Raiders’ priorities when lockout ends


It seems players and owners are inching along toward a settlement during a lockout which is going pretty much as expected.

If various reports are to be believed (and no one truly knows what’s going on unless they’re sitting in a negotiating room), economic forces and the looming deadline of training camp are collaborating to give fans what they want and expect _ a relatively full training camp experience and a 16-game regular season.

So why all the bluster since the NFL draft?

Because players for the most part were OK with passing on mandatory minicamps as well as voluntary ones that really aren’t voluntary at all. The same goes for participating in the weight program, something most players do simply to stay in the good graces of the organization but could easily do with the help of personal trainers on their own.

The owners were fine with the shutdown because they aren’t truly going to be out any big bucks until game revenues are lost. The economic pie will begin to get smaller once preseason games are lost _ and that’s money out of the pockets of both sides. So suddenly, everyone is getting more serious about getting a deal done.

Once an agreement is reached and the lockout lifted, the Raiders will take a quick look at the new set of rules, probably all of which were anticipated in various scenarios, and throw together the 2011 roster.

(Checked in with a team official this week and was told team is moving forward to train in Napa. Two other teams, the Ravens and Jets, switched from off-site camps to their club facilities because of the lockout).

Here’s a list of their priorities.

— Bring back tight end Zach Miller. He may be an unrestricted free agent depending on the rules. Or he could be retained with a first and third-round tender applied before the lockout. Chances of it happening: Very good.

— Bring back running back Michael Bush. Reports have surfaced (courtesy of Adam Caplan of Fox Sports) that Bush was never actually on the Physically Unable to Perform list for his rookie year but the non-football-related injury list because his broken ankle happened in college. Therefore, Bush in theory is a restricted free agent. Caplan is normally spot-on when it comes to transactional matters so I’ll take his word for it.

Strange that the Raiders would apply a first-and third round tender to a restricted free agent, though _ although I suppose it speaks to the fact they have no intention of letting Bush go anywhere. Chances of it happening: Excellent.

— Bringing back cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha. Yeah, I know. He’s a Raider until he’s not, etc. Sorry, but when Al Davis publicly floated the possibility of Asomugha going elsewhere to bring back other players, and then Richard Seymour and Stanford Routt got big contracts it was no coincidence. Chances of it happening: Not good.

— Bringing back free safety Michael Huff. No other way to say it than Huff was a major disappointment for three years before he rebounded with a pair of decent (but not great) seasons. If any team out there looks at Huff, remembers him as the No. 7 pick in the draft and writes a big check, expect the Raiders to sit this one out. If Huff can be had for a decent price, it’s a different story. Chances of it happening: About 35 to 40 percent. Some team will offer more than Raiders are prepared to pay.

— Signing an offensive tackle. Langston Walker, Mario Henderson and Khalif Barnes are not under contract. Hard for the Raiders to be truly comfortable with rookie Joe Barksdale penciled in as a starter opposite second-year player Jared Veldheer. Chances of it happening: Oh, it will happen. The question is whether it will be one their own players not under contract or someone on the free agent market who caught the eye of Hue Jackson and line coach Bob Wylie.

— Bringing back left guard Robert Gallery. Perhaps the strangest moment of the offseason occurred when Gallery said he decided to move on after discussions with the Raiders, with John Herrera doing something the organization almost never does _ saying Gallery wanted too much money, anyway. Daniel Loper was signed to a four-year contract. Chances of it happening: Less than zero.

— Bringing back quarterback Bruce Gradkowski. There was zero communication before the lockout between the Raiders and Gradkowski about returning and Kyle Boller was signed to a contract. The team has been turned over to Jason Campbell. Davis has been public in his support of Campbell as well as being concerned (and rightly so) about Gradkowski’s history of injuries. Chances of it happening: Less than zero. Gradkowski is best suited to be someone’s backup, but it won’t be in Oakland.

— Taking Terrelle Pryor in the supplemental draft. You look at Pryor’s physical skills and there’s no way the Raiders aren’t intrigued, and that’s even if they don’t think he’s a quarterback. But without second- and fourth-round picks, the question is whether they are OK with spending a third-round pick on Pryor. That means they would expect something out of him right away _ as a wildcat quarterback in some packages and playing some receiver. Chances of it happening: I’d call it 50-50. No date has been set for a supplemental draft.

— Signing the draft class. With only one exception, the Raiders bring in their entire class on time every year. Without a first-round pick and with the probability of a rookie wage scale, it will be even easier this time around. Chances of hit happening: A mortal lock.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Bauce Rules

    Damn so Jax has 3 sneakers now?….Baymeadows is nice area…got some cool lookin bzies round there…..immo they need to move jags to Orlando a real city dammit. I love Orlando

  • Brien, you’re the opposite of enlightenment.

