One thing the Raiders have been missing for years is a "go to" receiver...a true number one receiver.
Contrary to what a few over optimistic fans feel, neither Louis Murphy, Chaz Schilens, Johnnie Lee Higgins, or even Javon Walker are capable of filling that role.
But there is good news. There are a few players scheduled to become free agents who could fulfill that role: Brandon Marshall, Antonio Bryant, Vincent Jackson, Braylon Edwards, Terrell Owens, Steve Breaston, Kevin Walter, Chris Chambers, and Davone Bess.
Right away you can eliminate quite a few players:
First, forget about anyone who has been in the league less than six years. They will at least be tendered, and the Raiders will have to give up draft picks. This is especially true for anyone in the division. The Chargers and Broncos will make sure Brandon Marshall or Vincent Jackson do not end up in Oakland.
Go ahead and cross out Walter. Without a player like Andre Johnson playing opposite of him he will struggle. And Chris Chambers has lost a step and owes his success to the fact that he played opposite Dwayne Bowe.
That leaves Antonio Bryant and Terrell Owens as the Raiders' best options for free-agent receivers.
Antonio Bryant is a no go. Despite a weak 2009 showing—39 receptions and 600 yards—Bryant is alledgedly still asking for money based off of his 2008 performance—83 receptions and 1,248 yards. And a lot of people believe he willl never be able to return to that form.
So that leaves us with Terrell Owens. I think he is our best option.
He does have a bad reputation. But he really hasn't caused any trouble while in Buffalo, and it seems the teams management is just trying to use him as a scapegoat for a lost season.
He also has over-whelming character and influence in the locker room. For a young team and QB like JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders, that could be a blessing or their worst nightmare.
He would push the young receivers and QB to be better than they are. And unless he bends the team to the point of breaking, the team can only improve.
Also, the bay area is his old stomping ground, as he started his career in San Francisco.
So he may very well be open to returning to the bay.
Can or will any of these guys be on the Raiders next season? I don't know, but only time will tell.
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