Let me welcome you on the glorious Saturday to your home for booty—Pirate Booty that is. There are some big shiny nuggets in the treasure chest. Hopefully there is enough here to start off your weekend on the right foot. Soon enough we will have actual football to watch on the weekend. Hopefully it's not just college football. Jump over for the booty....Raiders Salary Cap Issues
John Clayton took a look at the teams in the best and worst shape with the return of the salary cap:
NFL: Teams most hurt, helped by salary-cap proposal - ESPN
These teams will be most helped and hurt by a proposed change in the NFL salary cap and floor, John Clayton writes.
The Raiders are among the teams he mentioned as being in the worst shape. I talked more about what his numbers mean:
Oakland Raiders Free Agency: Will the Raiders Be Able to Sign Any Free Agents? - Silver And Black Pride
So let's just assume that the cap is at $120 million and the Raiders don't have to count the dead money. That leaves the Raiders with almost $15 million in cap room, and still having to sign all their rookies and guys like Miller and Bush.
Bill Williamson commented as well:
Raiders could be in bad salary-cap spot - AFC West Blog - ESPN
The Raiders knew they were taking a risk extending the players they did prior to the lockout. But teams can’t keep everyone and the Raiders made their decisions on their priority free agents. So, as a result, the Raiders’ offseason movement period may be complete for the most part because of the possible salary-cap realities.
The good news is that when free agency does hit it is going to be a bigger than usual class. With the limitations on last year's class making a number of guys restricted free agents, and had them signing one year contracts, there will be plenty of players on the market. So:
Big free-agency class will create a buyer’s market | ProFootballTalk
And so, to a certain extent, a game of musical chairs will be played, with only so many players getting huge money, with plenty of players getting good money, and with a decent number forced to take whatever they can get, once teams have met their needs.
The Raiders should be able to find some veteran players near the minimum. Of course, in light of this, it makes the re-signings of Daniel Loper and Hiram Eugene seem a little unnecessary.
Yesterday was also highlighted by the mouthpiece of Mr. Action Jackson. You can listen to the interview here:
Jerry McDonald focused in on Hue's glowing comments about Tyvon Branch.
Hue really likes Tyvon Branch - Inside the Oakland Raiders
Branch is extremely fast, made a lot of tackles and could indeed be coming into his own as a safety. The interesting thing to see will be if Michael Huff departs in free agency and Branch is moved to free safety with Mike Mitchell moving in at strong safety. As yet, Branch has shown little in the way of ball skills necessary for the position the way it is played in Oakland. To be fair, he hasn’t been asked to do a lot of read and react stuff as a deep safety.
To be fair, I am really glad Tyvon Branch hasn't been asked to do a lot of read and react stuff.
I also talked about what Hue had to say about DHB:
This is certainly one of Hue's mantra's, which pulls into focus the next high draft pick he needs to get results out of. Hue didn't get into specifics when asked about Darrius Heyward-Bey, and he was actually careful not to single him out too much. When pressed on the topic he said, "Oh there's no question. Is he one of the player's that needs to step up and bring more to the table? Yes, he is," but then he went onto say that he expects that out of everyone.
Below is a special little section of Pirate Booty I like to call:
JaMarcus Russell is a fatter joke than he is fat.
The Worst Number One Draft Picks of All Time: Lists: GQ
1. JaMarcus Russell 2007, Oakland Raiders JaMarcus Russell is only 25 years old. It's not necessarily over for him yet. But by all indications, his time in the NFL is over. The numbers to date: 18 TDs, 23 INTs, 25 fumbles, and one arrest for possession of codeine syrup without a valid prescription. The lumbering Russell often played like he was sipping on that "purple drank" during his pre-game rituals, making dazed decisions, uninspiring his teammates, and just generally seeming out of it. He earned a guaranteed $31.5 million of his rookie contract. And now, after the arrest, he is being treated by NFL teams like the radioactive son of Satan.
Jamarcus beat out Kwame Brown for this distinguished honor.
Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty
Richard Seymour seems like he has been a Raider forever.
Richard Seymour seizes key role in Oakland - AFC West Blog - ESPN
“At the end of the day, we’re Raiders and we want to be Raiders,” Seymour said. “We know that this team can be good, and we want to get back to supervised sessions with our coaching staff, which I respect very much. We don’t want to miss much more time.”
This a decent overview of the Raiders current state of affairs:
The Oakland Raiders Have What It Takes To Win The AFC West " Raiders Gab
In the past few seasons, the Silver and Black have discovered young talent at skill positions. These include, but are not limited to, tight end Zach Miller and running back Michael Bush, who’re both free agents, but have a very good chance of returning to Oakland this season. There’s also up-and-coming star dual-threat Darren McFadden and Louis Murphy, who’s quite honestly the veteran receiver on the team. First-round-pick Darrius Heyward-Bey is looking more and more like a bust every year. If DHB fails to improve, the team may temp to lock down a true veteran wide receiver via free agency.
