The Raiders chose to re-sign Khalif Barnes for the right tackle position and not Langston Walker, and I have no idea why. The possibility remains that the Raiders could still re-sign Walker, but according to John Clayton of ESPN, interest in Walker has picked up and he will likely soon have a new home.
Don't get me wrong, I am not mistaking Walker for a good tackle. He was one of the league's worst pass blocking tackles in 2010. However, he remained strong in the run, and the fact is that for two years, the Raiders haven't even come close to replacing Walker with Barnes.
It is possible that the Raiders did want to re-sign him, and Walker did not want to return, but I have not heard of any bad blood between the two. I also don't think Walker is going to break any budgets with his contract. I think it is safe to assume that if the Raiders wanted Walker back, he would be back. Jump over for the rest of the story....
The logical conclusion here is that Walker's starting spot was a Tom Cable decision that Hue Jackson didn't agree with. However, this doesn't really jive either. Walker is much more a bully type O-lineman that Hue covets than he is a zone blocker that Cable goes for. The only real guess I have here is that the Raiders and Jackson felt that age was quickly chasing Walker down, and that his days as an NFL lineman were all but over.
Whatever the case, it is starting to look like Khalif Barnes will be this team's starting RT until when or if Joe Barksdale can take the position from him. I'm not a big fan of Khalif Barnes. He is slow and not all that powerful. He looked like he reported to camp in less than stellar shape. And for all the talk I have heard of him being engaging and loquacious in interviews, when I saw him talk he seemed as sleepy and disinterested as the dark bags and circles under his eyes would indicate.
It is time for Hue, Bob Wylie and Wiz to light the proverbial fire under this guy's ass. Once upon a time he was a decent left tackle, and he is not that old. Maybe he will surprise me.
Who would you rather have as the starting RT?
Khalif Barnes (620 votes)
Langston Walker (592 votes)
1212 total votes