How will Raiders approach RFA tenders?


The Raiders have until March 4 to tender those who are among the 212 players who found their status as unrestricted free agents reduced to restricted free agency in the absence of a collective bargaining agreement.

With the franchise and transition tags available for unrestricted free agents Richard Seymour and Sebastian Janikowski, plus the various tender levels the Raiders are in the position of being able to keep every player they deem necessary for future success. The only way any player of substance gets away is if the Raiders allow it to happen.

With that in mind, free agency will serve as a referendum on which players disappointed in 2009 to the level where they’re no longer a part of whatever plan is devised by Al Davis to stem the seven-year tidal wave of 11 or more losses per season.

Oakland’s list of restricted free agents:

(*-players who were originally scheduled to be unrestricted)

— LB Jon Alston* ended was placed on injured reserve with at least two concussions. Originally a third-round draft pick by St. Louis in 2006, the Raiders can keep him for $1.176 million or receive a third-round pick as compensation should another team sign him. Or they can fail to tender him, allow him to test the open market and bring him back for no compensation at all.

— T Khalif Barnes* was a non-factor after sustaining a broken ankle in training camp. By season’s end he was behind Langston Walker and never mounted a threat as a tackle on the left or right side.

A second-round draft pick by Jacksonville in 2005, Barnes is unlikely to receive a tender for the $1.849 million salary. If the Raiders tender him, they’re keeping him, because no team is parting with a second-round pick for Barnes after a poor 2008 and an invisible 2009.

— LB Ricky Brown* was an free agent who received a surprise second-round tender last season which paid him $1.7 million last season and ended up on injured reserve for the second straight year. He’s rehabbing at API in Los Angeles and hopes to return. Chances are he won’t be tendered this season, but could return after a stint testing a difficult market.

— QB Charlie Frye* ended the season as the Raiders starter and was lauded for his work ethic and involvement in game plans. The wild card this year is offensive coordinator Hue Jackson and where he stands on the quarterbacks after JaMarcus Russell, assuming Russell is being given a chance to turn things around. Frye was a fourth-round pick whose original draft pick is $1.226 million.

If the Raiders want to make sure no team makes an offer to Frye, they could give him a second-round tender at $1.849 million. But that’s backup money, not No. 3 money.

— QB Bruce Gradkowski directed come-from-behind victories against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. What modest success the Raiders had on offense in 2009, it came with Gradkowski at quarterback. He said following the season and to the Toledo Blade on Super Bowl Sunday he wants to return to Oakland and is optimistic of competing for and winning the starting job.

A second-round draft pick tender would bring Gradkowski $1.759 million _ or the Raiders could simply lock him up for similar money over two seasons.

— LB Thomas Howard* is one of the NFL’s fastest linebackers and good in pass coverage. He switched to the strong side late in the season, but he’s been on the field an awful lot since coming in as a second-round draft pick in 2006 and the Raider have struggled against the run during that time. A second-round tender for a four-year veteran is $1.759 million.

Interesting to see if another team considers Howard worth a No. 2, and if the Raiders would match a contract offer or take the draft pick.

— C-G Chris Morris, like Gradkowski, would have been a restricted free agent anyway this season because he hasn’t accrued four years in the active roster.

Assuming the Raiders retain the zone blocking system, Morris can be retained for $1.101 million as a reserve at center and guard. If signed by another team, the Raiders could either match or receive a seventh-round draft pick as compensation.

— LB Kirk Morrison* is the most interesting of the RFAs because he’s led the team in tackles five years running, wears his Raiders shield proudly and is a home grown product. We’ll have a good idea if the Raiders think Morrison is part of the problem with regard to run defense depending on how the offseason plays out.

If the Raiders are convinced Morrison is their middle linebacker, they could give him a first and third-round tender, pay him $3.268 million and the compensation level would ensure no one else would sign him. He’d also be safe with a first-round tender at $2.621 million. The second-round tender is $1.849 million, with an outside chance a team might make an an offer which the Raiders could match or receive a No. 2.

