I have been very quiet about free agency so far. Sadly, so have the Raiders! With all the action going on I figured I would hold off a little bit before I gave my two cents, but what is Al's reasoning? There have been so many rumors coming in and Oakland has not been a part of very many of them. So we lost Nnamdi, that sucks but oh well. His departure has been beaten to death by us already, so that is about all I will say on it. Good Luck to him, at least he didn't go to the Jets. I no longer will be rooting for him, but he probably doesn't really care about that!
One of the rumors that is floating around involving us is that we are negotiating with Antonio Cromartie. He would definitely offset the loss of Nnamdi somewhat, but at what cost? He wont be cheap since he "wont be giving no home town discounts". The only way we are going to get him is if we throw the most money at him. If we end up signing him for 10+ million a year I will be a little pissed. I mean, for 2 million more we would have been able to keep Nnamdi, although I think he wanted out, period. I would not be too upset with picking up Cromarte though. If anybody can teach Antonio Cromartie how to tackle, it is Rod Woodson!
I wasn't the only person here that was excited at the thought of adding Jared Gaither. However, if he can't pass the physical then it is a good thing we did not sign him. Back problems are no joke. I am sure we all have family members some where that can attest to that! Also, a very good point was brought him in some of the comment sections that mentioned the Ravens fans not being upset to see him go. For a player that talented to have the fans not care about him, then maybe he really wasn't somebody we wanted to add anyway. It is a similar situation to Robert Gallery leaving us, in my opinion. Yeah, you might be a good player, but get the hell out of town dude!
We did resign Michael Huff. I am happy that we resigned him, even if it is just for the veteran presence that he brings. He needs to continue to improve on the season that he just had, but the chip on his shoulder from not being as wanted as he thought he would be should help. I for one had already been okay with him leaving, so I am pretty surprised that he will be staying a Raider. Hopefully he has really learned what "Commitment to Excellence" means. If he has, then expect big things from him this year.
The signing of Trent Edwards is the most exciting positive thing that we have done this offseason. That is very sad! Trent is a good QB, but injury problems have curved his career path. At one point he was a starting QB for the Bills with a whole lot of potential. The video in Rich's post about him shows what he used to be able to do. We will see if Hue Jackson can bring that out of him again. I think it is pretty safe to say that he will not be challenging Jason Campbell for the starting spot anytime soon. He is definitely a more than capable back up QB though, so if Jason goes down all hell will not be breaking loose.
Now for the free agents still out there. The obvious one that we need to sign is Zach Miller. I am not very worried about this. He is a Raider. He has the essence to him that all of our greats have had. We all see it in him and I think he loves playing for us. He knows how highly he is thought of as a Raider and the TE position for us is very important. I don't think a TE wants to leave a team when he has been the leading receiver of that team for 3 straight years. Pay the man and get it done. I heard he is only waiting for Wimbley to sign a long term deal to free up money. I hope this is true because losing him and Nnamdi in one season would be disastrous.
There are still 3 wide receivers out there that I would love to get our hands on. Steve Smith from New York has a whole lot of potential. If he hadn't gotten hurt at the end of last year then he would already have been signed. I think he would be an excellent pick up for us, although he has had a fair amount of drops in his past. I don't know if he would come in and be our number one receiver though. Whether he would be our number one or not he is a talented guy that would be a great addition.
Malcolm Floyd would probably be a number one receiver for us, and he would be a weapon that San Diego would miss. Anything that hurts the Chargers I am okay with! He is a big body wide receiver that can really play the game and I think will come fairly cheap. He hasn't yet become the player the Chargers thought they were drafting, but the fact that he still has a high ceiling while giving good production now is a good thing. I want to bring in another WR and I would not be the least bit upset if that receiver was Floyd.
The last WR I would be interested in is Braylon Edwards. He is a beast and would be our unquestioned best WR. The Jets have all but officially closed the door on him coming back, but at this point he is probably the best free agent available at any position. There will be strong competition for his services and I have not heard the Raiders as being interested. Not once. The problem with him is that he can be a real cry baby at times, so if we were not winning he would not be good in our locker room. I think we will be winning, so I would be willing to bring him in. Even if it meant paying him a Kings Ransom.
The number one free agent that I would want to bring in outside of Miller is Manny Lawson. He is a very talented outside linebacker with a whole lot of speed. He needs to get stronger because at times he does get blown up but I would love to see this guy in the Silver and Black threads! I wanted us to draft him the year came out and the Niners are making a mistake not resigning him. At least that is my opinion of him. We need an outside linebacker and I think his type of speed would go a long way in improving our run defense. He would not even have to relocate since he is already playing for our Bay Area rivals. Lofa Tatupa would be a great LB to look at as well.
Another Bay Area rival that we are looking at is Dashon Goldson. I don't really know much about him but the things that I have heard have been very good. I will trust Rich's opinion that he is a good pick up. A safety that I do know about though, is Atari Bigby. I love Atari. The video game system was fun and I think Bigby is even better. His name is awesome and he hits like a freaking Semi! He has not been truly healthy since 08, but when he is healthy he is a force to be reckoned with. If we don't sign Goldson, then we should take a look at Bigby. He wants to remain a Packer but I do not know if he is in their plans. Anybody who hits as hard as Atari does would be a good fit in Oakland. If we want to build a bully we need a Safety that will come in and lay the wood. Atari Bigby does that.
I really have no idea what to do about our O-line now with Gaither out of the picture. We need to bring somebody in, but I just don't know who. At this point if I could get any offensive lineman available I would have to go with Justin Blaylock from Atlanta. He is a big guard with a mean streak. He would be coming from a strong running offense in Atlanta and would be a good locker room presence to bring in. After Atlanta's embarrassing loss to the Packers in the playoffs this guy will be hungry. Matt Light would be the best tackle to bring in, but I think in the end he will resign with New England.
The last guy that I would really like to bring in is good ole Captain Kirk! Bring him back and I will smile for at least a few minutes! We all know plenty about him and he knows plenty about us. I hope to bring him back. I'd bitch about having gotten rid of him to begin with, but the last time I did I got some serious knowledge dropped on me complements of SoB. The pick we got for trading him away brought us Jacoby Ford, so I wont complain about it anymore. I will say bring him back though. He is a free agent and I think his being our leading tackler year in and year out is a good reason to look at bringing him back. He looked damn good playing in a Raiders uniform in the past and I would have no problem seeing him in it again. After how long we have waited for Free Agency to start, I really want the Raiders to do SOMETHING! Lets hope that the "something" happens soon. We need a topic other than Zach and Nnamdi to talk about!