Happy Hump Day, y'all. Are you as busy as BFFs Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith today? Probably not, since these two warriors are buckled down in four days of negotiations. Normally I wouldn't think this was an overly taxing week of work, but given the amount of money at stake and the fact they have yet to negotiate longer than three straight days this must be equal to digging ditches while giving birth for four straight days.
There is plenty of Raiders chatter to go with our lockout talk. We got the possibly great news that Michael Bush may still be a restricted free agent after all. We also got Warren Sapp moving his mouth while sounds come out, and much more. Jump over....
Warren Sapp Likes to Talk
Warren Sapp had some interesting comments regarding his former teammate Michael Huff that went something like this:
I thought this was interesting, even-though it comes from Warren Fatt.. - Silver And Black Pride
I went so far with Michael Huff, and you can ask him this, that my last day in Oakland, I waited in the parking lot for Michael Huff," Sapp said. "I waited in the parking lot because I wanted to talk to the young man because he made me want to throw up watching him practice. I mean, the scout team would complete ball, after ball, after ball. I’m like, ‘You’re not going to make one play? I mean, you’re not even going to put your hand on it and knock it down?
These comments could be potentially damaging to a man entering free agency. Jerry McDonald brings up a says as much, but also adds a little perspective:
Sapp’s critique of Huff is three years old - Inside the Oakland Raiders
A damning criticism for a soon-to-be free agent, but keep in mind Sapp hasn’t watched Huff practice since 2007. At the time, Huff was struggling through his second year as a miscast strong safety. Things got even worse in 2008, when Huff moved to free safety _ a move which was supposed to liberate him _ and he lost his job to Hiram Eugene.
Okay, so sure, Huff has been better, but is that the player teams can expect if they sign him?
Watching Michael Huff in practice made Warren Sapp want to vomit | ProFootballTalk
Huff is probably going to strike it rich this offseason. Perhaps he’s matured. But Sapp’s words make you wonder if Huff only grew up because free agency was around the corner.
In the end, who cares what Sapp says. I have not hear of other people complain about Huff's work ethic. Plenty of people complain about his suckiness, but not his work ethic. That doesn't mean he is a hard worker or not, but I am certainly not going to be swayed by what Warren Sapp says.
The guy has zero credibility. He is more focused on giving a good quote than being factual. I agree with this:
Michael Huff Makes Warren Sapp Blow Chunks " Just Blog Baby | An Oakland Raiders Blog
Is it just me or is Warren Sapp abnormally bitter towards the Oakland Raiders? Dude comes across like the homecoming queen who got her heart broken the same night they placed that tiara on her head. Every chance he gets he’s bashing anything and everything about the franchise.
Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty
This is a good piece on some unique offseason awards. Richard Seymour represents well.
Best of NFL: AFC West players - AFC West Blog - ESPN
Best individual rivalry: It has to be San Diego center Nick Hardwick versus Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour. These are two very good players. And they don’t like each other....
Best intimidator: One of the reasons Hardwick and Seymour have had problems is that Seymour is an intimidator. He has a reputation for being one of the dirtiest players in the NFL. I don’t think Seymour cares. His toughness is one of the reasons Oakland gave up a first-round pick for him. He has given Oakland’s defense a nasty demeanor it was lacking. He’s been kicked out of games for his rough play. That, of course, isn’t what the Raiders want from Seymour. They want him on the field. But the idea that Seymour may do something has to get into the heads of opposing teams, and that’s a step toward a victory for Oakland.
The L.A. stadium is going to become a reality, and it is getting closer.
Developer: L.A. stadium needs only "the high $200 millions" in municipal bonds | ProFootballTalk
Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times reports that Tim Leiweke, the businessman leading the effort for an NFL stadium in downtown L.A., said AEG will present a revised financing plan that will reduce the original request of $350 million in municipal bonds to "the high $200 millions."
$200 million is a lot of money but that is less than 20 percent of the total cost. A fairly reasonable deal for the amount of money it would bring to the area. Not that California needs the extra revenue or anything.
Raiders Roster Ramblings
If you missed it yesterday, here is my look on Raiders that could find themselves in jeopardy of being cut if the "dead" money is counted against the cap.
