Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm back and luckily Kwame Harris will not be

Lechler re-signed......check.

Chris Johnson re-signed......check.

Qualifying offers made to Ricky Brown, Jon Condo, Jon Alston and Hiram Eugene......check.

(The above 4 guys are huge for Special Teams.)

Kwame Harris cut......check. (FINALLY!!!!)

Griffith cut......check. (Which is ok, because the team has options with Oren O'Neal and Louis Rankin and both are cheaper than Griffith.)

Asomugha re-signed......check.

Let's discuss Nnamdi's deal for just a second. Three years at $15 million per year, with the first two years being fully guaranteed at $28.5 million and the third year possibly being fully guaranteed. That's a very hefty contract. Enormous for a DB. However, this is a smart signing by the Raiders and one that needed to happen. Even as a fan, I can be's not like players of Asomugha's caliber (at any position) are chomping at the bit to get out to Oakland to play. If we want talent, we have to pay for it. Nnamdi's currently the best corner in the league. The Raiders needed to keep him to show the league and their fans that they're not messing around when they tell them that the Raiders will be back.

Second, there was some grumblings about the Asomugha deal around the league. Owners and GMs saying that his deal is bad for the league and will be a stepping stone to destroying the league and on and on. Really. Since when did the other NFL owners become Socialists? The NFL is a league that runs on the river of money that pulls from the fans' wallets from coast to coast. The league is a cash cow. TV deals, advertising, merchandise contracts, marketing deals, etc; all in the name of money. I don't want to hear any team executive complaining about high priced contracts ruining the league. This is a league in which money greases the wheels that make it move. To hear an owner or GM complain about money is ludicrous. Those with the money win and those who spend wisely win.

Now that free agency is a few days in, the Raiders have been uncharacteristically quiet. I think after last year's free agency spending spree, I think Al has learned that you can't build teams through free agency. Building franchises is done through smart drafting, player and coach loyalty and winning. Free agency is a means to fill gaps, plug holes. This change in mindset when it comes to players and contracts, will be a great thing for the organization. Chris Johnson and Ricky Brown resigned because they wanted to be part of the team. It's time those guys, Asomugha, Russell, McFadden, Burgess, and the Linebacking core begin to lead this team as it should be led.

This is going to mean making the right move when it comes to Javon Walker. Cut him. I know the economic implications of the situation and that the team doesn't save that much money if they cut him. He's due a $5 million roster bonus on March 5th, though. He doesn't deserve that. He's been a cancer everywhere he's been in his career and 1.5 good seasons over a nine year career does not justify what he is making. This move needs to be made in the best interest of the team and organization.

If Al is worried about not having a veteran wide receiver, go get TJ Houshmandzadeh. I've seen him play a lot during his NFL career and he's a good receiver that wants to win. A good leader, a tough player and a receiver that can go over the middle and give Russell a big, sure-handed target, while Higgins stretches the field. If the money is right, there's no reason not to make a play for Houshmandzadeh. And, no......bringing back Jerry Porter is not the answer.

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