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Get ready for cap crisis nonsense

With the players and owners reportedly on the fast track according to various ESPN reports we can begin to reintroduce ourselves to all the stories of salary cap hell.

It will happen almost immediately. A team will part with a big-named player, then a coach or GM will shrug his shoulders and say, “The cap made us do it.”

Someone will bypass the chance to sign a free agent and blame the salary cap.

And almost all of it will be nonsense.

There have already been some reports about how the Raiders will be incapable of bringing aboard anything substantial after signing up Richard Seymour and Stanford Routt to contracts before the lockout.

Does anyone remember before the the uncapped season how the Raiders would routinely have these huge overages against the salary cap _ as high as $40 or $50 million _ and then magically be under the cap and still be players in the free agent market?

It happened almost every year. Raiders cap strapped. Raiders make splash in free agency.

Tim Brown, former executive council member, once told me the biggest sham in the NFL was when teams say players were cut for cap reasons. No team, Brown maintained, ever lost a player they truly wanted to keep especially if the player was open to staying.

The cap becomes a convenient excuse to cut a player whose salary is deemed to be out of line.

A case in point was running back Thomas Jones, who was the heart and soul of the Jets running game in 2009 and a respected player by coaches and teammates alike. He was due to make $6 million in salary and had a large option bonus. It was an uncapped year. The Jets could simply have dug deep and paid the money. Instead, they cut Jones because it was more than they wanted to pay.

Teams do this all the time with a cap in place, then claim it as a “salary cap casualty” when addressing it with the media.

The Raiders, to their credit, never played that game.

It made sense, because they routinely entered the free agent market by playing the salary cap the way people refinance their homes. They simply extended contracts to their top players, cut their salaries to the minimum and spread bonus money out over the life of the deal to lessen the cap hit.

Brown did it almost every season. There’s a certain amount of dead money created, but it isn’t difficult to keep playing the cap game and pushing debt into the next season without ever really being accountable or losing a chance to sign someone.

During the seven awful seasons which preceded last year’s rise to .500, Oakland’s problem wasn’t how it managed the salary cap. They did that just fine, coming up with plenty of money to sign free agents. Their problem was in signing the wrong players.

If the Raiders aren’t active players in free agency, it won’t be because of the salary cap. It will be because after shelling out huge money to the likes of Gibril Wilson, Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall (by trade), they chose to go in another direction and develop younger players.

It won’t stop the flood of “Raiders in trouble against the cap” stories, despite historical evidence to the contrary.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • You know, I can’t believe I forgot all about this. But that teacher? The day after Clinton won the election, he made us read the constitution! And he talked about Clinton’s “socialist policies” being a threat to the constitution! Unbelievable. What is it with conservatives going all 18th century on us whenever they lose the white house? Guess that whole tea party mentality is nothing new. Can’t believe I forgot all about that. That guy was funny.

  • Just Fire Baby

    I would love to go to the British Open one year.

    On the bucket list. You can gamble on the players throughout the day(s)!!!

    I don’t really know how you bet on golf, but I’m sure I would figure it out.

  • RaiderDebo

    Raiderfankirk Says:
    July 16th, 2011 at 6:39 am
    “Just win baby ” I could care less who the qb is. IMO Gradkowski is the more instinctive QB. Only knock on him and Chaz is health. Who was that CB we had who couldn’t stay on the field? Charles Woodwind… Look at him now. Sorry to see Bruce go, and a whole lot of people in hear will be to if he gets to play against us.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Idiotic post of the month! “Instinctive QB”??? What the hell is that supposed to mean? What “instinct” did he rely on when he threw one of the worst picks in Raider history on 1st down, down 10 against the Texans? His “instincts” ended the game right there. You Bruise worshipers are such sheep. You actually believe he would be good if not for injuries?? Injuries had nothing to do with his schitty play against SD, Houston and Miami. The truth is that his injury history gives Bruise fans a convenient out: “He’s a HOFer when he plays, he just gets injured too much”. Time to wake up. The more Bruise played, the more he sucked.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Worst picks in Raider History was a week 4 game against the Houston Texans??

    Wasn’t a good pass by any means, but let’s save the bloaviation.

    I vote Louis Murphy’s dropped INT to actually end the game, as the worst dropped pass in Raider history!!!!

  • Just Fire Baby

    Funny that before the last dropped pass INT, Bruce had 278 yards passing (more than Jamarcus ever had in one game) that game and had a 100+ QB rating, which Jamarcus did only 4 times in his career.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Another funny note.

    Bruce was awful against Miami. A 63.5 QB rating is not good at all.