The original draft pick tender for a player of five years experience is $1.226 million, which would bring the Raiders a third-round pick should a team make an offer and Oakalnd decline to match.

— CB Stanford Routt* was drafted in the second round in 2005, has a track athlete’s speed and the kind of height and long arms Davis loves. But Routt was bypassed by Chris Johnson last year when DeAngelo Hall flopped opposite Nnamdi Asomugha and remains no better than a third corner on the Raiders. Assuming Routt is tendered, the Raiders would be more than happy to take a another shot at a second-round pick if someone were to sign him.

— RB Gary Russell ended up as an undersized fullback who started when Oakland’s other players were lost to injury (Lorenzo Neal, Oren O’Neal) or suspension (Luke Lawton). He can be retained for $1.1 million and as an undrafted player, brings no compensation if signed and the Raiders decline to match.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Norco Bob

    Regarding “soft sked”,..thats what other teams say when they see us on their sked….we dont have anything like a soft sked…come on man.

  • jhill

    Exactly Vegas!

    I mean, we were just a QB away last year, right? A softer schedule, a play caller, a few upgrades to the lines and return game and we can’t count ST Louis as a win?

    Oh, I forgot Bob, your rooting for blackouts and opportunities to boo.

  • Norco Bob

    Thank you La Melissa,…we didnt know any of that.

  • Norco Bob

    Yes jhill, that part is true, I want every home game blacked out,…so do the raiders….especially al davis.

  • jhill

    If you want to be literal Bob, then of course this is the NFL and you have to show up every week.

    If we are not prepared to right now say that we are better than the Rams, Az, Seattle, KC, Denver, and Jacksonville, then I guess our team is not as good as many in here think.

  • DMAC

    Morning Nation.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Broncos, Texans, Chiefs, Redskins & Browns were all winnable games last year. none of those teams made the playoffs. We got outscored by a combined 84 points.

    one could also argue that we “should have” beat SD once and been at least competitive in a 38-0 blowout to the Jets at home …

    Don’t talk to me about “winnable games” next year.

    We need to take care of us before we worry about other teams. How many consecutive 11+ loss seasons?

    you guys are under the impression that the Raiders will improve in 2010, but the other 2009 bottom feeders will not? LOL

  • lefty12 Says:
    February 15th, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    I saw it reported the other day that Gradkowski was the top rated QB this past year of all the QBs drafted the same year he was (2006)


    I really wanted this to be true, but sadly VY had a 82 passer rating and Bruce an 80.2

    But Bruce’s passer rating was better than Cutler’s (76.8)

    Can you believe only 3 QB’s from the 2006 draft started 3 games or more last year (VY, Cutler and Bruce)?

  • jhill Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 9:39 am
    What position do we resign Seymour to play?
    Wherever Richard Seymour want to play. LOL.

  • jhill

    Don’t talk to me about “winnable games” next year.



    Ok, man!

    We suck, and we’ll be 6-10 next year. Cable lied and we are not almost there and just a QB away.

    What was I thinking?

  • DMAC

    Urlacher for a 3rd or 4th rounder???

  • RaiderRockstar

    Urlacher for a 2nd & a player

    most likely…

  • Norco Bob Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Yes jhill, that part is true, I want every home game blacked out,…so do the raiders….especially al davis.
    You lying Mfkr.

  • RaiderRockstar

    we back on?

  • what is up with this site?????

  • Had to go over to david whites blog for a fix..

  • Norco Bob Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Yes jhill, that part is true, I want every home game blacked out,…so do the raiders….especially al davis.
    You lying Mfkr. How does a dumb Mfkr like you speak for Al Davis?

    Well…………..on second thought.

  • Senior Beeecham

    Cool! It’s the one and only “Blog Personality” of the Raiders – KrappyKell!

    In case some of your haven’t heard the announcement, Krappy – in one of his classicly deranged meltdowns last night – proclaimed HIMSELF to be a “Blog Personality”!

