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Pirate Booty: Raiders Bocce for Charity, Plax Wants to be an Eagle, Secret Negotiations, and More

Welcome to the TGIF edition of Pirate Booty. There is not a whole lot happening in Raiderville. Just to give you a brief glimpse of the state of Raider news today, the lead Raiders story is about Bocce ball. I'll just let that sink in for a bit. ...There is also some speculation and general lockout time killing over-think pieces about the silver and black

The lead NFL story is a "secret" meeting. You know how you know when you fail at keeping secrets? When it is the lead story everywhere that talks about the NFL. So I've casted the Jack over the jump. See how close you can get your bocce ball....


Raiders Grab Bag O' Booty

The NFL lockout apparently does not extend to the Madden-Mariucci Bocce Tournament. Well, as long as current players were there at the same time as coaches.

Raiders Play Bocce for Charity
Raiders coaches, staff, legends and Hall of Famers participated in the 13th Annual Madden-Mariucci Bocce Ball Tournament to help raise money for charity.

I was never a fan of Bocce...until I discovered drinking cross country Bocce. And that is it for Raider news. We now move to speculation.

Raider Roster Ramblings

John Clayton was asked if the presence of Ike Taylor at the Raiders player workouts in Georgia was an indication of the future destination for the free agent. Clayton shot it down as quickly as I would. 

NFL: Training camps may be next hits - ESPN
Things like this are happening a lot of places. Donovan McNabb isn't a member of the Arizona Cardinals -- and won't be -- but is working out in Phoenix with Cardinals players because he lives in Phoenix. A lot of players from other teams are getting together for workouts with Houston Texans players in Texas. Players who live in Miami are working out together because they are in Miami. The Oakland Raiders can't afford to add a high-priced cornerback after re-signing Stanford Routt. Walker's days are done in Oakland. They are just finding a place to work out with a bunch of other players. Don't read much into it.

Let's move onto some other rumors that will likely never get past the realm of rumors.

Jerry McDonald does a good job of breaking down the likelihood that the rumors 49ers/free agent QB Alex Smith was asked about in an that the Raiders were interested in him:

Smith heard Raiders talk - Inside the Oakland Raiders -
Smith: "I did hear that a little bit. I guess there were a lot of rumors and different things swirling out there and you try to take it all in, what is the truth, what isn’t and just go from there. It was difficult, though, because it’s all kind of hearsay. It happened very quick. And at the same time, hit it off with coach Harbaugh and his staff, so… "

In short, McDonald doubted there was much to those rumors. Speaking of QBs:

Will the Raiders trade for a QB? | June
Of the top available quarterbacks via trade this year I think Donovan McNabb makes the most sense for the Raiders. But I could also see them making a play for USC product Carson Palmer. If Palmer is willing to sit out in Cincinnati and retire, perhaps he’d be content to come back to California and ride the pine for a year waiting to see what happens with Jason Campbell.

I don't know much in this crazy world, but I do know that there is no way the Raiders are trading for a QB before the 2011 season starts.

It is increasingly looking like a mere formality of actually signing a contract that Plaxico Burress is not yet an Eagle.

Adam Schefter (AdamSchefter) on Twitter
If Eagles needed another advantage in landing Plaxico Burress, they have one. Brandon Jacobs said Michael Vick has spoken to Burress.

Not only did Brandon Jacobs say Plax talked to Vick, but...

Plaxico Burress Tells Former Teammate He Wants To Be An Eagle - Bleeding Green Nation
"I would hate to see him go to where I think he is going to go, that is from talking to him," Jacobs said of the Eagles when asked if he was talking about Philadelphia. "It is pretty tough to deal with all those different combinations. Plax is a Virginia guy, Vick is a Virginia guy. They went through sort of the same things and they got a lot of dynamic players down there. It wouldn't be a bad thing, he thinks, to go down there."

Maybe now comedians can stop ripping off each other with the same lame Raiders sign prisoner jokes. It is pretty obvious the Eagles are about to corner that market.

Around the AFC West

Denver Broncos

The Denver Broncos are either trying to raise the trade value of Kyle Orton, or they want to keep him because They all of the decision makers want to keep their jobs and they realize Tim Tebow is not going to cut it. 

