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Pirate Booty: Al Davis the Barrier Breaker, Raiders Rule the Best Free Agents List, and More

Slow going and slim pickings in the booty, but I think there are few gems worth checking out. For instance, Al Davis was rated as the most outspoken owner in sports history. Also—if this shocks you as much as it did me, I hope you are sitting down—the players lawyers may be urging them not to give in to the owners so quickly.

Check it out. Besides, there really just isn't much going on anywhere in the world of sports right now. Unless you are a tennis fan. Than it is a pretty good week as the ol' chaps smack balls around the All England Club while trying to avoid love.

Jump over for some football news....

Ode to Al Davis

Al Davis has earned his place on this list over time. It is natural for people to naturally gravitate towards the lawsuits, but Mr. Davis is an outspoken trendsetter in many ways. I want to see a countdown of owners who helped break down barriers. Al Davis' resume is unparallelled there. He hired the NFL's first Latino head coach, the first African-American head coach of the modern era, and the first female executive in the NFL.

Al Davis - Outspoken Owners in Sports History - Photos -
Al Davis has owned the Raiders since 1966. In that time, he has been involved in more than his fair share of controversies, especially involving Pete Rozelle, the former NFL commissioner. In 1982, he successfully filed an antitrust lawsuit to force the NFL to allow him to relocate the Raiders to Los Angeles. Davis moved the team back to Oakland in 1995 and fired off another lawsuit aimed at the NFL. That suit, which dealt with the NFL preventing the team from relocating to another LA stadium, failed.

Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

In case you missed all the talk of the Raiders potential salary cap woes, here is another take:

Proposed Salary Cap Could Put the Oakland Raiders in a Very Bad Position - SB Nation Bay Area
The Raiders have $26 million in "dead money", which if the CBA counts towards the cap, will put the Raiders over the ceiling of $120 million. That would mean that instead of going out and signing players to fill key holes in their roster, the Raiders may be looking at having to cut players from their roster to get under the cap. Also, lets not forget that the Raiders still need to sign all of their rookies. If these numbers turn out to be true, the Raiders could be in a world of hurt when the new CBA is passed.

Hey man, do you like to get high on rookies?

Oakland Raiders May Have Landed Two of the Biggest Draft Steals in 2011 - SB Nation Bay Area
Many Oakland Raiders fans are excited to see what fourth round pick, Taiwan Jones, will be able to accomplish when he makes his debut in the NFL. The speedy running back out of Eastern Washington is a player that drew a lot of interest from NFL teams leading into the 2011 draft.

Now, according to Adam Caplan of Fox Sports, it looks as though the Raiders may have another sleeper pick destined to be successful in the NFL. In his offseason analysis of the Oakland Raiders, Caplan noted that the Raiders' fifth round pick, Denarious Moore was a guy that some had placed a third round grade on.

Yep, the Florida Gator Nation is proud to have Cooper Carlisle as part of their O-linemen herritage

Florida's offensive lineage in NFL |
Cooper Carlisle: Drafted 112th overall in the fourth round in 2000 by the Denver Broncos. The durable Carlisle moved to guard in the pros and played seven seasons for Denver before playing four seasons for the Oakland Raiders. He turns 34 this August and appears to be headed for free agency, as the Raider are not expected to bring him back.

Not proud enough to accurately know his contract, however. Carlisle is very much under contract for 2011.

Raiders Roster Ramblings

CBS Sports talks about the deep class of free agents, which is very good news for the Raiders. Since they will have little cap room, the deep class means a more than usual amount of players will be available for near the league minimum.

What is not good for the Raiders is that three of the top 11 free agents were Raiders. None of whom were named Robert Gallery. Good luck with that $7 million a year contract Robert.

Top 50 free agents: New rules may fill up deep pool - NFL - Football
That would mean the most hectic, crazy, free-for-all in free agency we've ever had. We would have a player pool as deep as it has been in a long time. In years past when putting together a list of the top-50 free agents, I've always struggled at the end of the list to come up with players I felt truly worthy. This year, I had to cut good one


Around the AFC West

San Diego Chargers

L.A. Chargers already sounds natural to me.

Chargers Mailbag
If I had to put money on it, Chargers move to L.A. ... That is an educated guess. However, it seems I hear something new every few weeks that makes me less confident of whatever I thought was the case.

Denver Broncos

DeAngelo Williams Is A Favorite To Land With Denver Broncos " NFL Spin Zone .
The latest rumor making waves is that Carolina Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is a favorite to land with the Denver Broncos.

I'd much rather the Broncos make a big play for Williams than Michael Bush.

Kansas City Chiefs

Delusions of grandeur...see below:

Could Dwayne Bowe Become The Next Terrell Owens? - SB Nation Kansas City
It was in year five that Terrell Owens really came into his own and began to cultivate his yearly place among league leaders, first for the 49ers, then the Eagles and finally the Cowboys. With the ascension of the Chiefs into the upper echelon of the NFL, you can expect Bowe's ability to get open in the end zone to continue. Bowe led the league last year with 15 touchdown receptions and even led his nearest competitor by two, showcasing a chemistry with Matt Cassel in the process.


Around the Lockout

The lockout news has a decidedly more negative tone this day—that makes me a sad panda.

Could Bengals Owner Mike Brown Personally Extend the NFL Lockout? - Cincy Jungle
Why would Mike Brown do this, you ask? He did this -- or could be doing this right now -- because he doesn't want to spend very much money. We reported a few days ago that, in an effort to make a deal with the players, the owners decided to make a new salary rule. That new rule would state that there is a minimum percentage of the salary cap that owners must spend. During their meetings, the owners pushed the number from 86 percent to 93 percent. During negotiations with the players, though, that number has gone up close to 100 percent.

(Insert lawyer joke here)

Lawyers are trying to persuade players to stand firm | ProFootballTalk
We’re told, by a reliable source (as opposed to our usual unreliable sources), that the lawyers are hoping to persuade the players not to roll over in talks with the owners.

Not everyone is feeling doom and gloom about the lockout. Action Jackson is his usual upbeat and positive self.

Raiders Coach Confident NFL Lockout Is Almost Over | Football News Now
In a much publicized interview with KNBR radio’s Murph and Mac, Jackson openly stated he was optimistic things were about to return to normal. "I am getting excited because it’s getting closer to July and that means training camp," Jackson said, per "I truly believe there is going to be football. I’m very excited about getting these players back here and moving towards our goals."


NFL Lockout: NFL Will Enforce Conduct Penalties for Behavior During Lockout - Silver And Black Pride
The Raiders have a few players who have run afoul of the law lately, but I am not sure any of them would be looking at anything, but a warning from the league.