By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Sunday, March 8th, 2009 at 3:38 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Taking the better part of two days off with sore throat and slight fever, which works out perfectly because the Raiders haven’t done much of anything either.
And they’re to be praised for it.
In short, this is the best thought-out offseason of the last six years. One year after approaching February and March like the Washington Redskins, the Raiders are making choices as if they were the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Lock up your own best players, avoid the high-ticket free agents, stray from head-cases and malcontents.
On second-tier free agents, play the market, get the price you like, then strike. There’s no reason to believe the Raiders have lost a single player they wanted to keep (they had no intention of paying Jake Grove $14 million in guarantees) or have missed out on anyone on the outside they wanted to sign.
Kevin Burnett, Duke Preston, Melvin Fowler, Kyle Boller . . . most of the players that have made their way through the facility are still out there, and they’re getting cheaper all the time.
The only sign of possible contention between Al Davis and Tom Cable has been the courtship of Khalif Barnes. There is information from both sides which suggests Cable wanted Barnes aboard.
A couple of things:
1) Barnes hasn’t been signed yet, so it’s not over until he does.
2) If Davis has reasons for holding back on Barnes, who had a poor season last year and missed one start (he came in late) because of a team rules violation, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
As many good things as I’ve written about Cable as an assistant coach and with what he did cleaning up the Lane Kiffin-Davis mess to end the season with some promise, his decision to make the hard sell on Kwame Harris and then stick with him was his biggest mistake.
Before I get back to what I hope is the rest of Sunday off, the least I can do is give you a new thread . . .