Part of the Bay Area News Group

The Raiders and free agency

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Tuesday, January 11th, 2011 at 9:10 pm in Oakland Raiders.

NOTE: Inserted a couple of clarifications with regard to left guard Robert Gallery and strong sidelinebacker Kamerion Wimbley.

Was on a conference call Tuesday with two NFLPA executive council members, Dominique Foxworth and Scott Fujita, both of whom painted a bleak picture of reaching a collective bargaining agreement before the March 3 deadline.

Then spent different portions of the day in Twitter debates regarding my column on Nnamdi Asomugha, one of the most accomplished and professional of Raiders, and a player who in some quarters I apparently have grown to hate.

To review _ Asomugha is a fabulous cover cornerback, but his salary for 2011 ($16.8 million or the average of the top five quarterbacks in the NFL) is way out of line for someone who blankets receivers but whose obvious skills hasn’t done much to remedy the team’s defensive problems. He doesn’t create turnovers, the biggest single stat in NFL. Despite his presence, the Raiders still gave up 29 touchdown passes (only four teams gave up more) and 30-plus points six times.

I could go on, and already have, so never mind. If you think a cover corner should get a salary in the vicinity of Tom Brady or Peyton Manning, so be it.

So let’s look at it another way. If you pay Asomugha that much money in a single season as a straight salary, it’s going to affect the rest of free agency. It will have a huge effect if the new CBA has a salary cap. Then there’s the matter of whether the Raiders have the kind of actual liquid money to compete with the more corporate of the NFL teams considering their attendance, total worth, etc.

We have no idea at this point how free agency will work out, especially in the event of a protracted lockout. If a lockout goes on too long, there could be a reduced free agency this year, or in an extreme case, according to CNN-SI’s Peter King, no free agency at all until 2012. (He wrote that most people don’t expect that to happen, but if games are lost and teams must be thrown together, it’s a consideration).

In any event, here’s a list of Raiders who have played four, five or six years for when the CBA is complete and terms are reached. There are others whose contracts expire, but the Raiders will probably be able to have a right of first refusal. Until the uncapped year last year, having four years meant unrestricted free agency. That increased in 2010 year to six years.

Whether there are franchise or transition tags (and how many) will depend on the CBA. They’ll basically be making up new rules.

6-PLUS YEARS

Richard Seymour: If rules are similar, stands to get a 20 percent bump from nearly $13 million if there’s a franchise tag and he’s tagged again.

Nnamdi Asomugha: The ball’s in his court. Chances are Raiders weren’t going to pay $16.8 or more anyway. How much will they pay?

Robert Gallery: Was extremely loyal to Tom Cable, who helped turn his career around by moving him from left tackle to left guard. UPDATE: Gallery’s deal has reasonable salaries which run through 2014, but he made it clear following the season he was in a free agent year. Assuming those last four years are voidable.

Stanford Routt: If Asomugha were to go elsewhere, Davis could ante up big bucks for Routt after giving him a first- and third-round tender last year.

John Henderson: Missed seven games with a stress fracture but still showed he’s got something to offer as a run-stopper at defensive tackle.

Langston Walker: Much better as a starting right tackle in 2010 than he was in 2006, but will Raiders look for new blood?

Rock Cartwright: Every team needs a guy like this, and he won’t break the bank.

Khalif Barnes: Seemed to relish the team role and playing as backup tackle and power tight end.

Sam Williams: He’ll sign for the minimum and be happy about it.

Michael Bennett: Was strictly McFadden-Bush insurance and policy was never needed.

Kyle Boller: Has a chance at reserve role depending on how quarterback situation sorts out.

Charlie Frye: Went to every practice and meeting while on injured reserve all year. Could be rewarded with No. 3 QB job.

Daniel Loper: Started at left guard when Gallery was hurt then watched for the rest of the year.

J.T. O’Sullivan: Signed once Bruce Gradkowski went out with a shoulder injury.

5 YEARS

Michael Huff: Has five years of service but contract void could make him unrestricted regardless of how CBA is set up.

Bruce Gradkowski: Couldn’t make it through either of the last two years healthy and Jason Campbell played well when he went on IR.

Thomas Howard: Pushed into the background as linebacking corps was swept out. Hard to believe he won’t be looking elsewhere.

Ricky Brown: Has value as a backup middle linebacker and special teams player.

Hiram Eugene: Solid special teams player but passed up by Stevie Brown as a single deep free safety.

