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How will Raiders approach RFA tenders?

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, February 15th, 2010 at 2:31 pm in Oakland Raiders.

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.

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  • hellsbells

    Agreed, we get the parking pass but just park on Raiders Blvd.

  • Norco Bob

    Als a billionaire, that 16 million dollar deal is what he carries in his pocket.

  • Norco Bob

    We tailgate in A lot,…right next to those dudes roasting that pig.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Norco Bob Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 9:14 am
    We tailgate in A lot,…right next to those dudes roasting that pig.

    :::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

    I bet the pork fumes please Brian no end.

  • Norco Bob

    Lol,..you got that right,..it does bother him,..I actually dont know why he hates pork so much,….those Hawaiins are cool though, I eat alot of it. :)

  • RaiderRockstar

    Seabass always looks like he just finished eating a whole roasted pig when he waddles on the field …

  • hellsbells

    Dansby anyone? Don’t think the Cards will franchise him three times.

  • Norco Bob

    Seabass not being named probowl PK was robbery,..easily the best kicker in the NFL,..easily,…put it this way, that choker in San Diego will NEVER make that kind of bread, because the Chargers know who is the better PK….Seabass is the man.

  • Norco Bob

    Im glad hes 275 pounds,..if he went 270, he wouldnt have made that 61 yarder in Cleveland.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Dansby has chosen four potential teams…we are not one of them. It would take a lot of extra cashe to close that deal.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Karlos Dansby is going to get a long-term deal to stay in AZ. As a UFA (if they don’t tag him again) he’ll probably stay there unless another playoff team comes knockin’ at his door …

  • Norco Bob

    I bought his jersey in 2000,..but after he screwed up the Niner game that year, I stowed it away,..hes now the best kicker hands down,..Iv heard the Steeler head cpach say we have the best punter and kicker in the NFL,..thats good enough for me. Word.

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Correction – Dansby now says he is not limited to four teams. That could mean Al just waved a big wad under his nose.

    http://profootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2010/02/16/dansby-says-he-doesnt-have-a-wish-list/

  • Norco Bob

    Dansby just said he doesnt have a wish list of teams,..per PFT.

  • Norco Bob

    Got me Bo,..you da man.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Al Davis will pay Morrison 2.6 million or whatever before he even thinks about paying Dansby $10-20 million per year. bank on that

    he’s not a DB!

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    RRS, he ain’t stayin in AZ

  • hellsbells

    Doubt he would command 10 Mill a season. Who is the highest paid LB? Ans hat does he make. That figure seems to high for him.

  • hellsbells

    And how much sorry

  • http://http://www.mensa.org/ Raiders Grief Counselor Albert Bigelow Paine

    Jerrys bean scooped again. Janikowski is now the highest paid kicker ever.

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Congrats Seabass on 4 yr deal.

  • http://http://www.mensa.org/ Raiders Grief Counselor Albert Bigelow Paine

    *been

  • Norco Bob

    Jerry doesnt see it that way Albert,…he couldnt care less.

  • jhill

    First of Al’s big checks this offseason.

    There WILL be a big check handed to someone who is currently not on the team.

  • http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXj7I1RzLSE&feature=related exlaraiderseasonticketholder

    Now sign Seymour!

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    If the Raiders could nail any other positions like they did their kickers, we wouldn’t need good kickers so much.

    But, congrats to Seabass.

    What a year he had this year. I never seen anything like it.

  • jhill

    What position do we resign Seymour to play?

  • http://www.blogcdn.com/www.fanhouse.com/media/2008/04/desmond-howard-425-sm.jpg Bo Schembechler Jackson

    Kegs and brats are on Sebastian tonight!

  • jhill

    Yes, Vegas …

    I prefer Frye and Losman over Gradkowski.

    Sorry man!

  • RaiderRockstar

    On July 15, 2009 the Ravens signed Suggs to a 6-year, $63 million contract, a deal which includes a $10.1 million signing bonus and a $23 million option bonus due next March. $40 million will be paid in the next two years. His bonus money ($33.1 million) made him the highest paid linebacker in NFL history.

    ***

    Dansby is going to want something similar…

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    Jhill,

    I just shake my head.

