Andrew Walter: The Odd Man Out in Oakland

Al's WingmanAnalyst IMay 25, 2009

It’s pretty clear by now that Andrew Walter is not part of the long-term plans of the Oakland Raiders


Being that Walter is a no-show at “voluntary” OTAs, this pretty much solidifies the theory.


The drafting of JaMarcus Russell, and now the signing of both a veteran in Jeff Garcia and a third stringer in Bruce Gradkowski, leads me to believe Walter will either be waived or traded. Most likely this will happen sometime during the preseason when the Raiders' hand is forced by mandatory cuts.


The reason this has not happened sooner is because Al Davis cannot be bothered with working a trade for Walter and instead has let him languish on the bench—or, in this case, languish in his comfortable living room.


A few years ago there was talk of a trade with Jacksonville that did not materialize.


Instead of doing what’s right and letting the guy move on with his career, Al’s tendency is to keep a guy around but not give him playing time or give him an explanation why.  It’s his way of showing displeasure to players who he feels have not lived up to their abilities or their contract. 


That’s just Al. 


He doesn’t want a player to go to a team where he can come back and haunt the Raiders.


It’s an unrealistic and vindictive approach, but that is the mind of Al Davis.


Let’s look at how we got to this point.


Walter was ballyhooed as a 2005 draft pick and did very well as a rookie in preseason, even though he fought through injuries during that time.


He was overlooked as starter material the following season; instead, Al recruited Aaron Brooks. We all know how that turned out.


So the plan all along was for Walter to be used as QB depth. However, in 2006 injury to Aaron Brooks pressed Walter into full-time duty behind a shaky offensive line—not to mention, of course, the woefully inferior offensive game planning by what’s his name, the bed and breakfast guy hired by Art Shell.


As we all know, the results were mostly not a very good refection of Walter’s abilities or the Raiders. Not to say he was terrible as a starter, but he never really had a chance to succeed. 


The man was, in fact, set up to fail.


Let’s be honest, Andrew Walter has never had a serious opportunity to be a long-term starter in Oakland.


I don’t think drafting JaMarcus Russell was a good decision by the Raiders in the first place. His contract holdout only soured me, and his partially decent play last season did not impress me enough.


All things considered, I am not a huge Andrew Walter fan either. I think he comes across as arrogant in the interviews I have read. BUT, I do believe he would have won more games than JaMarcus did as a starter.


I think Walter is a smarter QB than JaMarcus Russell. He is a more accurate thrower and a much better passer in general. Andrew Walter understands game planning and reading defenses. Walter is by far a more complete QB than JaMarcus Russell.


The negatives with Walter are he appears to be injury prone. He also obviously has an attitude. Not showing up for voluntary workouts is not a good way to make yourself good trade bait or impress other teams.


Andrew Walter has tons of talent. We know this. He amassed exceptional stats with Arizona State, and despite some difficult circumstances in Oakland, he has shown he is very capable of making clutch plays.


I have no doubt if Walter was playing last season the Raiders would have won a lot more games. 


That’s just my opinion, and as usual, Al Davis has damaged his team by throwing his money at an undisciplined, lesser talent in JaMarcus Russell rather than giving the best QB they have had on the roster for a few years now another shot.


Who has Walter sat behind on the depth chart as a Raider?


The only worthy guy I can spot is Kerry Collins. He had more experience, has a bigger arm, and in the right system can be very effective. He did not do as poorly as people criticized him for when he was in Oakland, but the team lost too many games, so Collins was gone.


That should have been reason to promote Walter...but it never happened. 


He played behind:


Aaron Brooks? That was just an awful decision to bring him in.


Daunte Culpepper? Bah.


Josh McCown? C’mon, who’s kidding who?


If we forget 2006, Andrew Walter has always given the Raiders the best chance to win games. That’s the reality of the situation, but now we’ll never know.