The Raiders and free agency


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.


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.


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.


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.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • PurpleDrank81

    Can they just announce a coach already

  • edward teach

    454.The Real Oakglenn Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 5:03 pm
    Coaches CANNOT teach a player how to catch a football.


    That’s mostly true, but if a raw player (DHB, anyone?) has bad mechanics a good coach can work with him to improve that. That said, I do absolutely agree that Murphy and DHB are just not catching all the balls they should.

    I just have to believe that our young guys are not getting coached properly. Jacoby Ford gets targeted often enough; of course, he doesn’t drop balls and he probably runs better routes. It frustrates me a little that Campbell gets the “Captain Checkdown” thing in here. When you only have one reliable receiver (who’s a rookie) and the opposition deliberately takes your TE out of the game there aren’t many options left sometimes.

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    My strategy: let nnamdi and routt leave, bring in some real Dline help! Here’s why Chris in NY…

    Top 5 Defenses vs the RUN: Pitt, Chicago, NY Jets, Chargers, Baltimore.

    Bottom 5 Defenses vs the RUN: Buffalo, Denver, Arizona, Oakland, Tampa.

    Teams with good run D make the playoffs, teams with bad run D don’t. Its not rocket science.

  • Macho Man Randy Savage

    Oak ranks 11th in total yardage Defense, Baltimore ranks 10th, not bad you say…Oak ranks 20th in points received, Baltimore ranks 2nd…so what happened? Baltimore gave up just 5 rushing TDs, while Oak gave up 14…Wanna fix the D? fix the POS Dline, bring in some big uglies and stop the friggin run!

  • Raiders for life

    There is this girl that I work with and she is a HUGE RAIDER fan, she’s from Oakland and today I asked her who she thought the new HC would be….
    She said her brother works at a prison and that Hue’s brother is locked up there. This “supposedly” brother said that Hue has already signed a contract with the Raiders to be the HC.

    Now don’t bite my head off, I just thought that it was an interesting conversation that I should share with you all. I don’t even know if Hue has a bro that is in prison. Pure speculation and probably a bunch of bs.

  • 100PercentRaider

    Routt gets beat alot on crossing routes, which is the scheme if you ask me.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Campbell played GREAT considering he had the RAWEST receiving corps in the league.

  • The Real Oakglenn


    BOOK IT!

  • The Real Oakglenn

    I say let Miller walk. I want an athletic, dynamic playmaker as tight end. Finley, Gates skill set comes to mind.
    FACT: Both of NE’s rookie TE are better than Miller.

    Print that.

  • bigblackdeath29

    keep miller,wimbley,seymour,routt, huff,bush.let aso,gallery,lechler(trade or cut )leave.

  • RaiderRockstar

    classy and compassionate speech by Prez BO tonight … WHAT ?!??!?!?!?!?

  • J Hill

    It does seem like TEs are popping up outta nowhere. Dallas Clark goes down and this Tomme kid steps right in.

    2 TEs in NE

    The TE from Seattle this past weekend.

    Wouldn’t break te bank for Miller.

    Enough of this making our guys the highest paid player at their position!

  • bigblackdeath29

    i would keep miller but not break the bank,but i don`t think you have too.

  • Guy

    J Hill the TE from Seattle has actually been pretty good up until this season, 5 TD’s his rookie season 7 TD’s before that. Unless you are talking about the other TE..

  • bigblackdeath29

    but lechler at 6.5 mil a year needs to go.

  • olinesux

    mevis got ate up by ted ginn jr

  • Guy

    Revis was beat by Demariyous Thomas, but was having hamstring problems. Nnamdi was also getting punked by Bess, but he was on a bad ankle.

  • J Hill


    Whoever that TE was who caught 2 TDs this past weekend. Hadn’t noticed that guy before this season. Same with a lot of these TEs that seem to be scoring every week.

    Just saying I wouldn’t break the bank to sign Miller. We could start Meyers and draft a TE in rd 6 and not miss a beat.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Mevis ain’t got beat yet.

  • Guy

    Oakglenn I know he has given up atleast 1 TD but that can be blamed on his Hamstring injury. When was it that Nnamdi was smoked by Moss? I don’t think it was a couple a years ago, I believe that was all Chris Johnson.

