By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, May 19th, 2009 at 7:51 am in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders claimed wide receiver Will Franklin off waivers from the Detroit Lions, giving them another set of fresh legs as they start their three-day organized team activity today.
Javon Walker is out until training camp after having knee surgery, while Arman Shields missed the mandatory minicamp with recurring knee trouble. Rookie receivers Darrius Heyward-Bey and Louis Murphy did not complete the five-practice minicamp because of sore hamstrings.
The Raiders had Samie Parker and Drisan James in for tryouts during the minicamp, eventually signing Parker.
Franklin is a former fourth-round draft pick of the Kansas City Chiefs. The downside is he failed to make either the Chiefs, who released him, or the Lions, with both teams looking for young complementary receivers to pair with Calvin Johnson and Dwayne Bowe.
One of the reasons Franklin was expendable? The presence of Ronald Curry, who was signed by Detroit in the offseason after a drop-filled final season in Oakland.
The upside is Franklin is 6-foot, 209 pounds and had two productive seasons at Missouri, catching 97 passes for 1,538 yards and 10 TDs in his junior and senior season _ a 15.9 yards per catch average in an offense which often keeps yardage figures low because of frequent short patterns.
Burgess to Patriots?
A Boston radio station is reporting New England is considering acquiring Raiders defensive end Derrick Burgess for a second- or third-round draft pick.
Burgess did not practice during the club’s mandatory minicamp with what coach Tom Cable called a “stomach virus.” He watched practice from afar with a towel draped over his head, seldom interacting with even those in his position group.
The dilemma for the Raiders is whether to dump Burgess in a contract year, when he could be motivated to produce a big season to drive up his value in free agency. If the Raiders were to reduce his snaps and use him as a situational pass rusher, he could be of some value.
The other side is that Burgess’ stats have dwindled in each of his four years in Oakland, going from 16 sacks to 11 to 8 to 3.5, and that 2008 draft pick Trevor Scott could be ready to be the primary pass rusher.
Out of a 3-4 defense, the Patriots would look to use Burgess as an outside rusher.
Given Burgess’ lack of production and health issues, I’m having a hard time believing Bill Belichick would give up a second- or third-round pick to get him.
If such a pick is offered, the Raiders should take about a split-second to say yes and not worry about what Burgess does as a Patriot.
Even if Burgess were to go to New England and post 10 sacks as a part-time player, that doesn’t mean he was going to do it in Oakland, where his body language suggests he wants out.
Throughout the offseason, the Raiders have been loading up not only on speed, but on players who appear to want to be in Oakland. Burgess does not. A second- or third-round pick would be a gift.