Jarvis Moss: May have shown enough as a pass rusher in season finale to get another look at a reasonable price.

UPDATE: The contract of strong side linebacker Kamerion Wimbley runs through 2011, but at a much lower salary than the $2 million and change he made in 2010. That is often an indication of a voidable final year.

4 YEARS

Zach Miller: Only the Raiders most productive receiver over the past four years.

Michael Bush: Yes, he only played three years, but I’m told his PUP year rehabbing his ankle counts.

Samson Satele: I may be in the minority, but it seemed to me Satele played extremely well in the last four or five games of the season. Both on the interior and getting to second level.

Mario Henderson: There is sentiment within the building (including at the very top) that Henderson should have been moved to right tackle early after Jared Veldheer won the job on the left side and started over Walker.

Johnnie Lee Higgins: Seems to have regressed the last two years after a strong second season. If Jacoby Ford takes over punt returns, hard to imagine him being back.

Note: This is the latest information I have and it’s conceivable some of the contracts could have been changed at some point during the season.

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  • Dude

    Djohhny,

    1)What EXACTLY did Kawakami say in that piece that you have a problem with?

    2) Do you actually SUPPORT that f’n embarrasment Jon Herrera?

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Jon Herrera is a Raider.

    Go Raiders!

  • Dude

    Jon Herrera is an embarrasment. NO real professional franchise would employ such a fool.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    I have no problem with Herrera.
    He speaks for Al.

    Tell me one thing Herrera has done so horribly wrong?

    PR doesn’t matter between the white lines.

  • Dude

    How about confronting Kawakami like a 14 year old punk? How bout how he went after Gannon last year?? The dude is the dictionary def of “unprofessional”.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Come on, dude.

    One thing.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Yeah dude, that really screwed the Raiders for decades.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Gannon. LOL!

  • Dude

    Who said it “screwed the Raiders for decades”??

  • Dude

    “Gannon. LOL!” Whats that even mean?

  • The Real Oakglenn

    MR, come on one thing.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Thats right, Herrera has done his job. Nothing more and nothing less.

    Long live Al.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    If he died fifty years ago he still would have accomplished more in his life than your ENTIRE BLOODLINE.

    Long live Al.

    Go Raiders!

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Tell me when I’m wrong.

  • djohnnyg

    501.Dude Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 9:06 pm
    Djohhny,

    1)What EXACTLY did Kawakami say in that piece that you have a problem with?

    2) Do you actually SUPPORT that f’n embarrasment Jon Herrera?

    My problem is EVERY THING Kawakami said was not based on anything that happened. It was all guessing how Al must feel about supposedly being spurned by Harbaugh. He offered no proof whatsoever that supports that Al wanted Harbaugh and that he’s really upset about him signing with SF. NONE.

    He didn’t even bother to throw out ” a source close to the Raiders” or anything.

    I don’t like Kawakami. Never have. He comes off as a Denver Bronco fanatic who was sentenced to work in the Bay Area.

    I’m not neccessarily a Herrera fan, but if both were drowning and I had one life preserver, i’d throw it to him over Kawakami.

    Al does enuff weird stuff to make fun of than having to make stuff up as Kawakami did in that article.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    MR is scum.

    Go Raiders!

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Sounds familiar.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Herrera is the man!

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Herrara is more of a Raider than you will ever be.

  • Dude

    D,

    Kawakami seems to be more of a guy writing to entertain and be funny then actual fact reporting. This piece seems to stay along these lines. I for one dont put it past Al Davis to be pissed that Harbaugh went to the 9ers and there is NO WAY he didnt try and get Harbaugh to coach the Raiders, so even if Kawakami had to proof, he probably isnt too far off.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Little people hate on LEGENDS.

    Go Raiders!

  • djohnnyg

    It’s very simple.

    Reporter (talking to Harbaugh): Have you spoken with AL Davis?

    Harbaugh: Not lately.

    Anybody who doesn’t have access to the inside of Al Davis’s thinking and emotional demeanor as Mr. Kawakami eveidently does, would make the logical conclusion that Al Davis was not interested in Harbaugh, or maybe, just maybe, he would have tried to talk to him about it. But he DID NOT. Mr. Kawakami obviously knows how AL Davis REALLY feels and oh how it must burn Al up that Harbaugh didn’t come to him first to beg for the job, cuz Kawakami KNOWS how AL REALLY feels of course.

