Some of you may have heard the Sports 1140 interview with Tim Brown live from Fred Biletnikoff’s Charity Golf Tournament. Freddie B was interviewed as well and even JT the Brick stopped by to chat. Also, I believe there was a Steve Wisnewski sighting off air.
Tim Brown seems to think that Russell is still two years away from being fully developed and that he could struggle this year. That said, Tim Brown said that when he played he did things to help his developing or weak QBs (Lord he knows better than anyone). IF his QB didn’t throw a certain pass well he ran routes that played to their strengths, etc.
Let us pray that Javon Walker and Drew Carter have that kind of attitude. Tim Brown is a class act, we can only hope any of the players we have are half as classy as Tim Brown.
Mini-Camp starts tomorrow, check back for all the late breaking Raiders detail and analysis.
Odell Thurman isn’t really the type of guy the Raiders or Kiffin wants on the team. Good talent, but just not worth the trouble.
Lamont Jordan should have been cut already, if he shows up to camp, the Raiders have a malcontent hanging around our young RB core. That has got to end. Jordan should be gone by tomorrow…will he…anyone can guess.
Travis Henry got cut…and half of the single promiscuous women in Denver cried and promptly put their Prada bags on eBay for some extra cash.
Based on the salary cap and performance, the following are players that will or might be gone or need to restructure, may be traded, should be re-signed or will be moved to a new position.
THE CAP CATEGORY 1. Jordan – His cap number and performance make this a certainty. No sense on spending any time on him 2. Rhodes – His cap number makes this near certain. He would have to restructure and may find himself as the 3rd stringer. Expect him to opt for being cut over a restructure, he complained last year about playing time, I don’t think he would take well to being a 3rd stringer. 3. Warren – At times last year he was a very good lineman, but was rather inconsistent. Better than Sands, but also a cap monstrosity (Like Sands). It will be tough to swallow if we cut him loose because we gave up a 5th rounder. I’d bet we try and restructure his deal and make him more cap friendly, however there is the chance he could be gone. He might challenge Sands for the RDT starting spot. 4. Sands – What a mistake and his contract is darn near impossible to do anything with. We are going to be stuck with him unless we consider him a complete bust, but my guess is they will just try to make him more consistent.
THE FREE AGENT CATEGORY 1. Asomugha – He will be franchised…Nothing else to speak of here. 2. Kelly – His versatility and the fact that he was the best lineman until his injury will make him a top priority. Richardson is almost ready and he should be pushing Burgess out the door in 2009. Kelly is just 28 and should be entering his prime veteran years. I think we need to lock him up for three years. 3. Chris Clemons – We would certainly like to have him back, but only if we can get him at a discount. Situational pass rushers are easy to find, heck we found Clemons who didn’t even play in 2006. 4. McCown – He wants to be back as the backup and Kiffin wants him back. I think he is at worst a good character influence on Russell. He is also a very smart guy just doesn’t have the tools that Russell has. I think we will bring him back for a decent price. 5. Newberry – He held up and we might just be willing to see if we will again. Grove’s injury history and lack of great play make him s sketchy starter. However, Grove has played his best next to his buddy Gallery. Will be interesting to see what we do. I put my bet on him being back for one more go. 6. The other FA – Would be deep backups. My guess is we will look for talent elsewhere. Some of them could be back, but they would have to battle for a roster spot.
THE MOST LIKELY TO BE TRADED CATEGORY 1. Walter – We have no use for him. He doesn’t fit the system and will most likely be the 3rd QB. A pocket passing team could make a move for him. I think he has a future with the right team. He has starting experience and is a good character guy. We will likely hold out for a late round pick. I’m guessing we would like to sneak back into round 5. 2. Washington – He lost his job to Routt last year. He still has excellent physical tools and maybe just needs a change in scenery. I don’t see Davis letting him go for less than a 3rd. The draft is thin at CB so teams that miss out on Samuel or Talib may look to find a CB with starting experience elsewhere. Jay Glazer reported we shopped him last season, so the feelers are out and he might be on team’s radars as a good player to be had. He still has 1st round talent and to get that for a 3rd is a great deal IMO. He is also just 25.