Q&A: Tebow to Jacksonville for Gabbert? No way - The Denver Post
The Broncos are willing to listen to offers for Orton. But coach John Fox and John Elway , the Broncos' executive vice president of football operations, have said Orton is the team's starting QB. And people in the NFL who know Fox well believe he prefers Orton over Tebow in whatever shape the 2011 season takes — primarily because the Broncos, who are coming off a 4-12 season, want to win now.

If they are looking to trade him the Cardinals may come knocking.

Cardinals "think highly" of Kyle Orton | ProFootballTalk
I believe the Cardinals have Kolb rated slightly ahead of Orton, but maybe not enough to justify paying a bounty to the Eagles for him," Somers writes. "In other words, why give up substantially more for Kolb than you would for Orton?"

Of course, the Cardinals may just be trying to lower the value on Kevin Kolb. This is lockout trade chess. And it is about as exciting as real chess.

Kansas City Chiefs

Unfortunately, it is not looking good for the Chiefs Eric Berry being a bust.

Offseason Reviews Of Chiefs S Eric Berry Are Looking Good - Arrowhead Pride
A few weeks ago Kansas City Chiefs S Eric Berry came back to Kansas City to help promote a book by his friend Inky Johnson. In doing so, he made a few radio appearances on 810 WHB and 610 Sports and indicated that he was down in Florida working out with CB Brandon Flowers.

San Diego Chargers

The Raiders aren't the only AFC West team getting busy for charity

Shoot to Cure HD is Friday -
Join the Chargers in the fight to end Huntington’s Disease: enjoy some of San Diego’s best food and beverages, participate in a team speed free-throw contest, tour Chargers Park and bid on some great auction items.

Around the Lockout

The Super-Secret Meeting

I wonder if the lawyers involved in the lockout are getting a complex? Everyone seems ecstatic that they weren't invited to the super-secret meeting.

Player: Goal of NFL-NFLPA meeting was 'no lawyers' - The Huddle: Football News from the NFL -
"That was the point of the meeting," said the player, whom the paper [Chicago Tribune] did not identify. "No lawyers."

Keeping the lawyers out will be the key to progress | ProFootballTalk
[Robert] Kraft said in early February. "If business people sat down on both sides, and we tried to get the lawyers in the background. . . . Get lawyers away from table. Lawyers are deal breakers, not deal makers."

NFL Lockout: NFLPA and Owners Secretly Meet, Did Progress Ensue? - Silver And Black Pride
Updating the NFL negotiations

Miscellaneous Lockout Booty

The fledgling NFL coaches union may be the sorriest excuse for an union I have ever heard of.

Bears, Eagles, Jets join opposition to NFLCA brief | ProFootballTalk
With coaches from seven different teams already expressing disagreement with the NFLCA’s "friend of the court" brief supporting the players’ effort to lift the lockout, three more have joined the anti-NFLCA fray.

As a show of good faith, or just flaunting how much money they are making, DirecTV won't charge for Sunday Ticket, even though they themselves will still be paying the NFL, until the season starts.

DirecTV won’t charge for Sunday Ticket until lockout is resolved | ProFootballTalk
DirecTV has informed customers that "[t]here will be absolutely no charge for your NFL SUNDAY TICKET subscription until it is confirmed that the 2011 NFL season will begin."

Check out a great take on lockout frustration by a Raider fan:

June Gloom: Who Needs the NFL? " Just Blog Baby | An Oakland Raiders Blog
But please, don’t cry for me, Commissioner Goodell. I’m but a lowly fan that lives in a market your league has forgotten. Who am I to you but another potential customer for the Sunday Ticket? Oh…will there be refunds issued for anyone who purchased their dish strictly for the upcoming season? My guess is that those suckers will be dealt with the same way all those saps who couldn’t get seating at the Super Bowl in Dallas were handled – without any care whatsoever for the consumer. Remind me again why I should be missing the NFL?

Ray Ratto says a lot of things I don't agree with, but I am right there with him in the following article:

Ratto: What to make of latest NFL lockout news?
Remember, kids, this is their lockout. They closed the doors despite all their clubs being wildly profitable, and in anticipation of new TV deals that would double their current take. They’re doing this because they think they can, and they very well might.