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Pirate Booty: Players Agree There's No Replacing Nnamdi, Cliff Branch for the Hall of Very Good, and More

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This is a very upbeat edition of Pirate Booty. We have some good Raiders links and quotes, and they are all backed with the various flowery and positive reports that the NFL lockout is negotiating its demise. I am trying not to, but I am getting excited that the lockout is coming to an end. Let's just get right into this....

Replacing Nnamdi

Trevor Scott and former Raiders Jay Richardson gave recent interviews and they both commented on the fact that there is only one Nnamdi Asomugha.

Raiders Players Agree: There’s No Replacing Nnamdi Asomugha | Football News Now
"I definitely think they’re trying to fill the void, obviously taking those two corners, but to fill Nnam’s void is going to be huge," he said. "Nnam is just a freak athlete. Not a lot of teams throw to that man. And don’t be fooled he will stick his nose down there to come up and make a tackle. . . How smart this guy is, just the way he knows the defense like the back of his hand."

While the Raiders will have a hard time ever finding a corner as good as Nnam Stanford Routt is ready to try:

Raiders' Stanford Routt: "There isn't a Corner in the League Flat Out Better Than Me" - Silver And Black Pride
Now there is a very good chance that Routt will be the team's No. 1 corner. And while I'd obviously prefer that Nnamdi comes back, I have no problem with Routt. Routt sat down for a great interview with Steve Wyremski of ProFootballFocus.com, and he describes the reason why we already know what we'll get when it comes to him being the No. 1 in Oakland

Here is the excellent interview that I lifted the quotes for the above article from:

Interview with Stanford Routt, CB Oakland Raiders | ProFootballFocus.com

Cliff Branch is a Finalist for the Hall of...Very Good

What is the Hall of Very Good? Well...

Professional Football Researchers Association
Begun in 2002, the Hall of Very Good seeks to honor outstanding players and coaches who are not in the Hall of Fame and are not likely to ever make it. The PFRA does not promote any of the electees for the Hall of Fame nor does it view the Hall of Very Good as a springboard for the Hall of Fame. We simply recognize that there are many players and coaches who had great careers who deserve to be recognized.

Of course Cliff Branch should make the HoVG. He should also be in the Hall of Fame. Check out the case made by madnessmike:

Cliff Branch by the Numbers - Silver And Black Pride

More Thoughts on Pryor

Terrelle Pryor to the Oakland Raiders Banter Begins - Bay Bridge Banter - SB Nation Bay Area
While it is not surprising that Terrelle Pryor has been linked to the Raiders, using a supplemental draft pick on Pryor would be a bad decision for the Oakland Raiders.

The above article doesn't talk about the possibility of Pryor playing receiver, which is fine. I have my doubts that Pryor is going to want to play receiver.

The Battle of Los Angeles

More on the L.A. Stadium: Some Team(s) is Going to Move There - Silver And Black Pride

Around the AFC West

The Raiders (so far) have bombed on 2009 first round pick DHB. They were not alone in the AFC West in bombing in that particular round, in that particular year.

AFC West 2009 first-round class panned - AFC West Blog - ESPN
To recap, here’s the mess of a class: Tyson Jackson (No. 3, Kansas City), Darrius Heyward-Bey No. 7, Oakland), Knowshon Moreno (No. 12, Denver), Larry English (No. 16, San Diego) and Robert Ayers (No. 18 Denver).

They have an accompanying poll with that article and DHB had the highest amount of votes for having the best chance to turn things around out of that group.

Football Outsiders ranked:

NFL: Analyzing the top 10 most disappointing playoff teams of the past 25 years - ESPN
Four of the 11 teams are from the AFC West. 2006 chargers 10. 1996 Broncos. 95 97 chiefs

Of the 11 teams (it's 11 because there was a first place tie) the AFC West had four teams. None of which were the Raiders! The '06 Chargers were 10th, the '96 Broncos were second, and the Kansas City Chiefs were a double first for '95 and '97.