THE CHANGING POSITIONS CATEGORY 1. Huff – Kiffin already made a clear statement that Huff would be moving. We all know that means to FS. He should thrive with the freedom and will be a better tackler from that side. It leaves a huge hole at SS, something we should be concerned about because that is Routt’s side and not Asomugha’s. 2. Schweigert – He is likely to stick around because he is cheap, but if he is disgruntled because he will be a backup we may let him walk. He isn’t likely to move to SS, then his tackling skill would be a more glaring weakness. He probably has to fight for the backup spot with guys like Eugene. 3. Alston – Rumor is he may move to SS. I think it may create somewhat of a liability for us on the left side. Routt is clearly weaker than Aso and not having a good SS behind him make expose that side. Unless we can find another option it is at least an experiment worth trying.
I don’t see anyone else having a status change at the moment. Comment if I missed someone.
This will be the first of my posts analyzing the possible 1st and 2nd round draft selections and our positional needs. Please note that other RBs could come into play in the second round that aren’t covered here.
Before I go into McFadden, let’s look at our other options.
Justin Fargas (FA):
However, Fargas is not the long term answer. Fargas has only had one completely healthy season and he didn’t play that much. The more carries he gets, the more he seems to get hurt. I LOVED what he did for us this year. I like him. However, this is football team and our team needs to be smart about spending and what is really best. Also, keep this in mind. Despite Fargas success, he had just 4 TD. He also wasn’t that consistant, with only four 100 yard games in 11. There was still a reason Jordan started over Fargas at the beginning of the year whether we want to admit it or not. I just don’t understand spending the money on a 28 year-old RB with a long injury history. Also, Fargas is one dimensional in that he isn’t a good WR out of the back field.
Dominic Rhodes: ($5.5 Million for 2008)
I have nothing against Rhodes, but he is nothing special. He also is due to make a boat load in 2008. I just don’t see him sticking around at that cap hit, especially not after complaining about playing time last season. He could restructure or perhaps make the team, but we all know he is nothing special. Good showings against solid run stuffing teams is a plus, but both those teams were without their top DT (Marcus Stroud and Jamal Williams). I’d say Rhodes is about a 50-50 chance of being on the roster come 2009.
LaMont Jordan ($6.9 in 2008, $7.2 in 2009)
At those cap numbers, there is about a negative chance he is on the roster next season. $4.4 million is bonus money. The hit can be spread out over two years by using the new rule which allows two players to be cut pre June 1 and treating the cap hit as if it was a post June 1 cut.
Adimchinobe Echemandu ($605K)
Has a solid chance of being the #3 RB next season with the possible exodus of three veteran RBs.
Michael Bush ($500K, $585K, $675K next three seasons)
I really badly wish we could have gotten to see what he could do last year. Hopefully, with a full season of conditioning he will be the Bush from the Videos below. He is just so much of an unknown, that we can’t truly count on him. If he turns into a stud, and we draft another RB, then we have two studs, and Bush would come super cheap. Still, no way of knowing how well he will comeback. I’d like to think if we don’t draft or sign a FA RB that would mean they are putting it upon Bush, but I am not holding my breath.
Darren McFadden (Likely around $25 mil in Guarantees)
This guy is really a stud. Some disagree, but if he comes in at 215 or above, his speed and elusiveness will be a huge asset. His receiving ability will make him more versatile than a guy like Fargas and maybe hide some of our liability at the WR position. Some say McFadden can’t break tackles, I don’t see evidence for this, most the time, he cuts so hard and had such great burst that he didn’t have to break tackles. He does have a strong stiff arm that I have seen on many occasions. He is closer to Peterson than Reggie Bush. Our system being good will only make McFadden that much better. The zone blocking system is built for fast straight line runners, so EVEN IF he is what some people with little football knowledge claim (That is a one dimensional fast guy) it still wont matter. He will still be good. Durability is my only concern because he runs a little high, but he has been surprisingly healthy so far in his career. My sources indicate (my fiance helped with a pool workout of Arkansas and Texas draft potentials at the Michael Johnson Training Facility) that McFadden is mature enough to be in the NFL and his character isn’t as big of a concern as some people would like to make it out to be.