Is it Hump Day already? You gotta love holidays on Mondays. Do you guys spend the week wishing it'd go by faster like I do? I realize time is precious, and in limited supply, yet I spend the majority of it wishing it had already passed. It makes no sense, but what the hell. Like the wise prophets Men at Work said, "Everybody's working for the weekend."
Anyway, right now time is in double jeopardy in my world. Not only do I look forward to it passing to get to the weekend and vacations etc, but also so the freaking lockout ends. Okay, that's enough nonsense. Let's get to some football. Jump over for the booty....
Grab Bag O' Booty
NFL.com ranked the tight ends in the NFL. Zach Miller was in the second group, which means they have him as the 5th-10th best tight end in the game. Were it not for his pesky foot injury last year I expect he would have been in group A.
NFL.com news: Familiar faces top TE rankings, but young crop making noise
Group B: Zach Miller, Raiders (>): A potential free agent when the new CBA is resolved, Miller could be a hot item if he hits the market. He was the ninth-most targeted tight end in 2010 and managed 60 receptions and five touchdowns
Jay Richardson has his own radio show, and he is proving he has the mouth for it. This article highlights some of his better quotes. Below are his thoughts on Philip Rivers:
Former Raiders DE Takes Special Pleasure In Sacking Philip Rivers | Football News Now
"I’m not a big Philip Rivers fan, because I think he’s kind of a cocky dude and I’ve had a chance to sack him before and hit him as hard as I can. I’ll do so again if I get another opportunity," Richardson told Tafur and myself. "But, nothing personal against Philip Rivers. I think he’s still a heck of a quarterback." On the broadcast I then jokingly informed Richardson that we had a newspaper reporter on the line with us. But he pressed on.
Raiders Roster Ramblings
In case you missed the further good news on Michael Bush's free agent status:
According to two NFL sources I spoke to Tuesday, the current expectation is, indeed, that Bush will be restricted
More evidence that the Texans are going to make a run at Nnam:
NFL.com news: Asomugha could be part of solution for Texans in free agency
The Texans indeed are prepared to be aggressive in free agency, according to league sources, and will be among the teams pursuing All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. While awaiting a collective bargaining agreement and new free-agency rules, it's very difficult to gauge the market and how high the price for a top cornerback will go. But look for the Texans to closely monitor that market and determine if the price point on Asomugha fits their budget.
We've heard plenty of rumblings that the Lions are interested in a Raiders free agent. Just not this one:
Detroit Lions - NFL | Lions still looking to fill vital roster spots | The Detroit News
4. Thomas Howard, Oakland: Howard lost his starting outside linebacker spot last season to Quentin Groves, but he is a player a lot of scouts believe is ready to break out. He's just 27 and had a three-year stretch — from 2007-2009 — when he started and produced 106, 96 and 97 tackles. He would be a lower-profile signing than somebody like Tulloch, or even Tampa Bay middle linebacker Barrett Ruud, who has been mentioned as a player of interest for the Lions, but he would also be a lot more affordable — especially if the Lions spend big to get a corner.
I hope Howard gets a chance to start wherever he ends up. It is pretty clear that he is not in the Raiders plans at linebacker, and the guy has been the ultimate professional. It is hard to say enough about his attitude and his willingness to keep himself ready to play last year despite his giant demotion.
If you missed it, check MAK's take on the roster.
Roster Ramblings - Silver And Black Pride
However, once again, to sign anybody it goes back to Al needing to be able to make his magic happen with the moola that we have to work with. What we really need to hope for is that this next year still goes without a cap. It really would be the fairest way to do it since everybody will be in such a rush mode to be ready for the season. With no Cap for one more year it would seriously increase our chances to sign a big name to come help us win a championship. Can you imagine Holmes on one side and Ford on the other? Goosebumps. I hope everybody had a great fourth of July and lets all keep our fingers crossed that the NFL gives Al Davis a belated birthday present: A New CBA!
Around the AFC West
Pro Football talk broke down the needs for all teams leading up to the season. Here there thoughts on the AFC West. I think the Vince Young to the Raiders is a great idea. As long as Young knows he is coming in as a backup and is willing to earn whatever it is he is going to get. I'll have more on the stay hungry part in a bit.
Team checklist: Oakland Raiders | ProFootballTalk
1. Re-sign Zach Miller. 2. Make a competitive offer to Nnamdi Asomugha. 3. Reconfigure offensive line. 4. Look for value at quarterback, especially Vince Young. 5. Retain Michael Bush. 6. Bolster cornerback depth. 7. Find a linebacker. 8. Stay hungry.
The breakdowns are solid. Here is the rest of the AFC West.
Kansas City Chiefs
Seven steps towards Chiefs success | ProFootballTalk
1. Find an offensive tackle 2. Fortify defensive line. 3. Make a quick decision on Brian Waters. 4. Add a wide receiver to play a big role. 5. Find quarterback insurance. 6. Get the ball to Jamaal Charles more. 7. Find an appropriate uniform for Kermit.
I think the Chiefs need more than QB insurance. Does anyone think Cassel is the answer? I wouldn't expect him to get any better than he was last year, and that clearly wasn't good enough.
Team checklist: Denver Broncos | ProFootballTalk
1. Sign a starting defensive tackle. And then one more. 2. Decide on Dawkins quickly. 3. Trade Kyle Orton if the price is right. 4. Find a complement to Knowshon Moreno. 5. Convert defense quickly. 6. Get the wide receivers healthy. 7. Add defensive end depth. 8. Show John Elway in public a lot and keep blaming Josh McDaniels for everything.
The Broncos have a lot to do. Too much to do for just one season.
San Diego Chargers
Team checklist: San Diego Chargers | ProFootballTalk
1. Bring back Eric Weddle. 2. Add a wideout. 3. Add a right tackle. 4. Bring back Billy Volek. 5. Sign inside linebacker depth. 6. Get the rookies up to speed fast. 7. Convince the team it’s already November.
Weddle is going to get a big offer, I think. I would love to see him in Silver and Black next year, but I am not holding my breath for that, and ultimately I am not sure he is going to be worth the contract he gets.
Around the Lockout
First there was good news from the NFL lockout world yesterday:
Twitter / @SI_JimTrotter: i'm hearing the nflpa has ...
i'm hearing the nflpa has renegotiated its contracts with outside counsel. hearing the term "flat fee" is included in the deal.
The lawyers lost their incentive to prolong the proceedings. The fact that this was made public makes me leery that it was more for show than the reality of the situation. Of course, maybe they were willing to do this because the negotiations are almost over.
That hope diminished as the day wore on:
Report: Progress is slow, again | ProFootballTalk
Per Paolantonio, lawyers haggled Tuesday regarding the terms of a rookie wage scale and a revised drug program. Citing two unnamed sources with direct knowledge of the talks, disagreement still exists on the key issues of dividing revenues and defining "all revenue." The news should come as no huge surprise, given that only the lawyers are present. Without Commissioner Roger Goodell, NFLPA* executive director DeMaurice Smith, mediator Arthur Boylan, the owners, or the key players, the lawyers are unlikely to make much progress.
Blah...here is what I think of lawyers being left alone to sort this out:
NFL Lockout: Don't Expect a Deal This Week - Silver And Black Pride
What? You can't the leave the lawyers alone to discuss this? That just seems plain reckless. Like a women walking naked through Central park at midnight, letting your son stay late after Sunday mass, or pre-ordering a copy of Dr. Dre's Detox and actually expecting it to come out.