under new head coach Dennis Allen. The new era of Raiders football got underway on a beautiful sunny day in wine country and finished on a positive note for the defense when rookie defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi picked off a Terrelle Pryor screen pass and returned it for a touchdown.

Allen believed the Raiders had a pretty good day of practice, but there was plenty of room for improvement. Once Allen goes back to watch the video of practice, he will see a few players that really helped themselves on Monday and a few who didn't.



Winners

Eddie McGee

Not only did McGee make a few nice catches, including a long grab from Carson Palmer over veteran cornerback Shawntae Spencer, but McGee was coming in with Ford with the No.2 unit ahead of standout rookies Juron Criner and Rod Streater.

It's a sign that McGee is very much still in the mix to make the team, pa…

Preseason Profile: Nathan Stupar, LB

Nathan Stupar #54
College: Penn State
Height: 6'1⅝"
Weight: 241 lbs
Arm Length: 31.3"
Hand Size 9.1"



40 Yard Dash: 4.78
3 Cone Drill: 6.84
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.28
Bench Press: 21 reps
Vertical Jump: 31"
Broad Jump: 116"



Nathan Stupar was drafted out of Linebacker U. Regardless of what the college is famous for now, they have been able to produce solid linebackers on a yearly basis. Nathan has a really high football IQ and comes in as a very disciplined player. How's that for a change of pace huh? Disciplined? He also comes from a pedigree of NFL players which include a brother Jonathan Stupar who most recently played TE for the Baltimore Ravens and an uncle Jeff Hostetler who is a former quarterback of the Raiders.

Stupar started 7 games his senior season at outside linebacker and collected 73 tackles which included 6.5 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks. He's still is a bit of an unknown though having played behind a rich crop of linebackers at Penn State. Stupar pr…

Preseason Profile: Kaelin Burnett, LB

Kaelin Burnett #57
College: Nevada
Height: 6'3½"
Weight: 234 lbs
Arm Length: N/A
Hand Size N/A



40 Yard Dash: 4.64
3 Cone Drill: 6.70
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.30
Bench Press: 20 reps
Vertical Jump: 34.5"
Broad Jump: 129"



Kaelin Burnett is the brother of Miami Dolphins linebacker Kevin Burnett. Kaelin began his career playing outside linebacker at Nevada, but was moved to defensive end right before his senior season . He is obviously not your prototypical defensive end at 234 lbs, but did show case his agility and notched 48 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, and 5 sacks in his senior season.

Kaelin's road to the NFL was not easy though. He had to overcome shoulder surgery in 2008 and a very serious hip injury he suffered during spring practice before his senior season at Nevada. “I went up in the air to knock down a screen pass,” Burnett said in an interview with Joe Santoro from examiner.com. “I got pushed in the air and landed on my hip.” this wasn't an ordinary hip injury though. …

Preseason Profile: Miles Burris, LB

Miles Burris #56
College: San Diego St.
Height: 6'2⅛"
Weight: 246 lbs
Arm Length: 31.7"
Hand Size 9.7"



40 Yard Dash: 4.67
3 Cone Drill: 6.81
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.20
Bench Press: 31 reps
Vertical Jump: 37.5"
Broad Jump: 121"



The Raiders seemed very excited at the opportunity to grab Miles Burris in the 4th round of the draft this year. In my opinion Miles seemed to fly under the radar a bit, and I wanted to dig a little deeper into why that was. Miles is a very instinctive player. He rarely second guesses his first read, and doesn't waste movements during the play. By that I mean he doesn't take a lot of "false steps" or move lateral too much.  Because of that Miles plays faster than his 40 time suggests and is another reason why straight line speed is overrated by many. He has an attack mentality about him that I believe had a lot to do with the Raiders interest in him.