Here is an in-depth look at the Raiders linebackers tackling skills:
Yesterday we had love for Lamarr Houston as he prepares to enter his second year. Today we have some love for Jacoby Ford.
Potential second-year impact players, Part II | National Football Post
I felt the Raiders had one of the steals of the 2010 draft getting Ford in the 4th round. He was one of the fastest players in the draft and had a strong career at Clemson. He started slow with the Raiders but had a very good second half of the season. With his speed and open-field running ability he gives the type of big-play threat they love. While he may never be a No. 1 receiver, he can be an impact-type player who can play in the slot or split out.
Raiders Roster Ramblings
This author takes a look at the pros and cons of Nnamdi staying with the Raiders and Nnamdi leaving the Raiders.
The Oakland Raiders: With or Without Asomugha | isportsweb
With Asomugha as the opposite corner opposing quarterbacks directed their passes at Routt and he turned them down more often than not. Routt had 99 passes thrown his way, allowing just 39 completions, a completion rate of just 39 percent. Davis did his homework and although he may have overpaid Routt a tad, he had to. The Raiders primarily play man, making them the most difficult team for a corner to play for. Routt has the skill set, blazing seed, and unusual large measurable for his position to make him a very good player for the Raiders, and with a full year as a starter under his belt, he can only get better.
Earlier when we profiled potential free agent right tackles we took a look at Willie Colon.
NFL Rumors - NFL Trade Rumors, Free Agency Rumors and More - Rumor Central - ESPN
ESPN.com contributor Ross Tucker says yes, reporting via Twitter that "Colon still wants to play for Steelers even though they've passed up multiple opportunities to extend his contract." "Steelers do things their own way," Colon told Tucker. "I'm not worried about the $. I just like being a mean SOB on Sundays."
Colon may or may not be back with the Steelers, but in light of the Raiders lack of cap room, we can probably cross him off our wishlist.
Around the AFC West
San Diego Chargers
Evening AFC West notes - AFC West Blog - ESPN
San Diego safety Eric Weddle reportedly is prepared for free agency when it begins. Weddle talked about the open market, but he also said he wants to return to the Chargers. From what I hear, the Chargers want him back too. But if Weddle gets a huge offer elsewhere, I could see him leaving.
I've maintained that Eric Weddle is going to get a fat, overpaid offer this offseason. It will be interesting to see if the Chargers do what it takes to keep him.
To answer the question about to be asked: No
Will Broncos Tim Tebow Ever be a True NFL Star?
This upcoming season could give us that answer. Tebow runs the ball very well, possibly better than any quarterback with the exception to the likes of Steve Young, Randall Cunningham and Michael Vick. Running could be his bread and butter now, but to develop into a full-time quarterback you obviously have to throw the ball well. So, I will leave with these three questions:
1 -Will Tebow develop a proper pass that will work in the NFL?
2- Will Tebow be handed the starting job with veteran Kyle Orton likely on his way out?
3 -Will Tebow ever be a star QB in the NFL? All of these questions about Tebow will likely be answered this upcoming season, if and when it does officially start.
Kansas City Chiefs
Looking At Chris Chambers' Future With The Kansas City Chiefs - Arrowhead Pride
What to make of Kansas City Chiefs WR Chris Chambers.
He came to the Chiefs in the middle of 2009 and quickly established himself as the best receiver on the team as WR Dwayne Bowe floundered. By 2010, folks were expecting big things from Chambers but it was Bowe who broke out and took the title of the Chiefs best receiver. Chambers' 2010 season was disappointing, to say the least.
Even the Chiefs official website said 2010 was an "obvious disappointment" for Chambers. No one is arguing that. He'll be 31 years old by the time the 2011 season starts and reading the tea leaves it's fair to wonder whether Chambers will be back in 2011.
The Chiefs' front office's confidence in Chris Chambers bouncing back can be summed up by the fact that they reached to draft a receiver in the first round.
Around the Lockout
They're still negotiating:
NFL owners, players meet again - The Denver Post
The players and owners were here over the last two days," Commissioner Roger Goodell said Thursday as he stood next to players association chief DeMaurice Smith. "De and I were here for the entire meetings also. And it's complicated and it's complex, but we're working hard and we understand the fans' frustration.
But I think both of us feel strongly that we're going to continue to work hard at it." A league statement said the sides will have more meetings. Those talks are expected next week; in the last four weeks, the owners and players have met outside of Chicago, New York and on the Maryland shore before heading to the beachside in New England.
Well, now that I know that it is both complicated and complex i am lot more understanding of the fact that this thing has gone on for over 100 days.
Below is a good article on the real victims if this sick lockout prevents games from being played.
Businesses Sweating Over NFL Lockout - Skokie, IL Patch
But local small business owners have a bigger concern: their revenue streams. From restaurants and pubs to memorabilia shops to sports apparel stores, many Skokie businesses rely on heavy interest in the Chicago Bears--as well as other NFL teams--to boost sales during the fall and winter months.