  • olinesux
  • DaTruth91

    457.Macho Man Randy Savage Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 5:29 pm
    My strategy: let nnamdi and routt leave, bring in some real Dline help! Here’s why Chris in NY…

    Top 5 Defenses vs the RUN: Pitt, Chicago, NY Jets, Chargers, Baltimore.

    Bottom 5 Defenses vs the RUN: Buffalo, Denver, Arizona, Oakland, Tampa.

    Teams with good run D make the playoffs, teams with bad run D don’t. Its not rocket science.


    theres no point in being good at the run, but poor in pass coverage.i.e the Texans and Colts def’s

  • DaTruth91

    449.The Real Oakglenn Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 4:45 pm
    Randy Moss and Miles Austin both eat Aso for lunch. You know who eats up Revis? Nobody.

    are u a raider fan or a revis fan??? your a clown if you think that statement is true. Revis is a good corner in a Great def, that def is able to disguise blitz and bring pressure. If you put him in an avg Def( the Raiders def) watch what happens.

    Nnamdi is able to cover one side of the field, even in the absence of pressure.

  • aig-raiders

    473.The Real Oakglenn Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 6:39 pm
    Mevis ain’t got beat yet.


    You’re joking right? Moss beat him one handed earlier this year on a bomb.

  • Guy

    Datruth, I actually saw somewhere the Raiders get one of the best pass rush/ play in the league. I think it was something like football outsiders.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    One play.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Nam doesn’t make plays. How many PI calls did Nam get this year? How many did Revis get?

    Get back to me chumps.

  • aig-raiders


    I can assure you as soon as Al Davis signs him back you’d be on here touting Nnamdi’s greatness.

  • luvmarvhub

    “classy and compassionate speech by Prez BO tonight … WHAT ?!??!?!?!?!?”

    Nothing wrong with the words–everything wrong with the venue, IMHO: I disliked the pep rally tone, which was the result of the venue and the high school girls cheering, as if a three pointer had been sunk.

    Everyone is raised differently when it comes to what he or she expects as to tone at a memorial. I happen to prefer a setting with more decorum. I realize others may feel differently.

  • Anyone consider the possibility of Al holding out on a real HC because of the pending lockout? That could affect Gruden’s decision to stay out, too. Not necessarily meaning he would come here or anything, just that it’s making him hesitant to go anywhere. There’s probably not going to be an NFL season next year. The owners want to add more vacation homes to their estates and those pesky players, who get the job done on the field, want to get their fair share of the NFL’s lucrative profits.

  • PurpleDrank81

    I gotta say you were rite RMR……. My plea of denial saying that there was not going to be a lockout was nothing but pure Denial….. Everything points to Lockout

  • It’s going to suck not having a football season, but in the long run I think it will be good for the country. Hopefully it will reverse a trend, that basically started in 1980, of union leadership buckling to corporate bullies who intimidate them with bleak economic scenarios and public outrage. DeMaurice Smith is a former corporate lawyer. He knows their games, and knows they’re lying about being broke, which is why he’s not budging until they show him the books.

  • 314.Raider O Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 12:27 pm
    I hear Bo and Prime were the only 2 players to ever run a sub 4.2 40.
    Crazy speed!!!