Miles made a lot of "splash" plays at San Diego St. His relentlessness and…

Preseason Profile: Travis Goethel, LB

Travis Goethel #50
College: Arizona St.
Height: 6'2½"
Weight: 240 lbs
Arm Length: 32.0"
Hand Size 9.6"



40 Yard Dash: 4.81
3 Cone Drill: 6.93
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.54
Bench Press: 21 reps
Vertical Jump: 35"
Broad Jump: 111"



Travis Goethel was selected in the 6th round in the 2010 draft. He was initially thought to be one of those late round steals after making some significant noise in training camp, but a lower back injury limited him severely his first season with the Raiders. He saw action in just 8 games his rookie season, most of which was on special teams. After showing signs of promise his rookie year before the injury, many were excited to see what Goethel had to offer in his second season with a clean bill of health. He burst onto the scene again in 2011, drawing rave reviews in training camp from the coaches, and was in line to start at weak side linebacker. Fans again began to hope Goethel would emerge into a late round steal for the Raiders only to have histor…

Preseason Profile: Philip Wheeler, LB

Philip Wheeler #52
College: Georgia Tech
Height: 6'1⅞"
Weight: 248 lbs
Arm Length: N/A"
Hand Size: N/A"



40 Yard Dash: 4.76
3 Cone Drill: 7.11
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.29
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 31"
Broad Jump: 118"



"A tenacious, strong and remarkably athletic inside linebacker... considered by many as one of the nation's best-blitzing linebackers". Those were words used to describe Philip Wheeler coming out of college. He averaged a half sack per game his senior year at Georgia Tech and also led the team in tackles. His athleticism allows him to play coverage as well and he led Georgia Tech in interceptions in 2007 with four, not bad for an inside linebacker.

His athleticism was a big part of why he was drafted by the Colts in the third round of the 2008 draft. The Colts have been a very finesse defense for the better part of a decade and really liked how a guy like Wheeler fit into their defensive system. The Colts run a strict cover two defense wh…

Preseason Profile: Rolando McClain, LB

Rolando McClain #55
College: Alabama
Height: 6'3"
Weight: 254 lbs
Arm Length: 33"
Hand Size: 9 3/8"



40 Yard Dash: 4.69
3 Cone Drill: N/A
20 Yard Shuttle: N/A
Bench Press: 24 reps
Vertical Jump: 35"
Broad Jump: N/A



In the last decade there have been a lot of Raiders first round picks that were scrutinized far before they ever put on a uniform. A lot of the scrutiny was justified, but should not always be directed at the player. After all, the players can't control where they are selected. Rolando McClain "broke the mold" if you will, when it comes to first round picks by the Raiders though. He was thought of by many to finally be one of those "sure thing" draft picks. Well the start of McClain's career in the NFL has been anything but "sure". McClain struggled to make the transition from a one gap linebacker in Nick Saban's 34 defense at Alabama to a two gap linebacker in the 43 defense the Raiders ran in his first season. Those str…

Preseason Profile: Aaron Curry, LB

Aaron Curry #51
College: Wake Forest
Height: 6'1⅝"
Weight: 254 lbs
Arm Length: N/A"
Hand Size: N/A"

40 Yard Dash: 4.56
3 Cone Drill: 7.15
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.51
Bench Press: 25 reps
Vertical Jump: 37"
Broad Jump: 124"



Curry was a very highly touted linebacker coming out of Wake Forest who seemed to be the total package. After being selected fourth overall in 2009, many assumed that Seattle would have a young star on defense to build around for years to come. To the surprise of many, Aaron Curry was traded to the Raiders in 2011 just five games into his third season. Of course the first thought that goes through everyone's mind when a top five draft pick is traded that early in his career is that they turned out to be a bust. However, I don't believe that to be true with Curry.

In his rookie season he started 12 games and had 61 tackles, 2 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles. He didn't light the world on fire but had a pretty solid year all things considered. Many ex…

Oakland Raiders: Camp Battles – WR Edition

I will be doing a series of Raiders camp position battles throughout the off-season starting with wide receiver. I will continue to update these battles throughout camp as roster events take place such as injuries, cuts, new signings, etc.