    However, Jamarcus Russell had a sub-63.5 QB rating in 12 of his 25 starts!!! Almost 50% of the time, he was worse than Bruce against Miami last year.

    In fact, Jamarcus Russell’s career QB rating (65.2) is about one completed pass better than Bruce against Miami.

  • YoungAmerican

    Campbell > Gradkowski > JaMarcus

    Of course, none of these guys seem to be the long-term answer for any team. Campbell seems to have the most potential, but needs to play with less hesitation.

    This season will be make-or-break for him. If he doesn’t come around, the Raiders are going to need to look for their quarterback in the first round of the draft next year. The way the league is now, the chances of any team getting it done with journeyman or scrap-heap QBs is greatly diminished. The teams with the most stability at the QB position achieved that through the draft.

  • PurpleDrank81

    I love how the media is in love with the Raiders picking up Plaxico in free agency and drafting Terelle Pryor… The funnier thing is the fact that both those guys have been working out together for the past week and talking each other abilities up pretty good.

  • We have nobody to back up Campbell now. And he needed to be bailed out a few times last year.

  • Austin Powers

    RAIDER Says:
    July 16th, 2011 at 9:20 am
    Jerry also said himself that he will handle the moderation, and that he’d prefer that we just went on with our discussion, as opposed to tattling and trying to get people banned. He said the site’s administrators were just as fed up with e-mails begging to ban people as they were moderating the childish blog exchanges.
    ===============================================
    YEAH BABY!

  • RaiderDebo

    Just Fire Baby Says:
    July 16th, 2011 at 9:57 am
    Another funny note.

    Bruce was awful against Miami. A 63.5 QB rating is not good at all.

    However, Jamarcus Russell had a sub-63.5 QB rating in 12 of his 25 starts!!! Almost 50% of the time, he was worse than Bruce against Miami last year.

    In fact, Jamarcus Russell’s career QB rating (65.2) is about one completed pass better than Bruce against Miami.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    LOL! I was wondering how long it would take JFB to come up with some goofy stats to excuse his man crush. Trumped up stats against the NFL’s worst pass defense don”t impress me, especially when you consider that Houston took its foot off the gas after the game-losing pick. Since we’re on the subject though, what is the career QB rating for Bruise?

  • AllThingsRaider

    JaMarcus = Bust

    Grads = Broken

    JC = Better get’er done if you want that contract extension for the big $$$

    Since the great Jim Plunkett (qb who led Raiders to 2 superbowl victories) and a wee bit of Gannon, Oakland is always looking for a QB.

  • AllThingsRaider

    Russell may be the bust of Raider qbs’, but Marc Wilson was awfully painful, awfully painful to watch. Especially those ugly soft rainbow passes. Yuck.

  • RaiderDebo

    AllThingsRaider Says:
    July 16th, 2011 at 10:15 am
    JaMarcus = Bust

    Grads = Broken

    JC = Better get’er done if you want that contract extension for the big $$$

    Since the great Jim Plunkett (qb who led Raiders to 2 superbowl victories) and a wee bit of Gannon, Oakland is always looking for a QB.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    Grads = Broken??

    How do you figure?

  • AllThingsRaider

    Raider Debo, My bad. Just mean injury prone, as in unable to take the crush.

  • ATR,

    Rich Gannon is the second best rated passer in Raiders’ history. Above Plunkett. Stabler is tops.

  • Austin Powers

    Fashizzle Wizzle Says:
    July 16th, 2011 at 1:35 am
    Are you ready for some foooootbaaallll????????

    Get them Rrrraaaaiiiidderrrss goin! YEAH!
    ————————————————–
    YEAH BABY!

  • AllThingsRaider

    RAIDER Says:
    July 16th, 2011 at 10:34 am
    ATR,

    Rich Gannon is the second best rated passer in Raiders’ history. Above Plunkett. Stabler is tops.
    ==================================================
    Here is a classic case example of stats taking a back seat to facts. The great Jim Plunkett led the Raiders to 2 superbowl victories, Stabler 1, and Gannon did very good in trying.

    Plunkett = 2 rings
    Stabler = 1 ring
    Gannon = 0 ring

    If Gannon would have had Gruden as his coach that superbowl year, FACT: Gannon would have one ring and Al Davis would have 4 Lombardi Trophies for his case.

