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Pirate Booty: Warren Sapp Says Something Nice about Raiders, Raiders Biggest Need In FA and More

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In terms of Pirate Booty, this was a boom or bust day, and we definitely busted. The lockout was either going to end, and there was going to be stories left and right about players arriving etc., or the lockout was going to continue and the sports world was going to be left with their jaw slacked and their junk in their hand.

Well close that jaw and wash your hands because the lockout is in full effect, and the Booty is slim, but not in an attractive Cameron Diaz circa Charlie's Angels kinda way. Jump over and see for yourselves....

Free Agency 2011 - Two Views on the AFC West |
What area is the team’s biggest need to upgrade?

Sam: You could pretty much pick any part of the offense to take a swing at, but let’s assume any QB needs some protection in order to function, and they don’t have that at the moment behind the Raiders’ O-line. That line is bad enough that you don’t need to be position specific, there’s not a spot on it that couldn’t take an upgrade.

Khaled: That offensive line is brutal. Even with some of the young guys getting better, it won’t be good enough to help them. They need an injection of talent now. . How do they upgrade that area?

Sam: Jared Gaither is the kind of physical freak we all know the Raiders covet, but they might be scared off by his injuries. There are plenty of alternatives around though, with Willie Colon, Doug Free, Marshal Yanda and Damien Woody all providing massive upgrades if the Raiders want to go O-line. Khaled: I’d argue that they wouldn’t be scared off by Jared Gaither’s injuries, but rather they’ll keep faith in Veldheer. They could do with getting a bit nastier, which to me means bringing in guard Harvey Dahl.

Ranking the top 40 players in the AFC West is a daunting task. Obviously it is easy to pick apart the placement of some guys. Take a look at ESPN's rankings:

Ranking the top 40 players in the AFC West - AFC West Blog - ESPN
1. Philip Rivers, San Diego: He is an elite player at the most important position on the field. 2. Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland: There’s a reason he’ll be the top prize in free agency. 3. Jamaal Charles, Kansas City: One of the NFL’s most dynamic young players. 4. Antonio Gates, San Diego: He should end up in Canton. 5. Tamba Hali, Kansas City: One of the NFL’s best defensive players. 6. Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City: He is a game-changing talent. 7. Richard Seymour, Oakland: Respected veteran changed Oakland’s defense. 8. Vincent Jackson, San Diego: Expect a strong rebound in 2011. 9. Ryan Clady, Denver: One of the game's premier left tackles. 10. Champ Bailey, Denver: Even at 33, he is special.

The reaction to the Raiders abstaining has been varied. Most of it has just been, "it's the Raiders being the Raiders," but it has earned some kudos from unlikely places. Like Kansas City:

NFL Lockout Update: Why Raiders Al Davis Comes Out The Biggest Winner Among NFL Owners - SB Nation Kansas City
My guess is that Davis reaps something of a reward in all of this — that at the very least, the players are thankful for one owner who has an issue with the way today’s agreement went down. He’s easy to laugh at or poke fun of, but in this instance, Al Davis is the one owner who comes out looking good.

The above is a solid read from an outsider's perspective. But unlikely as that is, the following is 8,945 times more unlikely.

Maybe they are talking about a different Warren Sapp, but it appears whichever Sapp this is was a fan of the Raiders decision to abstain:

Gutierrez: Davis, Raiders take the high road?
Warren Sapp: "Maybe Al Dizzle got it right!!"

Happy Birthday, Tim Brown!

Check out the size of that cake! That is awesome! Almost as awesome as how Tim Brown announced his B-Day on Twitter:

This is the 20th Anniversary of me being 25!!

Around the Lockout

NFL Lockout: Wasn't There Supposed to be a Deal Today? - Silver And Black Pride

Owners care more than players about preseason revenue | ProFootballTalk
In practice, it doesn’t matter because the owners care much more about the preseason revenue than the players do. For many players, their compensation for 2011 already is fixed; it doesn’t matter if the pot that funds the salary cap adds another $96 million or $192 million or $288 million or $384 million. For the owners, $104 million in lost revenue per week roughly equates (setting aside for these purposes revenue disparities) to $3.25 million per team, per week. Which increases to $13 million per team if the full preseason is lost. What’s $13 million per team? For some, that’s most if not all of the profit margin for the entire year.