  • Bauce Rules

    Lol MR….NAW i wont fight the bhuddist cats. They seem too cool….when did I ever say Nnamdi was worse cb ever? Show that post….we will wait

  • RaiderDebo

    Plax is a 100 times better than any receiver we’ve had in the last five years. I can’t believe how little attention the position has gotten during that time. It all started with Kiffin trading Randy Moss and then not re-signing Jerry Porter the next year in favor of breaking the bank for an injured Javon Walker. A disaster ever since. Poor Jamarcus.

  • Bauce Rules

    MR go on and tell us they will play football this year without a new cba deal….that one was hilarious

  • Deja vu

    The Landing is a cool place, love drinking at Hooters and checking out the females. They say Jax is gonna be like Miami in 10 years, i hope not. It’s easy to get around here, 15-20 min to get anywhere in the city.

  • Bauce Rules

    Naw not opposite of enhlightment….im the epitome of Awesomeness

  • personal foul

    “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”. King Henry VI Quote (Act IV, Scene II)

    Who knew Billy Shakespeare was a football fan?

  • Deja vu

    I only know of 2 sneakers, i think there was one on Atlantic that got shut down. The jags will relocate eventually, they can’t sell out. The fans are rough, they won’t go unless they’re winning.

  • Master Beeecham

    Little Brian the Genital isn’t going to fight anyone. He’s had an open invitation to come rumble here at the Ritz pool for weeks and he’s ran for the hills everytime!

    PLUS I promised that as soon as I finished slapping him around I’d let him have a free Mai Tai from the PARTYBRO 8500 and keep the commemorative mug for only $39.95 extra.

    Even that wasn’t enough for the scared little wuss.

    The problem is, when he was growing up his mommy told him that his girlish figure was the same as Raider CBs and WRs. So even though he grew up weak and petite, he still thought he could mess with the big dawgs.

    Poor little Brian, huh dudes?

  • Overheard from a recent owners’ meeting:

    “They ought to be happy. They used to be in shackles” (laughs roaring throughout the room)

  • Bauce Rules

    Yeah Jax has been growing but that god awful smell around some parts gotta go. I doubt it will ever get like Miami. Clubs close at 2am and schit. jax has large landmass but have a podunk mindset. Remember Disneyworld and all of those attractions in Orlnado were suppose to be in Jax but city officials thought it was a bad idea…….wow

  • Bauce Rules

    Beecher u been invited to Raider games since 08 and kindly declined…..season coming soon lil guy what will be yoir excuse then?

  • Beecham, shouldn’t you be in a hot tub with a bunch of stippers that have adams apples, blaring Joe Jackson’s “We’re coming out”?

  • Bauce Rules

    Your little Ritz poolside crap is brand new and you went to impplement it to your fake life only recently. Im the Champion here and I decide what will go on. you are a peon. but we know why you wont show up to a game

  • Bauce Rules

    MR…..beecher brags about getting reach arounds lol….coming out? He has been out the closet

  • Bauce Rules

    Beecher oh wait the “reach around” thing was a typo just like the 91 freeway and Marina Del Ray overlapping…..oh yes now we get it

  • Bauce Rules

    Beecher isnt by a pool….he is stuck in an apartment by Culver City blasting Chaka Khan’s “Im Every Woman”

  • Bauce Rules

    Bout to jet…..but MR lighten up man life isnt so all bad……and Beecher a deal may happen soon first game is Aug 11th……no excuses lil buddy…….Bauce Outro

  • bcz24

    Yeah our wide receiver situation is the reason Jamarcus’ fat lazy ass fell asleep in qb meetings and showed up to camp. Your fkn delusional.

  • Mistic1 Tha Supavillain

    This flies in the face of the popular beleif that davis is a meddling micromanager to with all of his coaches. If you are shakey (cable, callahan, white bugel, kiffin)you are told what to do. if you know what your doing davis sticks to the personel side and leaves the schemes to you, gruden madden flores. Davis doesnt trust many but so far Hu jack has the keys to franchise.

    “Coach Davis is a man who has one vision in mind and that’s winning,” “That’s all he’s interested in. That’s all I’m interested in. I have total autonomy. I’m the head coach of this football team. …

    “We talk about plays and how they work and why they don’t work, and that’s tremendous,”

    “[Davis] talks football 24-7. He’s not one who rules with an iron fist and says you better do this. We’re all chasing one thing, which is winning.”

    Hu Jack city!!!!!

  • Mistic, is that why Davis drafted Jano with a number one overall pick when Gruden was here? Because Davis doesn’t meddle with coaches who know what they’re doing?

  • Go to your local sports fan shop and purchase new fan gear to cheers the Raiders on. Don’t forget to pick up a sports throw blankets for those cold days. While your are there your might as well get a college banners for your favorite team. http://stfos.com