  • RaiderDebo

    This season will be make-or-break for him. If he doesn’t come around, the Raiders are going to need to look for their quarterback in the first round of the draft next year. The way the league is now, the chances of any team getting it done with journeyman or scrap-heap QBs is greatly diminished. The teams with the most stability at the QB position achieved that through the draft.
    @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@

    The teams with the most stability at QB have the best teams overall. When the Raiders get this thing built right, there will be a long list of guys who can get it done at QB.

  • Scottish Raider

    Okay, so my Trent Edwards idea wasn’t too popular. But nobody seems to want to keep both Boller and Frye..

    Three choices:

    1) Terelle Pryor. High upside, big question marks – might be a decent WR. Not worth a 3rd but probably worth a 5th.

    2) Pat Devlin. Still undrafted but will not be short of camp offers. Has some potential but a stretch to think he is starter material. Worth bringing to camp if he’s interested in us.

    3) Matt Leinart or Troy Smith. Both Heisman winners, both have real limitations but both probably offer more than Charlie Frye.

    PS: I still think Edwards is our best option for 3rd QB

  • Plunkett alone didn’t win those Super Bowls. He played on a better overall team than Gannon. Plunkett inherited a Raider team chalk full of hard core Ron Wolf football players. Gannon inherited a mess and had to spend as much time babysitting as he did preparing for games. Plunket didn’t have that problem. All that said, Gannon still has better numbers than Plunkett. I could only imagine what Gannon could have done with that early ’80s Raider team. We might have 5 trophies.

  • YoungAmerican

    I like Josh Portis better than Devlin for the kind of things that Raider QBs are asked to do. Portis has a rocket arm and pretty good deep accuracy, which are two things Devlin seems to lack. Would really like him as a UDFA pickup.

  • Scottish Raider

    Portis has more baggage than a Hilton Bellboy. Strong arm, quick feet, no brain and less judgement. Sounds ideal.

  • Plunketthead

    Ron Wolf would be selling vacuam cleaners door to door if it wasnt for the greatness that is Al Davis and Oakland Raiders.

  • YoungAmerican

    Scottish Raider Says:
    July 16th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Portis has more baggage than a Hilton Bellboy. Strong arm, quick feet, no brain and less judgement. Sounds ideal.

    ———–

    Yep, that’s why he didn’t get drafted. Worth a shot as a UDFA, though. No risk, but if he can get his s*** together he’s got all the skills.

  • Scottish Raider

    Nothing to lose by bringing Portis to camp. There are quite a few decent UDFAs – I like the TCU Center Kirkpatrick – and we should hopefully attract a few to Alameda.

  • YoungAmerican

    DE/DT Brandon Bair from Oregon would be a phenomenal UDFA pickup. I also like OT/OGs David Mims and Byron Bell.

  • Just Fire Baby

    This is a Qb-driven league, with every rule being made to favor QB’s and the passing game.

    The best QB’s make the best teams.

    What was the Pats record the year before Brady? Colts were garbage for most of the 20 years before Peyton, and will be once he leaves. Falcons were fresh off a 2-14 season before Matt Ryan lead them to the playoffs as a rookie. Cardinals before and after Kurt Warner?? How did those Cowboys do last year without Romo?

    It’s all about the QB these days. That’s why in such a weak QB draft class this year, we still had more QB’s taken in the top 40 picks or whatever, ever in draft history. Guys like Ponder would have been mid-round picks in the 90’s (when it was a RB-O-line driven league) but were taken in what the top 12?? Crazy-talk!!

    Without a top QB, you MIGHT be able to get a top-tier D to drag you into the playoffs. But once there, you will lose to an elite QB.

  • Deja vu

    Here’s some interesting questions for Hue, if anyones intersted in reading. I like what he brings to the table, we’ll see if he can back it up.

    Question from Jim Hoggard: How do you balance having a quality back up at the quarterback position with not creating a controversy if the starter struggles at the beginning of the season?

    Coach Jackson: I think your starter is your starter. Obviously Jason Campbell is our starter and we have Kyle Boller as our backup right now. We need to add some more arms to that position and I think we will as we continue to move forward. I think you never worry as a starter who else is on the team. We treat all of our players here at that position as starters so they go and prepare and get themselves ready to play week in and week out. I think a backup here will tell you that he knows he’s a play away and that he’s always prepared to go in and play. I don’t think there will be any controversy here. Obviously we expect our quarterback to play great and play at a high level. If he’s not meeting those demands then we will work accordingly to get him to meet those demands. We truly believe in the guy we anoint as our starter and barring injury or some unforeseen reason do we see that changing at all.

    Question from Miguel Gomez: What does it take for the Raiders to bring back that Commitment to Excellence?

