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Showing posts from March, 2012

What the Oakland Raiders Free Agency Activity Means for Team in 2012

The Oakland Raiders came into the offseason with salary cap issues and needing to improve a team that finished a disappointing 8-8 last season. New general manager Reggie McKenzie was hired to reshape the Raiders' front office and establish a new philosophy to guide the team into the future.

McKenzie has a plan and as time passes his philosophies will slowly be revealed. So far, McKenzie has made a flurry of moves designed to help the Raiders reach short-term and long-term goals such as getting under the salary cap and shedding back-loaded contracts that would have handicapped his plans in 2013 and beyond.

A lot of activity doesn't always indicate a lot of change. As it stands, the Raiders will return 16 of 22 starters.



What does the Raiders activity or lack of activity mean for the team in 2012?



1. Reggie McKenzie wants to win and knows how to build a team to do it.

Overreacting, overvaluing and overpaying is not a recipe for success in the NFL. The most successful teams find valu…

Best Case & Worst Case Scenarios For Each Raiders' Draft Pick

The Raiders aren't making much noise in free agency and will attempt to build through the draft. Missing are five of their original seven draft selections and in their place are five players that may contribute in 2012.

A couple more selections may be awarded as compensatory selections, but that is yet to be determined.

What is the best case and worse case scenarios for the Raiders' 2012 draft? Not only does it depend on the players they draft, but how many they draft and how the players perform they obtained for those picks.



1st Round: Carson Palmer

Hue Jackson orchestrated a trade that brought Palmer to Oakland. It was too much to give up, but what's done is done. The Raiders have their franchise quarterback, right? That's the hope. The new regime is hitching their wagon to Palmer and putting a new offense around him. There wasn't many other options for the Raiders.

Best Case: Palmer, with an offseason with the receivers and studying the offense, turns in a pro bowl s…

Raiders Free Agency Preview: Why Oakland Must Pursue These 11 Players

At 1 p.m. PDT, March 13, 2012 the NFL's free agency period starts and the Raiders must be under the salary cap. There are a number of player contracts that have not yet restructured or otherwise addressed which will likely have an impact on the salary cap and the Raiders' free agency plans.



Kamerion Wimbley

The two sides aren't talking and extra guarantees are triggered on Friday and Wimbley is likely to be released before they do. Wimbley's release would save the Raiders just $2 million in cap space and leave the Raiders without a strong-side linebacker on the roster.



John Henderson

His contract is due to pay him $4.75 million in 2012. It's far too much for part-time backup with Henderson's miles. The Raiders would save approximately $4 million by releasing Henderson, but that also leaves the Raiders with a need for a run-stuffing defensive tackle



Tommy Kelly

Kelly's cap number is nearly $9 million and one would expect a restructured contract would have reduced …

Flight Risk: Raiders' Free Agents Ready to Hit the Open Market

Free agency starts Monday and the Raiders are still hacking away at troublesome contracts to get under the salary cap. Once the Raiders are comfortably under the salary cap they will turn their attention to signing free agents.

It wouldn't be uncommon for a team to end up signing the majority of their own free agents, but this is no ordinary year in Oakland. Reggie McKenzie will try to re-shape the roster and the fringe-roster players could all be seeking employment on Monday.

Some Raiders' free agents will be retained and others will be boarding flights to different cities in 201



QB Jason Campbell

Odds he leaves in free agency: 96%

Campbell is a classy player that understands the business side of the game. He didn't make any noise when he was benched in favor of Bruce Gradkowski and he stuck around to support the team even though the Raiders had moved on from him last season.

Despite the bonds Campbell forged in Oakland, he'll be boarding a flight for a new city in 2012. Wh…

Predicting the Raiders Defensive Starters

The Oakland Raiders may not do much shuffling on the offensive side of the ball, but the 29th ranked defense will be altered.

Stanford Routt has already been released and Reggie McKenzie promises even more change. Of the 11 positions on defense, only two have unquestioned starters.

Had the Raiders been healthy, the starters at the end of the season would have been nearly identical to the starters in Week 1. The lone exception would be Aaron Curry starting over Quentin Groves.

Since the Raiders will use both three-man and four-man fronts, we'll have to predict the starters for both schemes.



RDE Matt Shaughnessy (4-3 only)

Last season, Shaughnessy was among the favorites during training camp to have a breakout, but hurt his shoulder and missed 13 games. He'll return in 2012 and hope to revive the buzz he generated last offseason. Shaughnessy managed to record just one sack in three games in 2011 and will be ready to add to that total.

The introduction of the 3-4 will be very interesti…

A Deeper Look Into Roster Decisions

This is the time of year where general managers earn their money. They are paid to make the right decisions for the team, whether it's the most popular one or not. It is also the time of year when fans like to express their feelings on how the roster should be shaped. While the Raider Nation does know the Raiders very well, the reasoning behind each decision goes way deeper than whether or not the player fits under the salary cap. Here are just a few of the questions that coaches and general managers have to answer before making a decision on any given player.

How does the player fit into the scheme?

The amount of success a player has on the field has a lot to do with how their skill set fits the scheme they are playing in. The Raiders are in the middle of a complete overhaul this off-season. There are changes across the board from new general manager all the way down to the strength and conditioning program of the players. Those changes bring even more uncertainty when your trying …

Branch to Receive Franchise Tag

According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Raiders strong safety Tyvon Branch will receive the franchise tag.

With only a few days to go before the deadline to apply the tag the two sides remain far apart to reach a long-term contract.

It's not impossible that the Raiders will reach a long-term agreement with Branch at some point in the future, but at least one side feels a deal can't be reached before the deadline on Monday.

Branch just completed his rookie contract worth about $2.2 million and is looking for pay in-line with starting role. Branch averaged 112 tackles per season since becomming a starter at the beginning of the 2009 season.

Branch has been used as a box safety to help support the run, something required because of the Raiders problems in the front seven.

It is believed Branch will be an excellent fit in Dennis Allen's defensive scheme and was immediately mentioned as a top priority for the Raiders.