  • Dude

    Come on bro, like I said, Kawakami writes to be entertaining and funny. Hes looking for a reaction from Raider fan. Hes trying to be cute and land a gig like Rick Reilly or Plaschke. Take it in the context its meant to be.

    Do you REALLY believe that Al Davis has not tried to get Harbaugh?

  • Sweep The Leg.

    This may be old news in here, but PFT has an article that says voiding Asomughas contract may give us a compensatory draft pick.

    It all depends on when, if, and how a new CBA is reached.

  • djohnnyg

    525.Dude Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 9:27 pm
    D,

    Kawakami seems to be more of a guy writing to entertain and be funny then actual fact reporting. This piece seems to stay along these lines. I for one dont put it past Al Davis to be pissed that Harbaugh went to the 9ers and there is NO WAY he didnt try and get Harbaugh to coach the Raiders, so even if Kawakami had to proof, he probably isnt too far off.

    “Maybe, probably”, you may be right but there is NO PROOF. The only PROOF we have is what Harbaugh said. Did Harbaugh lie? Possible, but we have no proof of that. No source cited whatsoever to support Kawakamis knowledge of the inner workings of AL’s mind and thought pattern in the matter except a documented predisposed hatred for the Raider organization and inclination to force opinion and conjecture in the face of what was actually said.

  • djohnnyg

    529.Dude Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 9:38 pm
    Come on bro, like I said, Kawakami writes to be entertaining and funny. Hes looking for a reaction from Raider fan. Hes trying to be cute and land a gig like Rick Reilly or Plaschke. Take it in the context its meant to be.

    Do you REALLY believe that Al Davis has not tried to get Harbaugh?

    I hear ya. Much more palatable if you take his stuff in that kind of way for sure. I think it would of made sense for Al to go after Harbaugh, but he doesn’t always do what makes sense. I just have never liked Kawakami’s smart aleky style. He really annoys me.

    I’m not sure though if Al went after him THIS TIME. I know it’s documented he did a few yrs. ago.

  • http://www.wix.com/GGEden/ggeden GG

    I want Al to hire Marc Trestman. Whether that’s OC or HC or Asst HC + OC. Trestman has an excellent W-L career record, and has taken Montreal to three Gray Cups in a row, winning the last two.

    If Trestman can be persuaded over as OC, with Hue at HC, that would be ok. But so would Trestman as HC, with Hue at OC. Trestman would have less incentive to come over as a lesser-paid assistant. However, if he can be persuaded that would be less toxic between Hue and Marc than if Marc became HC over Hue.

    But whatever, I just want those two in the HC/OC roles right now.

    The DC is a VERY important piece too. We’ve had one of the worst ranking defenses for about a decade now. Ryan failed, so dont bring him back. Marshall is doing ok, but he still hasnt fixed it in two years but it’s been better in year 2 than year 1.

  • http://www.wix.com/GGEden/ggeden GG

    Sweep The Leg, as i posted at 07:20 on this blog…

    GG Says…
    There’s speculation based on uncertainty that with the CBA, they could put a rule in place where all FAs/UFAs become RFAs, so that there isnt a mass league-wide situation where teams have like half their teams taken away from them.

    Remember, if due to the lockout/CBA, and if they bring in that rumored rule forcing all FAs/UFAs into RFAs, it would mean if say Asomugha ended up being a RFA, and we didnt match offer, we would keep draft pick compensation for him, like a 1st. And if we wanted to match offer, he would stay a Raider.

    More likely that rule would relate to someone like Gallery tho. Somone who actually normally would’ve still been under contract till 2014 under the previous CBA.

  • DKnight007

    528.GG Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 10:01 pm
    Sweep The Leg, as i posted at 07:20 on this blog…

    GG Says…
    There’s speculation based on uncertainty that with the CBA, they could put a rule in place where all FAs/UFAs become RFAs, so that there isnt a mass league-wide situation where teams have like half their teams taken away from them.

    Remember, if due to the lockout/CBA, and if they bring in that rumored rule forcing all FAs/UFAs into RFAs, it would mean if say Asomugha ended up being a RFA, and we didnt match offer, we would keep draft pick compensation for him, like a 1st. And if we wanted to match offer, he would stay a Raider.

    More likely that rule would relate to someone like Gallery tho. Somone who actually normally would’ve still been under contract till 2014 under the previous CBA.

    ^^^^^^^
    I hope this happens. It would the team tremendously.

  • DKnight007

    Help the team tremendously that is

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