    Coach Jackson: It takes Commitment to Excellence. It takes commitment in excellence in all that we do, the way we prepare, the way we practice, the way we travel, the way we eat, how we sleep, how we condition our bodies and take care of our bodies as we prepare for battle every time we play. We want to chase perfection in everything we do. We set out to do that in all areas for this football team and for this organization. I truly believe if we’re committed to being the best then we will be the best.

    Question from Nate from North Dakota: What can Raider Nation expect this season during your first year as Head Coach?

    Coach Jackson: They will probably see a guy that’s very passionate about winning and expects to win all the time. I’m never going to back down from that. I know what the expectations are here. I want to raise the expectations on every level. I’ve said that since day one. I truly believe that. I believe we have those kind of players. I believe we’re going to create an environment for our players to chase greatness. I’m never going to back off of that as long as I’m the head coach here. I think our players understand that. I think they’re ready to meet that challenge of what that’s truly all about. What that’s all about is being a Raider. We expect to do that.

    Question from Mark Lopez: Would you consider obtaining a player with major character and personality issues? Yes or no, and why?

    Coach Jackson: Yes, if those character issues I understand and are something I can deal with and something our organization truly believes is either behind the player or we can help the player move beyond those. You have to have certain types of people available to assist in helping the players be all that they can be. No, in the sense that if I can’t help the player, I do not want to do anything to damage our team, this organization, or this city. It’s not that important. There are so many good players out there, I’m sure we can find one that doesn’t have a lot of character flaws. There are certain cases and I think you deal with them on an individual basis and I don’t think you worry about it. If you make a decision you’re taking them, you do it and you do it with conviction. If you decide not to take them, you do that with conviction and turn away and find the next guy.

    Question from Clifford Geigle: Given your experience in other organizations throughout the NFL, is the league-wide perception of the Raiders organization wrong? Furthermore, does this perception broaden itself onto the playing field, in turn leading to questionable calls against our Silver and Black?

    Coach Jackson: Yes, I do believe that there is a perception from people that think that we are being treated unfairly. I don’t subscribe to that for this reason – until we become the team we want to become, we can’t ever worry about that. Until we learn to quit beating ourselves pre-snap with concentration penalties, until we learn to quit beating ourselves turning the ball over, not getting enough turnovers, until we learn to tackle and block the way I think we need to tackle and block, I think all those things are going to be said. When we become the football team that I envision us becoming, I think we leave no doubt. I think what the perception is won’t be an issue. The issue is us being as good as we can be as fast as we can be it.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Good to hear that Hue wants to bring in some other arms, and that Boller is the backup “right now”.

    Soup has played 32 halves of football once in 6 years, and the Raiders haven’t had a 16 game starter at QB in 8 years.

    Chances are, unfortunately, our backup QB will be relied upon at some point in time in 2012.

  • DutchRaider77

    @YoungAmerican
    What do you think of the Raiders trading somthing for Haynesworth? Someone (Plunk?) mentioned the Redksins might trade him for potentially peanuts, b/c they do not want him to sign with the Eagles.

    Seems that Raiders could be a place where he just gets to cut it loose every play? No gap resposibility? Plus he been riped on for only wanting to play 15-20 snaps a game, also the Raiders might be a team where this could happen.

  • Just Fire Baby

    Since we’re on the subject though, what is the career QB rating for Bruise?

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

    Just SLIGHTLY better than Jamarcus’, lol.

    So there you go, we both are sitting around like idiots defending two worthless QB’s.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    Apparently, some of you guys didn’t get the memo. The Raiders can’t sign a viable backup QB.

    JaJason can’t perform well with someone looking over his shoulder.

    Any QB that might threaten JaJason’s ‘unquestioned starter’ status can not be considered.

    Any QB with ability or the desire to start can’t be on the roster or else JaJason’s delicate psyche might be upset.

    Forget Edwards, VY, or even Grads.

  • Plunketthead Says:
    July 16th, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Ron Wolf would be selling vacuam cleaners door to door if it wasnt for the greatness that is Al Davis and Oakland Raiders.

    ……….

    Could be right. But that doesn’t change the fact that Al Davis has never won a Super Bowl without significant help from Ron Wolf, and that Ron Wolf has won a Super Bowl without any help whatsoever from Al Davis.

    There have been plenty of cases where bad people are responsible for the careers of good people. Al giving Wolf his opportunity is no exception.

  • Raiderman99, you’re saying Gradkowski is gone because Jason Campbell was afraid Gradkowski would take his job, and that therefore Campbell couldn’t play well? Is Campbell really that fragile?

