Yeah, I know, it's Saturday. But I can't just change the name of the series because I get sick... and still had a deck that needed building. Anyway, it's the thought that counts, right? So, let's get to it with the "Friday" mailbag.
Marcus writes: Alzado vs The Tooz over ten 3-minute rounds. Who wins and why?
Lyle "The Tornado" Alzado versus John "The Tooz" Matuzak. Two men enter, two men leave, one a lot happier than the other. Lllllllllet's get ready to RUMMMBLLLLLLLE. During their playing days, Matuszak was 272, while Alzado weighed 255. Matuszak placed ninth in the 1978 World's Strongest Man competition. At that time, Alzado was an amateur boxer. He was also well known for his violent temper on the football field due to his rough upbringing. This match goes to Alzado.
Dante writes: I took a look at next year's free agent list I think we might need some help at wide receiver. Do you see the Raiders picking up a big name or do you think Reggie will go through the draft. And if you say free agency, who do u think the Raiders might pick up?
A lot can happen between now and then but I think it's quite possible the Raiders could spend some money on a big time receiver. If none of their current receivers step up into the number one receiver role, they could seek elsewhere. The team will have a boat load of money to spend and they will be spending it. A couple of Giants receivers come to mind - Victor Cruz or Hakeem Nicks.
BigXPerro on Twitter writes: Any idea when the other four draft picks will be signed?
Last year the Raiders didn't sign a single draft pick until July. This year they went ahead and locked up six of their ten picks less than a week after they got their $8 million in cap relief from Michael Huff's June 1st designation. The interesting thing is, the rookies they locked up were all round 6 and 7 picks whose salaries fall beneath the top 51 salaries and therefore don't count against the 2013 cap. It is only the four unsigned picks whose salaries are expected to count against the cap. And that amount, once the lowest salaries are removed, will still leave the Raiders with over $6 million in salary cap available to them. The holdup is the particulars are a bit more detailed with the picks in the top four rounds which includes deciding how they want to divvy up the salaries from year to year for each player. After minicamp (June 11-13) there will be a month and a half before training camp -- plenty of time to get a deal done. I don't expect another late signing ala Juron Criner last year.
Ross writes: Can anyone explain to me why JaMarcus Russell is being courted by teams for anything other than a practice dummy?
Who says a practice dummy isn't just what they are looking for? I am only partially kidding. At this stage, all teams like the Bears are expecting is a camp arm from JaMarcus. But hope is another story. They are hoping they can catch lightning in a bottle. Reports from Bears tryouts are that he still has a big arm but struggles with accuracy. So, basically the same issues he had when he was in the NFL before. The one area they are hoping he has learned his lesson is in the work ethic category. It is odd to say this about JaMarcus but at this juncture, he is low risk, high reward. Now, the media circus that would ensue is entirely another story. That's something each team has to decide if it's worth it.
Chad writes: There's no way Reggie McKenzie is in the hot seat is there?
Reggie McKenzie is not going anywhere anytime soon. He's got at least one more year to try and build this team and probably more than that. It's like a college coach who really needs to see his first recruiting class become seniors before you know if he's any good. Otherwise he is being judged by trying to fit someone else's players into his system. Thus far we have seen Reggie's first class, with no blue chip recruits (first or second rounders) as freshmen, some of them red shirting (so to speak). He now has his first full recruiting class and probably a couple of red shirt freshmen getting their first real playing time. Give it a couple seasons.