    Didn’t know there was such a thing as a blog personality? Well, neither did anyone else! But that’s what happens when you’re wackier than an old bowl of Frosted Flakes!

    Great work, Krappy!

  • Well the Raiders have the foot in football figured out, now if we can only figure out the blocking and tackling part we’d be okay.

  • ottocrat

    Jerry must be face deep in a bacon cheeseburger at Val’s right about now.

  • Beech

    Let me ask you something. Do you wait around here all day looking for my moniker, or are you already here under another name?

  • Scottish Raider

    Can we please sign Jon Condo to a long-term deal. He is the best longsnapper in the league and deserves recognition for the success of Seabass and Shane.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I say take Dan Williams at #8 and leave Seymour outside for now. Maybe Shaughnessy develops into a player that can play the run and the pass…then you move Seymour inside…not before one of the younger players can prove they can play the run on the outside.


    S&B: Seymour, Nessy & J-Rich are all base ends …

    Ellis & Scott are your typical pass rush guys. Burgess was on the same ticket

    Washington was washed up by the time we brought him in for the NT job. (2004 was his 14th NFL season!) Sapp wasn’t a NT. Sands would dominate 1 game and disappear for the next 10. Warren isn’t a NT either

    show me a real NT and i’ll show you a real run defense

  • RaiderRockstar

    RENTON, Wash. (AP) The Seattle Seahawks have signed long snappers Patrick MacDonald and Matt Overton to address a recent problem.

    The team announced Friday it had doubled up in its attempt to find a consistent snapper for punts and place kicks.

    The Seahawks have used six long snappers in three years since Jean-Philippe Darche left in free agency for Kansas City following the 2006 season.

    They brought Jeff Robinson out of retirement three times to do the job, including last fall.


    Scottish: I know at least 1 team interested in LS Condo if Al Davis doesn’t make him a priority this offseason!

  • Richard Bentley

    The thing that stands out is that 4 of the 10 RFA’s are linebackers. Considering that the Raiders have the makings of a decent defensive line (if Seymour is signed), the defensive backs are pretty solid, and the outside backers have good speed, the problem seems to be the ILB position. The other thing to keep in mind is that the offensive line has problems, but drafting for that spot usually means that the guy can’t step in right away, unless he is exceptional. And 7th pick won’t get you an exceptional tackle. Even though Al has historically picked exactly one linebacker as his first pick since he’s been with the Raiders (Rob Fredrickson, and I don’t remember what slot he picked in; I don’t think it was very high), I really hope the clouds part and the light shines through this year and Al picks Rolando McClain. That will solve the run defense problem in my opinion, and he can let one (or more) of those RFA linebackers go. I don’t like the odds, though. Al just doesn’t go that high for linebackers.

  • RaiderRockstar

    As a DT, Seymour would be classified as a UT, not a NT.

    Tommy Kelly & Gerard Warren are both decent UT’s, but neither is a NT and giving that job to Warren simply because he has 30 lbs on Kelly doesn’t change what he really is suited for. 2 UT’s next to eachother doesn’t work. You need a big strong fat guy to take on double teams. You need him to push back the center into the QB or sometimes the center and fullback on runs up the middle. he’ll clog up running lanes and smash RB’s behind the line of scrimmage.

    I said all that to say this. Cutting Warren or Kelly & giving that job to Seymour would be a mistake. It would yield the same results. Seymour can sub in for one of these guys on occasion, but he’s not somebody you want there for a whole game and especially not an entire season. He’s a base end. Let him disrupt plays on the edge. Let him go in the middle on 3rd & long with Scott at his DE spot. Thats pressure on the QB.

    go get a real NT in free agency or draft one. There isn’t one on the roster!

  • HairyBush

    Roto World is reporting That Marc Bulger is cleaning out his locker in St. Louis, and is likely to be released soon.

    If this is true, my question is: A) Is Mr. Bulger totally washed up? or B) Does he have a chance of going somewhere else and ressurecting his career?

