TGIF y'all. It is time to get your weekend on. At the risk of jinxing things—this may be the last lockout weekend for a long, long time. So get ready. Spend time with your loved ones. Get to that to do list. Go outside and take a mental photograph because if things go like it sounds they will—we are going to be on football overload from now until February.
With that said, we have a decent booty today. It appears people that like to speculate about football have been busy speculating about what is hopefully about to happen. Jump over and see for yourselves....
Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty
A while back there was an interview with Stanford Routt where, from memory, he went over every catch he allowed. Not every catch he was credited for giving up was his fault. In this interview he goes over two touchdowns he was mis-credited for allowing. It is a great article. Here's a snippet:
Higher Education: Stanford Routt, and the touchdowns that weren’t his fault - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
With that in mind, I went back and watched the touchdown "credited" to Routt when the Raiders played the Tennessee Titans in Week 1. It was a 56-yard boot-action bomb from Vince Young(notes) to Nate Washington(notes) in which safety Tyvon Branch(notes) bit on the run fake, and Routt was left to scramble downfield when Washington went unobstructed over the top. The look appeared to be Cover-2, which requires the safety taking coverage over the top and the cornerback handing off the coverage downfield. It's a common coverage error for which cornerbacks are frequently blamed, even when they're not at fault.
It's a bit premature for predictions, but what the hell. This guy calls 8-8 for the Raiders.
NFL Preview: Oakland Raiders — Sports Interaction Blog
The verdict Last year I told NFL betting fans to take the over of +5.5 wins for the Raiders. They more than managed that with an 8-8 record. This year I expect them to stay in and around that 8-8 mark. The loss of Asomugha will be big but Hue Jackson should be able to bring the offense forward to compensate. Treading water would effectively be a step forward for this organization, which tends to revert to madness whenever anything good happens. Two stable seasons in a row would represent significant progress after a decade of despair.
And this dude thinks Peyton Hillis and Darren McFadden should have both been ahead of Darren McFadden on the NFL's top 100 list.
NFL Network's top 100 of 2011: Fan reaction - NFL - Yahoo! Sports
Darren McFadden(notes), Oakland Raiders (No. 98) — It's not so much that I have a problem with McFadden sneaking into the top 100, but why is he ranked and Rashard Mendenhall(notes) and Peyton Hillis(notes) are not!? Last season, Mendenhall and Hillis both had more rushing yards and touchdowns than McFadden, who prior to last season was terrible. If we're ranking the top 100 players for 2011, who would you rather have, McFadden, Mendenhall or Hillis?
This is a joke. Hillis and Mendenhall both gained more yards, but they had an insanely smaller yards per carry number, and yards per game number. The only real thing they did better than McFadden was stay healthy. McFadden also had more total yards than both.
Raiders Roster Ramblings
I love Nnamdi and all, but...
Nnamdi Asomugha - Oakland Raiders - 2011 Player Profile - Rotoworld.com
n an NFL.com chat Wednesday, NFL Network's Jason La Canfora suggested that Nnamdi Asomugha could command a contract in free agency that approaches $19 million a year. It'd make him the highest paid player in NFL history. Our projection in the spring was $72 million over five years ($14.4 million annually), but it appears we were too conservative. It's worth noting that Asomugha's last contract was for $45.3 million across three seasons, with $28.5 million guaranteed. La Canfora believes the Bucs could be serious bidders for Asomugha, pointing to their "pretty massive" proposal to Albert Haynesworth in February of 2009, and need to reach the salary cap "floor" in the new CBA
$19 million a year is a little ridiculous. With teams like the Bucs likely needing to spend a boatload of cash to get to the salary floor in 2011, I can see a team getting Nnamdi's average salary to that point by giving him something ridiculous like $25 million for year one.