Oakland Raiders That Will Be Cut if Team is Over the Salary Cap - Silver And Black Pride
That's the bad news. The good free agent news is:
Oakland Raiders' Michael Bush May Be Restricted Free Agent - Silver And Black Pride
Of course the downside of that would be the Raiders would have even more salary space to clear up, but in this case that is a worthwhile trade.
Does Nnam want to go to the Lions?
Detroit Lions the Favorite in the Nnamdi Asomugha Sweepstakes? " SideLion Report | A Detroit Lions Blog
It is believed Nnamdi would like to join a perennial playoff team like the Packers or Eagles, and many seem to put the Lions in the same group as the star cornerback’s former team, another recent bottom feeder, Oakland Raiders. While many agree with that sentiment, others believe it won’t be long before the Lions return to respectability and may even reach the postseason as early as this upcoming season. NFLDraftCity.com’s Chris Habbo is reporting, according to sources close to Asomugha, he agrees with the latter opinion and would be interested in joining the Lions if the interest is mutual and both sides can come to term on a contract.
If I was in Nnam's position, I would play for the Raiders for free, but barring that I would say I was interested in joining every team, too. More offers and interest is always a good thing.
Around the AFC West
San Diego Chargers
Philip Rivers is a really good QB. That hurt to type. Excuse me whilst I go vomit like the fat windbag watching Michael Huff.
2011 Top Players Power Rankings - AFC West Blog - ESPN
The AFC West was represented by one player in the top-10 Power Rankings for best overall players in the NFL, regardless of position. Not surprisingly, that player is San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers. He is ranked ninth. I ranked Rivers sixth. Rivers was ranked on three of the eight ballots. NFC West blogger Mike Sando had Rivers ranked fifth, while AFC East blogger Tim Graham ranked him sixth as well. So, Rivers was either highly thought of or shunned.
Kansas City Chiefs
This is an interesting stat.
History Not On KC Chiefs Side For 2011 Season - Arrowhead Pride
From 2002 to 2009, there were 30 teams that improved by five games or more from one season to the next. Via Cold Hard Football Facts: The 30 teams average three fewer wins the season after the five win improvement. If that doesn't sound like much, consider that three games represent just under 20% of an NFL season. A shocking 24 of the 30 teams (80%) won fewer games the season after the improvement - 13 of them experienced drop-offs of at least four wins. That doesn't mean the Chiefs can't win 10 or more games in 2011 but history certainly suggests they won't.
Given the Chiefs schedule, I think they have a good chance of adding to this statistic.
Breaking Down the Roster - Part Two: Running Back - Mile High Report
Denver has two solid running backs with Knowshon Moreno and Lendale White who unfortunately have health issues. Buckhalter adds experience and some quality production while Lance Ball adds youth. However, Denver has little else after these four. Expect FEX to pursue DeAngelo Williams unless the price is too steep. If that fails, Denver's next best option appears to be Tim Hightower or Ronnie Brown. Hightower hasn't had great production, but Brown has had health issues. If Denver feels they have a solid featured back in Moreno and a solid back-up in White, then look for them to get someone like Sproles, who can add another dimension in the receiving game as well as take over the role for returning and let Royal line up in the slot.
Around the Lockout
They got a lot of negotiatin' on this week:
Twitter / @mortreport: For the first time since t ...
For the first time since these round of negotiations began, NFL & players have committed to 4 straight days i of talks thru Friday in Minn
Four straight days! Are they out of their freakin' minds?
It seems they had to leave the women and children behind for this one. It was only Roger Goodell, DeMaurice Smith and their respective staffs. What was the purpose of that?
Twitter / @AlbertBreer: Best I can tell you on the ...
Best I can tell you on the owners & players not being at this set of negotiations is my understanding is it's part of the process.
Obviously it is part of the process. It just happened in the process. Here is a little better theory:
Rumor Mill | ProFootballTalk
I’m not the legal expert around here and can only speculate. But the location of the talks and those present could possibly indicate the two sides are working on settling the antitrust case between the league and the players. It has been almost a month since the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case, and it’s possible the two sides are trying to get a settlement out of the way. It’s open for debate what this tells us about progress towards a new CBA. Perhaps the two sides are showing trust in their leadership and a lot can get done this week with fewer voices in the room.
Wait, so they aren't even talking about the CBA? Well, I guess that is part of the process, too. Just get a deal done boys.