By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, March 15th, 2007 at 11:02 am in Oakland Raiders.
Lane Kiffin left Atlanta following the Pro Day of Georgia Tech wide receiver Calvin Johnson Thursday afternoon as rumors swirled that the Raiders were on the verge of dealing wide receiver Randy Moss to the Green Bay Packers.
According to the Boston Herald, the Raiders would also ship tight end Courtney Anderson to Green Bay. In return, Oakland would receive backup quarterback Aaron Rodgers and a seventh-round draft pick.
The Green Bay Press Gazette countered with a story which said outgoing Packers CEO Bob Harlan said no deal is imminent.
Harlan said he had not heard a word regarding a deal from general manager Ted Thompson. “If it was that close, (Thompson) would have called us by now.”
All the while, Profootballtalk.com has continued to update the Moss-to-Packers scenario, having first broached Rodgers’ potential involvement days ago.
If the Raiders were to receive Rodgers and a No. 7 for Moss and Anderson, it would be a fairly unprecedented dump job by Davis of a substantial talent. More importantly, it would be evidence Davis’ priority is to give his young coach an environenment more conducive to success.
But whatever the Raiders don’t get in a Packers deal, their position as the top team in the draft becomes even more valuable. They could either get the player they want, or allow suitors to throw players and draft picks their way for the right to select JaMarcus Russell or Johnson, generally considered the top two talents in the draft.
As for Rodgers, he seems to have more detractors than supporters. But if this deal were to be made, it would be clear Kiffin thinks Rodgers has enough skill to at least compete with Andrew Walter for the starting job in 2007 based on his own observations while Kiffin was USC and Rodgers was at Cal.
Whether he’s right or wrong is not the point. Any play-calling coach ought to be able to pick his own quarterback.
Right now, only Kiffin knows what he prefers. Based on his close-to-the-vest interviews at the LSU workout Wednesday, he has already mastered the art of the dodge.