Saturday, February 28, 2009

On the block

I'm going to start this with a plea to/directive for Al Davis.

Don't do it.

Do not trade Michael Bush. Given a good offensive line and an offense that is less predictable, Bush could be a very nice 1b to McFadden's 1a. He's got the body of an every down back and showed what he can do when given carries, in the last game of the season against Tampa Bay. He's seems to be more durable than Fargas and is younger. Right now, we should be able to keep him on the cheap (relatively speaking, of course). So, unless we can get a proven veteran #1 wide receiver and some early round draft picks, he has to stay. Remember, this kid gives us options on offense, too. He played quarterback his senior year of high school and was being recruited heavily by Ohio State to play quarterback, until he chose Louisville.

I've also been reading that Andrew Walter may be on the trading block. That's not a bad thing, necessarily. There are a few teams out there that will need a decent back up (e.g. Dallas, Houston and Minnesota). His low salary makes him attractive for other teams, too. However, if his salary is low and he knows the offense, the Raiders might as well just keep him, unless an earth shattering offer comes along. Whatever shortcomings he's had can mostly (not all, but mostly) be attributed to the Pop Warner offensive line and offensive scheme that he played behind under Art Shell.

Last night, the Raiders also re-signed Isaiah Ekejiuba. Big re-signing for the special teams group. This is the Raiders' first real transaction of the free agency period and it's definitely not what we've come to expect from the organization in free agency, based on the past couple years. This is a good signing, though. It keeps a big piece of the core of the special teams in tact.

One thing that the Raiders now can see is what the rest of the AFC West is doing in free agency. The Chiefs and the Broncos are out to spend. With new head coaches in place, they've gone out and made moves to get the players that their respective head coaches wnat or need. Kansas City picked up Matt Cassel and Mike Vrabel. Denver's been very active, picking up Brian Dawkins, Renaldo Hill, Andre' Davis and Darrell Reid. Denver also picked up a few running backs (but who's suprised by that?????). The Raiders can now take a look at where they stand in light of what was done within the division. They are only about $6 million under the salary cap, but I think the Raiders will begin to move as early as tomorrow (Monday). Obviously, Kansas City doesn't want to go 2-14 again and Denver is still stinging from that epic collapse that cost them the playoffs, so they're doing all they can to get better as quick as possible. Now it's time for the Raiders to move and move smartly.

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