    Just promise me you will come around when we are 3-1 to start the year with Bruce at the helm.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Just promise me you will come around when we are 3-1 to start the year with Bruce at the helm.

    ***

    depends on who we’re playing!

    If we start the season against 4 playoff teams I doubt we go 3-1 in the first 4 games with JR or BG at QB!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Suggs played in 13 games. He made 59 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and a forced fumble last year

    LOL!

  • RaiderRockstar

    thats cool Seabass & Shane got the same exact deals

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    depends on who we’re playing!

    If we start the season against 4 playoff teams I doubt we go 3-1 in the first 4 games with JR or BG at QB!

    *******************************

    I see a soft schedule for the Raiders this year. The league might throw us some softballs for once.

    Maybe start the year in St. Louis come back home for a division game, than maybe to SF and back home for Houston.

    Interested in the home game against Indy. Might be our best chance to get a primetime game.

  • jhill

    It’s going to take a lot more than that Vegas.

    I STILL don’t like Gannon, lol!

    I always used to wonder what we could have done as a team if Gannon could throw a pass more than 10 yds down the field!

  • jhill

    Ridiculously soft schedule this year!

    10-11 win season!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Peyton Manning is going to shred our vanilla defense unless Marshall changes things up like he did in Philly and we go into attack mode.

    Peyton, meet Mike Mitchell & Trevor Scott.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    jhill Says:
    February 16th, 2010 at 9:49 am

    I STILL don’t like Gannon, lol!

    I always used to wonder what we could have done as a team if Gannon could throw a pass more than 10 yds down the field!

    ***************************

    Now this makes a little more sense.

    Gannon was frkn awesome, and while he couldn’t stretch the middle of the field, for his 3 year run, nobody threw the 20 yard corner of the endzone pass better than him.

    Those corner TD’s to Rice were deadly!! Two near 40 year olds just schooling the youngsters, I loved it!!

  • Norco Bob

    Ridiculously soft?…ya right,…soft for who?

  • jhill

    I understand that you’re looking for something to cheer for Vegas, but Bruce Gradkowski is NOT taking the Raiders to the playoffs. I just don’t see it.

    Outside of drafting Bradford or trading for another QB not on our roster, our best hope long term is Russell or Losman putting it together.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Jhill: if you don’t like sharp, accurate, west coach type QB’s with leadership skills you must be in favor of the Air Coryell offense with guys like

    Kerry Collins
    Jeff George
    Andrew Walter
    JaMarcus Russell

    Am I right?

  • Norco Bob

    Gannon won the friggin MVP for Christs sake,…was main reason we won alot of games…ya Russell can throw the ball farther then most,..that hasnt done him well so far.

  • jhill

    soft for us Bob, IMO.

    Seattle, KC Twice, St Louis, Az, Dungver twice.

    That should be 7 wins right there.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    4 games against KC and Denver, at STL and SF, home for AZ and Sea, at Jax are all very winnable games.

    Win a good chunk of those and come close to .500 in the others and we might be on to something.

  • http://blstb.msn.com/i/55/90A2853B6CFBCC2AFC987BB18B832.jpg vegas raider

    our best hope long term is Russell or Losman putting it together.

    ****************************

    You got to live in the know brother!! Bruce would give us our best chance to win tomorrow. Until someone else is better at winning tomorrow the job should be his to lose.

  • Norco Bob

    Ya ok jhill,..I think your opinion is ridiculous.

  • jhill

    To a degree, yes you are right. Was excited at the prospect of each one of those guys in our offense. But at the same time, I REALLY liked the idea of Tui in our offense. I just simply wished Gannon had a little deeper ball in his arsenal from time to time. It was the ONE thing he was missing.

  • jhill

    LOL Bob!

    You wouldn’t be the first one.

  • RaiderRockstar

    Tim Tebow is rated the 5th best QB according to both Kiper & McShay.

    He has a lot of haters in here, but I trust draft “experts” moreso than a few raider fans who are bitter about his religious beliefs …

    If they could travel back in time to the 2007 draft, I wonder where JaMarcus Russell would be ranked? (after seeing his first 3 NFL seasons)