So there were the Raiders, nine days removed from the first day of the offseason, without their head coach, the first to be in tune with players in the locker room since Jon Gruden, and staring down the barrel of free agents like Nnamdi Asomugha, Richard Seymour, Michael Huff, Robert Gallery, and others (the ones mentioned are former first round picks). Between just those four guys alone, there is something in the magnitude of around $40,000,000 in salary last year. That would surely not fit under any kind of new salary cap that would go along with the new CBA between the owners and the NFLPA. And there are 21 other guys who were with the team last year and not under contract this season.
As it stands to reason -- and it is a legitimate question to ask -- what is Al Davis thinking?
Since he won’t tell you himself exactly what he is thinking, I’ll tell you what I think he’s thinking. He’s thinking there might not be football in 2011 and he paid more than any other NFL team owner in 2010, to the tune of $150-plus million in team salary to end up with an 8-8 team. Now it’s a little easier to understand why 8-8 is so unacceptable.
If indeed there is a lockout in 2011, Davis will be in a better position than most owners, not paying a head coach and only having to pony up the dough for a half-squad of players. Genius -- good play, Mr. Davis. But if there is football in 2011, then we could see a very different team than we saw in 2010. That could be almost tragic and not very genius at all.
What is Nnamdi worth?
Well, let’s start with the easy answer: a first round pick in 2003, and twenty-something if I remember correctly. He’s definitely worth that, even if the “draft insiders” didn’t know who he was when he was selected.
But what is he worth now, since he has only created one turnover in the last two years?
I’d say to have a guy that every quarterback in the league doesn’t want to throw at is priceless. But to have a guy that every quarterback in the league can just ignore… now that is a different story. The fact that Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson have caused 14 turnovers in the last two seasons speaks volumes of the fact that Nnamdi works too hard at what he does. And if Al Davis wasn’t such a “once a Raider, always a Raider” guy then I’d say Nnamdi might be headed elsewhere this year. Perhaps Nnamdi needs to go back to just being average and he’ll be able to make the kind of impact he’s been paid for over the last three seasons.
I think the best case scenario for everybody here is to give him something like a six-year $48 million contract. Yeah, you all think I’m crazy, right? Well I am, but since we know Nnamdi has enough money for himself, just give him the $8 million per year in his contract and agree to give the other whatever million dollars to the charities of his choice over the next six years. That way you get your man with a decent cap number and he still gets what he wants in return. I’m not aware of any NFL policy that says an owner can’t donate to charity, are you?
Rumor has it that Rob Ryan is a hot topic of conversation inside the closed Oakland Raiders offices these days. I, for one, am not against a Rob Ryan return. I mean, yeah his defensive schemes (or Al’s) left a lot to be desired, but the entire Raiders organization has left a lot to be desired on the football field even before the arrival of Ryan in Oakland. My argument would be that Ryan did not have the talent that the current defense has, even without Seymour and Asomugha, the latter of whom actually was a part of Ryan’s defense.
The big question is, will he be the defensive coordinator or the head coach? And with Hue Jackson still under contract in 2011 as the offensive coordinator and only two coaching vacancies left, apart from the Raiders, Ryan should be considered a legit contender to be the Raiders new head coach -- especially considering he had such a good report with the players on both sides of the ball during his last stint in Raiderland. Not only that, but he was in good with the boss and left on good terms.
In addition, clearly his brother Rex has made quite an impact on the New York Jets football team. You have to wonder if Davis made a mistake in hiring “Lance” Kiffin, the undiscovered wonder boy, over Ryan back when the job opened up in the first place, after Art Shell II. But historically Davis doesn’t hire a defensive minded front man. The last time he did that, the Raiders only won 100-plus games over a ten year period (John Madden). Who wants that?
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I am the first one who posted about Al's strategy regarding the lockout. You must have gotten your thought about that point from my comments.
It's good to see you spreading the truth about that, as all of the so-called "experts" don't have the brains to even consider the truth when it comes to the Raiders. They allow their hatred of Al to blind them to everything. Sick.
I would still prefer Hue Jackson over Rob Ryan as our head coach. Yes, Ryan is a player's coach, and his hire could influence the return of some our free agents, however, I personally do not think that Ryan has the offensive creativity of a Hue Jackson, and a great offense is what is going to get the Raiders over the hump and into the playoffs. 2010 saw the Raiders load up defensively, both in the draft and through trades and offseason acquisitions. Even though the Marshall led defense was considerably better than Ryan's, the Raiders still gave up a lot of points and had troubles consistently stopping the run. If it wasn't for the breakout offensive performance this year under Hue's leadership, the Raiders would have had a hard time finishing at 8-8, and Hue has to be given credit for the offensive turnaround and be rewarded for it by being made head coach. I have said it before and I will say it again, if given the opportunity, Hue Jackson will become the next Mike Tomlin, and it would be an absolute travesty to let this talented coach to be passed over for Ryan, who is definitely not in the caliber of his brother, Rex....
I agree with Al this time. I feel the players are going to walk in 2011. It's heart breaking that we are going to loose some quality ball players.
wow - I ddint know that Al paid more than any other owner in 2010. 8-8 really does look shoddy in the light of that. It looked shoddy already, given our talent and schedule this season, but add the $$$ in, and Cable had to go.
I just dont get the Ryan talk.
He was TERRIBLE here before and now he looks better because of the bang up job he has been doing with ...... the Cleveland Browns !?!?! Huh ?
Lookig like a Raider seems to be his best qualification.
Bringing back Ryan would be a mistake. He was average at best as a Defensive Coordinator and I don't think he would do any better than what Cable could as Head Coach. If we choice to not keep Marshall, I would like to see us promote Wauffle from line coach to Defense Coordinator. What he has done with our line in such a short time is great work, and I would love to see what he can do as the Defense Coordinator.
@nilbymouth correction, deciding on the coaching staff, not deviding
@nilbymouth Not just what he has done with the Raiders D-Line...twice...but his resume speaks for itself. If Ryan is given the head coach job and Mike Waufle is not promoted to DC, then it's just another one of those Al Davis blunders in deviding on the coaching staff.