Given those numbers, it makes the following seem painfully true:
Chances Of Raiders Re-signing Asomugha Not Good | Football News Now
McDonald surmised what many already had–when the team opted not to back up the truck for Asomugha as they did for other players including Richard Seymour and Stanford Routt, they sent a message the Pro Bowl cornerback’s time had drawn to a close. On Thursday’s broadcast of The Morning Spin I examined Asomugha’s likely options once the lockout is lifted. It’s a worthwhile broadcast that I hope you check out. Also be sure to check out The JRich Report with former Raider Jay Richardson. We had on Mike Mitchell this week. Mitchell had a special message for Al Davis.
By the way, if you like listening to Raider talk, Chuck Carrol of Football News Now just launched a bunch of Raider broadcasts. There are links to them on the site.
More TP talk for the Raiders.
Odds Of Raiders Signing Terrelle Pryor Are 50-50 | Football News Now
Given Jason Campbell is entering a contract year and the team has not offered him a new deal, they could in fact be looking for an understudy. The club was intrigued by Colin Kaepernick during the draft. The odds of signing Pryor could also go up with the team unlikely to re-sign Bruce Gradkowski.
Speaking of adding QBs to the roster, this idea is ridonkulous:
Raiders Need a Better Backup Plan than Kyle Boller " Just Blog Baby | An Oakland Raiders Blog
All in all there isn’t much value on the open market so perhaps a trade of some sort would make more sense. The only issue is that you don’t want Campbell to feel threatened again after what he went through last season. Delicate stuff to be sure that must be handled with care. Speaking of handling, putting the team in the hands of Boller is sure fire recipe for. Again, this isn’t a but it has to be on Al’s list.
trade for a backup QB? The Raiders have too many holes to fill to trade for a backup QB. Teams don't get rid of QBs better than Kyle Boller unless a team overpays for that QB. For example The Seahawks got Charlie Whitehurst, the Chargers third string QB, by tading a third round pick and the 40th pick in the second round with San Diego's 60th pick and third-round pick in the 2011 draft.
Around the AFC West
I hope Orton leaves. I am all for the Broncos starting Tim Quinn Medicine Woman at QB next year.
Collins' retirement may affect Broncos - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Orton’s name has been connected to Tennessee in the past and those talks will likely not decrease with Collins out of the picture. Denver will have to decide to trade Orton and let second-year quarterback Tim Tebow take over or keep Orton as the starter shortly after the lockout ends. Orton is a free agent after the season.
Kansas City Chiefs
I also wouldn't mind if Mike Vrabel decided to retire.
CFT: "Very good chance" Mike Vrabel joins Ohio State staff | ProFootballTalk
Vrabel indicated last month that it wasn’t time yet, but it appears he’s changed his mind. Our friend John Taylor at CollegeFootballTalk.com has the scoop, saying there is a "very good chance" Vrabel will take a defensive job on new coach Luke Fickell’s staff. "One source stated that an announcement could made as early as this coming Monday," Taylor writes.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have a lot of cap room, but they also have a lot of players to re-sign.
When lockout ends, Bolts should have freedom to make moves - SignOnSanDiego.com
The Chargers players currently under contract are due to make slightly less than $70 million this season. That figure demonstrates a healthy sum to be spent before the start of the season, but it is largely insignificant since a few of those players figure to be released and the Chargers have a number of starters (at least three) and other players to sign once free agency begins.
Those "other" players include draft picks and likely include receiver Vincent Jackson, who stands to make $12 million in 2011 as the Chargers’ franchise player. The starters they need to sign – in case you have forgotten over the course of the 114-day lockout – include at least one inside linebacker, a right tackle and free safety. The Chargers are also looking for another pass rusher and depth at center and offensive tackle
Around the Lockout
Thursday’s labor talks conclude | ProFootballTalk
So says Albert Breer of NFL Network, who has been staking out the proceedings all day long. In all, the parties spent 12-and-a-half hours behind closed doors on Thursday. They’ll reconvene at 9:00 a.m. ET. Breer reports that it was a "tough, tough day," but that progress was made. Per Barry Wilner of the Associated Press, NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said after the sessions, "We still have a lot of work to do." Most fans would react at this point by saying, "Then do it."