The left tackle position is looking good in the AFC West:

Clady, McNeill among top LTs - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Denver’s Ryan Clady finished third behind Cleveland’s Joe Thomas and Miami’s Jake Long. Thomas beat Long by one voting point, 76-75. Clady was a distant third with 55 points. San Diego’s Marcus McNeill was tied for eighth with 20 points. No other AFC West left tackles received a top-10 vote. Fifteen left tackles received votes.

I also like the other two left tackles in the division, Kansas City’s Branden Albert and Oakland’s Jared Veldheer. Both players have potential to reach this list at some point. Albert is entering his fourth season and Veldheer was a rookie last year.

Kansas City Chiefs

More on the Chiefs' Pope:

Video: Chiefs tight end Leonard Pope - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Chiefs tight end Leonard Pope talks about saving a six-year-old boy from drowning, his foundation, and his expectations for Kansas City this season.

Denver Broncos

I was sick of the endless Tim Tebow news. Now it is just down right hilarious. Look for Denver Broncos news and this is the kind of thing you are going to get stories like this:

Tim Tebow booksigning draws crowds at Florida Wal-Mart - USATODAY.com
Great college football players come and go. But anyone who doubted if the player many consider the Greatest Gator would ever be forgotten. After leaving the school with a national title, at least one appears to be bigger than ever.

He proved that at Wal-Mart.

I've read that a couple of times, and I am pretty sure that is the worst attempt at written English I have ever seen in the USA Today.

San Diego Chargers

I am all for the following:

Analyst: Chargers should consider Burress - AFC West Blog - ESPN
On ESPN’s "NFL Live" earlier Monday, analyst Tim Hasselbeck listed the San Diego Chargers as one of the teams that should consider signing receiver Plaxico Burress, who was recently was released from prison.

While on the surface, the notion of the Chargers adding a receiver like Burress or Steve Smith is frightening I hope they go for it. Their passing game already kicks ass. You're only as strong as your weakest link. 

Around the Lockout

Please marinate in the positive vibrations that has become lockout news.

We had the lockout news fairly well covered yesterday:

NFL Lockout: Deal 80-85 Percent Complete and Only Days Away - Silver And Black Pride
Source: "It's going to be very difficult for this to get screwed up."

NFL Lockout: Is the End in Sight? - Silver And Black Pride
Several reports, from well regarded sources, say a deal may only be a couple of weeks away. Daniel Kaplan said via Twitter: Told optimism is so high in NFL, players talks over labor deal that expectation is for a framework agreement in about two weeks And The Washington Post published an article detailing the progress. The NFL and locked out players have made enough progress in their recent negotiations that a deal between the two sides is within reach during the next two or three weeks, people on both sides of the dispute said Tuesday.

Here are some of the sources:

NFL source: Labor negotiations 80-85 percent complete - NFL - CBSSports.com Football
One source with intimate knowledge of the discussions tells me negotiations are 80-85 percent complete. They've made such fast progress, I'm told, it's catching many of the principals by surprise. Some are now canceling vacations, believing an agreement will be reached within a matter of days. "It's going to be very difficult for this to get screwed up," the source said.

The return of the lawyers | ProFootballTalk
Per Adam Schefter of ESPN, Jeffrey Kessler and Jim Quinn are representing the players, and Jeff Pash and Bob Batterman are present on behalf of the owners. Schefter regards the development as a sign that the talks are becoming more detailed. Still, given the fact that the lawyers in the past have driven the parties apart, their presence could potentially screw things up.

Framework for agreement could come in two weeks | ProFootballTalk
Kaplan’s report meshes with other chatter we’re hearing. None of it may mean much in isolation, but taken together it suggests that teams are now operating under the assumption that the full season — with preseason and training camp — will unfold as scheduled.

Progress in NFL talks puts deal within reach - The Washington Post
The NFL and locked out players have made enough progress in their recent negotiations that a deal between the two sides is within reach during the next two or three weeks, people on both sides of the dispute said Tuesday.