    Some LB from NV runs a pretty fast 40 now. Sumpin like 4.16

  • CDERaider

    Richard Seymour: Franchised. Leader of the D
    Nnamdi Asomugha: Gone: Wont match what he gets somewhere else
    Robert Gallery: Gone, perennial underachiever and easily hurt
    Stanford Routt: sign – 2-5 yr deal- starter alongside CJ/MCf
    John Henderson: sign – 1-2 yr – still a monster when healthy
    Langston Walker: sign – 1-2 yr cheap, can start/backup T/G
    Rock Cartwright: sign – 1-2 yr cheap – Leader of the ST
    Khalif Barnes: sign – 1-3 yr cheap, versatile, could start
    Sam Williams: Are you kidding me? Cut this guy already, Al
    Michael Bennett: Gone: Sign a young RB late in draft or FA
    Kyle Boller: sign: makes the min, is a good backup, knows Hue
    Charlie Frye: Gone: Sign a young kid draft/FA for the future
    Daniel Loper: sign: makes the min, played well for Gallery
    J.T. O’Sullivan: Gone – is this guy still in the league?
    Michael Huff: sign – extension – Stevie’s not ready
    Bruce Gradkowski: Gone. Working for Comcast now-should stay
    Thomas Howard: Gone – will be starting in a 3-4 system
    Ricky Brown: Gone: Love the heart, can’t play
    Hiram Eugene: sign: good on ST, can backup both safety spots
    Jarvis Moss: hmmm… Give him a shot in camp…
    Kameron Wimbley: sign!!- One of the best players on D -stud!
    Zach Miller: sign – 2nd best player on offense
    Michael Bush: sign – probably wants to leave tho.. Dallas??
    Samson Satele: sign – he played well 2nd half – knows system
    Mario Henderson: sign – start at RT/RG, if he cant, cut him
    Johnnie Lee Higgins: Gone: what ever happened to Johnnie Lee?

  • olinesux

    by the way there was pi on that play too…


    moss on revis…slouching

  • olinesux


    lee evans told him yo hitbthe weights even with jp losman throwing….

  • DaTruth91

    nnamdi just on Kcal9 and said he doesnt know where he’ll end up

  • olinesux
  • djohnnyg

    20.DaRayduh Says:
    January 11th, 2011 at 9:38 pm
    For DJ, from previous #697


    Thx., but Kawakami says NOTHING in that weak article based on ANYTHING he KNOWS to have actually happened. Every statement he makes in it is based on conjecture and outright guessing. He quotes Harbaugh as saying he hadn’t talked to Al Davis “lately” so “obviously Al was spurned by Harbaugh? There is NO PROOF Al went after Harbaugh at all. But since Harbaugh said HE DID NOT talk to Al, which is the FACT of what happened in HARBAUGHS OWN WORDS, Kawakami totally twists that to mean that Al was just waiting for Harbaugh to come crawling to Al to beg him for a job and how Al must be so disappointed.

    Is it possible Al didn’t actually WANT to talk to Harbaugh? Based on what Harbaugh ACTUALLY SAID you would say NO! I never heard a report that Harbaugh winked when he said that. But Kawakami is so sure of what Al thinks and feels DESPITE WHAT IS ACTUALLY SAID.

    Since Kamakrappy is so sure of what AL Davis thinks and feels then please tell us which players he’s gonna sign and who our next HC will be. I’m sure when it is announced he’ll tell us he “knew who it was gonna be all along”.

    Kawakami needs to get over the embarrassment of Herrera making him pee his pants at that press conference and quit making stuff up.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Mevis sucks.

  • LOL. I forgot all about that Herrera/Kawakami spat. The Raiders have definitely provided the sports world with a side show the past 8 years. Gotta give them that much.

  • The Real Oakglenn

    Nam doesn’t take chances. Nam doesn’t get to the ball. Nam doesn’t make plays.


  • The Real Oakglenn

    Wrong again MR.

    The sports world couldn’t care less about the Raiders.

  • Well, from a serious football standpoint, the sports world couldn’t care less about the Raiders. They haven’t exactly been contenders. But as far as entertainment goes, the Raiders are always on the main stage. There’s some real characters in the organization.

  • The Real Oakglenn


  • djohnnyg

    459.Raiders for life Says:
    January 12th, 2011 at 6:07 pm
    There is this girl that I work with and she is a HUGE RAIDER fan, she’s from Oakland and today I asked her who she thought the new HC would be….
    She said her brother works at a prison and that Hue’s brother is locked up there. This “supposedly” brother said that Hue has already signed a contract with the Raiders to be the HC.

    Now don’t bite my head off, I just thought that it was an interesting conversation that I should share with you all. I don’t even know if Hue has a bro that is in prison. Pure speculation and probably a bunch of bs.

    Who knows? Interesting though. Glad you shared it though. If it turns out to be true you can hopefully get more nuggets throughout the season.

    More reliable than anything Kawakami spews.

  • Dude


    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.