Once again, the bottle remains uncorked and I am left trying to defend my fandom to my loved ones who didn't know me when this team was etching it's historical significance in the book that is the NFL. Now with what was supposed to be considered the "lighter" part of the schedule in the books with nothing but two thorough beatings to show for it and 0-5 looking more and more probable as the minutes go by this begs the question. Is it too soon to consider a full on firesale?
This team in the past allowed top talents such as Charles Woodson (future Hall of Famer), Nnamdi Asomagha, at times our best pass rusher Kam Wimbley and Zach Miller to leave with no compensation. Those of you using the compensatory pick argument are living a pipe dream. We have yet to replace any of them. Players that we were glad to rid ourselves of also did not provide any compensation and we as fans were ok with it as long as we got their bloated contracts off the books. With the collective bargaining agreement came a new rule in which the trade deadline would be extended to week 8. This means more big time trades such as those in the NBA and MLB would be common in the NFL since the contenders and pretenders are going to be much more visible. This past week an argument took place in which we were trying to determine what category of team the Raiders fall into. Many believe we are rebuilding but with thirtysomethings making millions this is not a complete overhaul. Maybe its time to put players on notice.
- Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly: Neither is playing up to their contracts being pushed back like the Pillsbury Doughboy being readied for the oven. Both are situational interior pass rushers at best and could be great depth for contenders at the trade deadline.
- Michael Huff, Darrius Heyward - Bey, and Rolando McClain: You can use the argument that none were to blame for where they were picked but even with that said lots of money was invested with big plays few and far between to justify their contracts.
- Darren McFadden: He is by far the one player we can possibly build the team around however he is injury-prone and could generate the best trade value if healthy especially for a contender at the trade deadline if the missing piece to a Super Bowl is a Pro Bowl - caliber talent at HB. He could generate a Herschel Walker - type deal that could be considered the deal that turned this franchise around.
If you noticed I didn't mention Carson Palmer, here's why. Matt Leinart and Terrell Pryor are it. We do not have a true NFL QB prospect behind Palmer. Those of you calling for Terrell Pryor are probably on tour with Cypress Hill and Sublime. Now Carson may not want to be around to go through the growing pains of a young team rebuilding as that was what caused him to quit on Cincinatti but he is not getting any younger and we need a QB to abide while we search for our QB of the future. This sounds harsh to some but it must be considered as we are not a team ready to contend and will only prolong the rebuilding process if this new regime simply stands idly by.