Today's Pirate Booty is a very tender and special edition of Pirate Booty. At least I have tried to make it that way because this is the first edition of Pirate Booty that Plaxico Burress will have a chance to read as it comes out. So, in Plax's honor we have some quotes from Raider rookie Joe Barksdale, some Nnamdi news, some lockout news but no news concerning our guest of honor. He probably knows them anyway.
Take the jump, Plaxico—this one's for you....
Barksdale Expects to Start
Detroit Lions - NFL | Joe Barksdale Jr. plans to be ready | The Detroit News
"I expect to start right away," Barksdale said of his opportunity with the Raiders. "My goal is to play 12 years. I want to play forever. "I do love football. I know it will be hard when it's over. When I'm done, I'll coach and take that money they give me to coach to charity. If you play 12 years, you won't need more money. I won't want to work a normal job when I'm done. No 9-to-5 for me. I'm going to ride this train until the tracks run out."
Jerry McDonald points out that at the moment Barksdale isn't looking at a lot of competition for this job.
Barksdale: My goal is to start - Inside the Oakland Raiders
He will likely be a competitor at right tackle, a wide open position in that Mario Henderson, Khalif Barnes and Langston Walker are currently not under contract.
I've been banging the "sign a right tackle in free agency" drum. It is not because I don't have faith in Barksdale. It is because I don't want to rely on him. I'll have more on "The Barks Dog" later.
Miller Second Best TE in AFC West
I have nothing but respect and admiration for Zach Miller. He is easily one of the best tight ends in the NFL. So, at first glance when I see he is only rated as the second best tight end in the AFC West I get defensive.
Ranking the tight ends - AFC West Blog - ESPN
2. Zach Miller, Oakland: Miller made his first Pro Bowl in 2010. I don’t expect it to be his last. Miller is among a strong group of young tight ends in the NFL. He is a quarterback’s dream, who is always open. He is the complete package. He has great hands. He can stretch the field and he’s an underrated blocker.
Then I think about it for a second, and realize he is coming in second to Antonio Gates. And as big a fan as I am of Zach Miller I can't argue he is better than Gates.
Raider Roster Ramblings
Shockingly enough some people are actually thinking logically when it comes to writing about teams seeking out free agents.
Cowboys.com - No-Nnam Defense
I think everyone can recognize the math problem that arises if in fact a cap system is in place whenever free agency finally begins. In that scenario, the Cowboys would need to re-sign left tackle Doug Free, who would be an unrestricted free agent, probably to a contract averaging $7 or $8 million, if not more, before they can begin working on their defensive needs. Gotta have some D-linemen. Gotta have a safety, if not two.
Too often people get caught up in who they want, and spend no time on the practical realities of the situation. Whichever team signs Nnamdi is not going to be able to do much else in free agency—especially with the increasingly likely possibility that there will be a cap in 2011.
Speaking of Nnamdi it is no surprise he is on the top of the following list:
Nnamdi Asomugha highlights crop of NFL's best potential free-agent CBs - USATODAY.com
Now it's time to look at the top cornerbacks potentially available in the 2011 free-agent market:
That's not why I posted the above article though. It highlights the corner depth available in free agency. Given the fact that the Raiders just drafted two corners I don't expect them to make a play on a free agent corner. However, there should be some great value available. Maybe the Raiders will try to land a veteran near the league minimum as a security blanket, and see if he can win a job in camp. They could always put one of the young guys on the practice squad.
Previously on Silver and Black Pride
The Locked Out Lockout Dailies: Behind the Scenes at the Secret NFL Negotiations (Pt. 1) - Silver And Black Pride
An secret exclusive look at the recent secret exclusive CBA negotiations.
NFL Prepares for an 8 Game Season: What the Raiders' Schedule May Look Like - Silver And Black Pride
A doomsday scenario for the NFL scheduling.
Worst Raider Moments Finale - Silver And Black Pride
A look at Pro Football Talk's worst Raider moments since 1987
It's Officially O.co Coliseum for the Oakland Raiders and A's - Silver And Black Pride
Will opponents fear traveling to the O.co?
Around the AFC West
The Broncos are going to have a lot of holes to fill in free agency and little time to do it. I really hope the season starts on time so the Raiders can still play the Broncos in week one.
Klis: Tebow-Orton is just one question for Broncos - The Denver Post
Add two defensive tackles. Kevin Vickerson is one starter. The Broncos also hope to re-sign Marcus Thomas and sign one more proven starter from free agency.
• Add one or two running backs. The Broncos need a power back to share carries with Knowshon Moreno . But with five of his 429 carries going for at least 20 yards, his complement may be a speed back.
• Youth movement? At receiver opposite Brandon Lloyd , do the Broncos go with Eric Decker , who had six catches last year as a rookie, instead of Jabar Gaffney , who had a career-best 65 catches last year but turns 31 in December?
Kansas City Chiefs
The last few days we have posted about the Chiefs plans to reduce Thomas Jones carries while keeping Jamaal Charles roughly the same. Here is one way they can do it:
Can Dexter McCluster be an effective RB? - AFC West Blog - ESPN
[Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc]: "So insert McCluster more so in that role. It also gets McCluster more touches, which he needs in Year Two. But I still don't think he is built for more than maybe a handful of carries per game … I would make him a Wes Welker slot guy first and then, maybe, mix in touches. But this league is going more and more to guys, who, more or less, play two positions."
McCluster had a hard time staying healthy last year. I don't see getting regular carries helping that.
San Diego Chargers
The Chargers have been working out a lot together. Don't they realize Philip Rivers is a jerk?
Where are the Chargers Players Practicing? - Bolts From The Blue
Practices take place four days a week, in San Diego, with participants in the high teens (15-20) and growing. An incomplete list of known participants includes Philip Rivers, Kris Dielman Nick Hardwick, Antonio Gates, Ryan Mathews, Mike Tolbert, Darren Sproles, Steve Gregory, Jacob Hester, Jeromy Clary, Billy Volek, Jacques Cesaire, Jordan Todman, and Vincent Brown (post in comments if you have seen other names mentioned!). The practices have focused on strength, conditioning, agility and fitness more than running football plays.
Around the Lockout
Previously, the league revealed the shocking news that season ticket sales were up from last year. Well, upon further review, and complaints that teams were needlessly cutting the salaries of employees, new information has come to light:
League says season-ticket sales are now down | ProFootballTalk
NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy explained to Kaplan that the sales figures shared with the owners applied only through May 6. When adjusting the totals through May 31, the numbers have dropped. McCarthy also said that renewals of suites and club seats "have slowed to a crawl."
I can't imagine why the players would want the owners to open up their books? What reason would they have to think the owners would accurately portray the financial numbers?
Maybe coaches aren't as opposed to the NFLCA's statement as they are leading on:
Privately, many coaches like the NFLCA brief | ProFootballTalk
As one source with extensive coaching contacts explained it to PFT, coaches are choosing to protect their long-term employment prospects by speaking against the NFLCA brief and in favor of the owners. Thus, if any are asked about the NFLCA brief, they will publicly say that they do not support it.
I can see why owners would want their coaches to publicly back them, but I can't see why coaches would care. Does anyone think that what a coach says about the NFLCA's statement is going to cost or save them their job? Win and you are in. Lose and you are out. It is tried and true.
I bet Peyton Manning thinks his dad talks too much:
Dad says Colts' Manning should be ready for season - NFL- NBC Sports
"It's just been 10 days," the father said. "He's not where he wants to be. It's just something that came up and had to be done, so hopefully it'll work out."