Here is a list of the wide receivers on the Raiders 90 man roster including links to their player profile and my written summary breaking down each one individually.




Denarius Moore #17

Darrius Heyward-Bey #85

Jacoby Ford #12

Juron Criner #84

Eddie McGee #16

Rod Streater #80

Louis Murphy #18

Derrick Carrier #89

Duke Calhoun #14

Brandon Carswell #13

Thomas Mayo #19

Travionte Session #87



I believe the Raiders will carry six wide receivers this season, with realistically 2 spots up for grabs. The amount of prospects the Raiders have brought in speaks to the fact that no one will be handed a job anymore. Performance in training camp will go a long ways in deciding the future of a lot of these young players with the Raiders. The competition at the position should bring…

Preseason Profile: Travionte Session, WR

Travionte Session #87
College: Nevada
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 195 lbs
Arm Length: N/A
Hand Size: N/A



40 Yard Dash: N/A
3 Cone Drill: N/A
20 Yard Shuttle: N/A
Bench Press: N/A
Vertical Jump: N/A
Broad Jump: N/A



Travionte Session is the true wild card of the group. Coming from the infamous “Pistol” offense at Nevada where he played a long side Colin Kaepernick, Session didn’t see a lot of targets in college. The “Pistol” offense doesn’t exactly cater to wide receivers which meant Session played a more important role blocking than he did receiving.

As a non invitee to the NFL combine Session has not had many chances to prove his worth to NFL coaches. The Raiders scouts saw enough of this guy though to give him a shot in camp. Session does run well, but that alone will not make him stand out in Oakland where speed isn’t exactly hard to come by.

Session is 6’2″ so he has the height to go up over defenders to make catches, but doesn’t have a very big frame weighing in at only 195 lbs. The Raiders c…

Preseason Profile: Thomas Mayo, WR

Thomas Mayo #19
College: California (PA)
Height: 6'1¼"
Weight: 207 lbs
Arm Length: 32.5"
Hand Size: 9.3"



40 Yard Dash: 4.53
3 Cone Drill: 7.10
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.61
Bench Press: 15 reps
Vertical Jump: 39"
Broad Jump: 121"



Thomas Mayo is another guy who put up big numbers at a small school. He certainly has the size to be effective at 6’1″ 200 lbs, and he used that to his advantage in his collegiate career. The main concern with Mayo is that he is not a great athlete. He is stiff in the hips coming out of breaks and struggles to adjust to the ball at times.

He does have the ability to make flashy catches at times, but his hands are a bit inconsistent. Mayo has average 4.5 speed which is fast enough to be effective in the NFL, but he doesn’t seem to have the burst or quickness to his game either.

He has had some drop problems in OTA’s to this point but it’s still early. He still has a chance to rebound, but will need to improve quickly or he might not even make it to the …

Preseason Profile: Brandon Carswell, WR

Brandon Carswell #13
College: USC
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 201 lbs
Arm Length: N/A
Hand Size: N/A



40 Yard Dash: 4.47
3 Cone Drill: 7.04
20 Yard Shuttle: 4.22
Bench Press: 18 reps
Vertical Jump: 34"
Broad Jump: 112"



Brandon Carswell does not fit the mold of a typical Raider receiver when you think back to years past. He doesn’t have blinding speed, he’s not known for stretching the defense, and you could probably count on one hand the number of times he has run a 9 route.

That does not mean he doesn’t have a lot of valuable assets to his game though. He has solid hands, runs pretty good routes, and has good size and strength. He stands 6’1″ 201 lbs and completed 18 reps of 225 lbs at his pro day prior to this years draft.

I look at Carswell as more of a possession type receiver which actually fits the new West Coast offensive scheme for the Raiders pretty well. He does well at finding soft spots in zone defenses and is also decent after the catch. His strength allows him to run throug…