  • Master Beeecham

    Dweebs, my sweet Carmageddon Bikini Blowout just started and the PARTYDUDE 8000 is getting mad love from the honies.

    The Simply Red cover band is getting ready to start their set (they break it down reggae style) and a few babes from the Puerto Rican Beach Volleyball team are rolling spliffs in the bathroom.

    All I need is to get the lobster tails on the BBQ, pack a few Magnums in my sock and get ready to party serious.

    Whatever you nerds are doing today can’t compare but feel free to enlighten me

  • I’m going to pleasure myself while reading your comments, Beech.

  • Deja vu

    pack a few Magnums in my sock and get ready to party serious.

    ————-

    Lmao!

  • And likely, Beech, your actual plans today are to pleasure yourself while reading your comments, too.

  • YoungAmerican

    DutchRaider77 Says:
    July 16th, 2011 at 11:20 am

    @YoungAmerican
    What do you think of the Raiders trading somthing for Haynesworth? Someone (Plunk?) mentioned the Redksins might trade him for potentially peanuts, b/c they do not want him to sign with the Eagles.

    Seems that Raiders could be a place where he just gets to cut it loose every play? No gap resposibility? Plus he been riped on for only wanting to play 15-20 snaps a game, also the Raiders might be a team where this could happen.

    ———–

    I think scheme-wise, Oakland is Haynesworth’s best fit. He’s the kind of player who can make plays behind the line of scrimmage. If he wants to go somewhere he can just attack the ball-carrier and doesn’t have to be the guy to just plug gaps, Oakland is the place for him.

    Thing is, there’s already a lot of money tied up in Seymour, TK, and Henderson. Not sure the Raiders would be willing to pay a good chunk of money (a lot of his contract was lumped into last year, but he’ll still be making starter money this season) for a guy who would probably be just a part-time player.

    There are also the obvious character issues. Maybe with Richard Seymour next to him, he shapes up. But Washington has a couple leaders in that locker room, especially on defense, and Haynesworth was still a distraction.

    So who knows. He’s a good player when he wants to be. It would be an interesting move for sure, but only if he’s really interested in contributing and putting his reputation behind him.

  • RAIDERMAN99

    There’s been some very creative excuse making for Raider QBs.

    We can all buy into the ‘terrible supporting cast’ excuse. Forget that a top notch QB elevates the play of those around him. The Raids obviously haven’t had a top notch QB or even one that could overcome the rest of the team’s weaknesses.

    This excuse actually has some credibility.

    At a certain point however, a QB’s individual performance can become so horribly bad that even the poor supporting cast excuse rings hollow.

    We reached that point with JaMoron. The realization that he was an unmotivated, out of shape, syrup slurping, blathering idiot trumped the supporting cast excuse. It became clear to all that he had to go.

    Well, almost all. There’s still a few that just don’t get it. One of them likes to say ‘poor JaMarcus’. Another one likes to mention that JaMoron’s uncle died 5 years ago to help explain the biggest bust in NFL history.

    With JaJason, we still hear the ‘poor supporting cast’ excuse. OL can’t pass protect, weak WRs. Some validity there.

    But that’s not enough to explain games like Tenn, St Lou, Pitt or SF. (Even though just yesterday it was claimed that Ford cost the Raiders the SF game by clanking the short pass in the 4th qtr with the Raids down by 8. Forget about the 10.7 QB rating for the entire game.)

    So the JaJason supporters trot out the ‘he’s never been in the same system’ excuse.

    Then there’s the tried and true ‘you just criticize JaJason, will never accept him, and hate him bcz he’s black’ rationale.

    But the most creative – and most humorous – is the ‘JaJason can’t play well with someone looking over his shoulder’ excuse.

    Can’t wait to see what else the JaJason supporters come up with as the season progresses.

  • Master Beeecham

    Sorry I got distracted – this one crazy hostess babe from Islands filled my hot tub up with margaritas from the PARTYDUDE 8000 and started splashing around topless.

    Of course the only choice I had was to turn on the jets and pump up some Kid n Play.

    And of you dorks ever drive a convertible Corvette into a glass elevator? I need a little more bass at the Carmegeddon Bikini Blowout and am running out of options.

  • Raider J

    “Does anyone remember before the the uncapped season how the Raiders would routinely have these huge overages against the salary cap _ as high as $40 or $50 million _ and then magically be under the cap and still be players in the free agent market?

    …They simply extended contracts to their top players, cut their salaries to the minimum and spread bonus money out over the life of the deal to lessen the cap hit.”

    Break it down, Jerry