A priority list of Raiders unrestricted and restricted free agents in terms of bringing them back for the 2010 season when the trade and free agency period begins March 5.
Gotta have ‘em
DE Richard Seymour (UFA): Can’t be allowed to get away after sending a 2011 first-round draft pick to Patriots. If Seymour is looking for guaranteed money of $30 to $40 million, the best course of action is the franchise tag and a single season at $12.3 million to see if he can play at or near his prime or is in the declining stages of his career.
QB Bruce Gradkowski (RFA): Why? Because his teammates believe in him and it’s important to have the guy who took the job away from JaMarcus Russell around to push Russell this season. If Gradkowski is allowed to walk, and Russell gets a free pass, the Raiders learned nothing last year.
Could be useful
LB Thomas Howard (RFA). One of the NFL’s fastest linebackers, he can be retained for less than $2 million depending on the tender and he is useful on passing downs, although not a stout run defender.
QB Charlie Frye, (RFA). Gradkowski is the priority, but Frye is an ideal No. 3 quarterback _ an extremely hard worker and student of the game who aspires to coach some day and knows his role.
G-T Langston Walker (UFA). Showed something last season when he switched to guard in a pinch and performed better than expected.
C-G Chris Morris (RFA). Strictly as a backup in the middle three positions. Has faltered as a starter.
Take ‘em or leave ‘em
LB Kirk Morrison (RFA). Seems ridiculous on its face to put the team’s leading tackler five years running on this list, but if some is going to take the fall for the Raider perpetually poor run defense, it ought to be the middle linebacker.
LB Ricky Brown (RFA). The Raiders thought well enough of Brown last year to put a second-round tender on him, but he hasn’t been able to remain healthy either season.
CB Stanford Routt (RFA). Considering his skill set, really should have been a starter by now. Prone to mistakes and head-scratching penalties.
QB J.P. Losman (UFA). Came aboard too late to make any real impact. Assuming Gradkowski returns to compete with Russell, hard to see Losman getting a shot in Oakland unless Hue Jackson is a big fan.
Thanks, but no thanks
LB Jon Alston (RFA). One of the better guys you’ll meet, Alston’s concussion issues last season looked pretty serious to the untrained eye.
RB-FB Gary Russell (RFA). Russell is not really a halfback, and the Raiders already have a glut there with Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and Justin Fargas. And he’s not big enough to be a lead-blocking fullback, which is something they need to find in the draft or free agency.
OT Cornell Green (UFA). If Green lines up as the starting tackle for the third straight year, it’s bad news. Tom Cable swears by him. Most fans simply swear at the penalties and sacks surrendered.
OT Khalif Barnes (RFA). When Barnes signed, it was supposedly as a competitor to start at left tackle. Instead, Mario Henderson was told early on he was the guy, and it didn’t matter as Barnes sustained a broken ankle. He never made enough of an impression to get any serious time, bypassed by Langston Walker.
Note: Doesn’t include Sebastian Janikowski, signed to a four-year, $16 million deal with $9 million in guarantees.