    Personaly I don’t think it would hurt to have him compete in camp and see what happens. I”m sure he will be relativeley cheap and I think he would prefer a chance to go somewhere he could possibly start.

    He did have some seasons of respectabilty before the team crumbled around him (along with his own injuries.)

    If nothing else a new topic to ponder.

  • Cut Jon Condo!

  • Even though Al has historically picked exactly one linebacker as his first pick since he’s been with the Raiders (Rob Fredrickson, and I don’t remember what slot he picked in; I don’t think it was very high)


    You forgettin nap harris?

  • RaiderRockstar

    Has Al Davis ever drafted a MLB in the Top 10?

    Has Al Davis ever snapped up a top of the line MLB in Free Agency and made him one of the Top 10 highest paid at the position?

    I can’t recall. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and guess. My guess is no.

    please correct me if i’m wrong …

  • When the site went down today I thought my work IT dept. was on to my indulgences here…. HORRIFYING!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Rob Fredrickson was 22nd overall.

    Nappy Harris was 23rd overall.

  • RaiderRockstar


    why do you want to cut 1 of the 5 players on this team actually doing his job?


  • Nap Harris #23 1st round.

    Raider Draft Picks


  • Rickey Dudley #9, ouch!

  • HairyBush

    Todd Maranovich-Ouch!

  • Of course, back in the day, the Raiders never had top 10 picks.

  • HairyBush

    It just came to me! I was thinking we could get Terry Mcdaniel to line up opposite Nnamdi. Maybe Albert Lewis?

  • Seymour Bush

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    show me a real NT and i’ll show you a real run defense

    Problem is, there isn’t a real nose tackle in this draft until you get to Terrance Cody and all 32 teams will pass the lst time around. Considering how many teams run an odd front, NT’s are incredibly valuable and all teams will pass. What does that tell ya?

  • RaiderRockstar Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 12:55 pm

    why do you want to cut 1 of the 5 players on this team actually doing his job?


    Why does a long snapper suck up a valuable roster spot? Can’t the backup center do long snapping? It can’t be that hard…

    That said, Condo has performed his job reasonably well. I wonder who is backup is in case of injury.

    Also, he may have great trade value!

  • Buy Ryan Pickett!

  • 24

    Sources: Janikowski, Raiders agree
    Comment Email Print Share
    By Adam Schefter
    The Oakland Raiders and Sebastian Janikowski reached agreement Tuesday morning on the richest kicking contract in NFL history, according to league sources.

    AFC West blog
    ESPN.com’s Bill Williamson writes about all things AFC West in his division blog.

    • Blog network: NFL Nation

    Janikowski will sign a four-year, $16 million contract that includes $9 million in guaranteed money, sources said. It also removes arguably the top kicker from the free-agent market. Other notable free-agent kickers are expected to include Cincinnati’s Shayne Graham and the New York Jets’ Jay Feely.

    In 10 seasons, all with the Raiders, Janikowski has scored 1,000 points, converting 78.4 percent of his field goal attempts (229 of 292) and 313 of 316 extra-point attempts. He scored 95 points in 2009.

  • Seymour Bush

    Janikowski has performed very admirably the last three years. He no longer deserves the “Shank-ikowski” name tag.

  • 24

    Janikowski getting signed means Seymour gets the franchise tag unless they have a contract in place.

  • Thec07


  • 24

    Alright Jerry…now that the world already knows about Janikowski, you can go ahead and post a blog.

  • 24


    Good article regarding all upcoming free agents from each division.

  • Richard Bentley

    RaiderRockStar, Al picked one linebacker first in his draft history. Rob Fredrickson. Position? 22nd.

  • Richard Bentley

    Bo, Nap Harris was not a number one pick by Davis for the Raiders. I checked the draft record back to 1962, before Al was on board.

  • Richard Bentley

    I said a linebacker as the first pick in the draft, not a first-rounder.