The Oakland Raiders are in no rush to sign anyone of the remaining unrestricted free agents in the league. They did, however, make a move to sign one of their own guys, offensive tackle Khalif Barnes.
So what does the signing of Barnes mean for the Raiders going forward?
Well, let’s start from the start. Originally, Khalif was brought in to compete with Mario Henderson for the starting left tackle position. Unfortunately, at the beginning of training camp in 2009, he suffered a broken ankle.
Barnes would not return to the practice field until about week six of the regular season. By that time, the Raiders had also lost starting guard Robert Gallery to a broken Tibia. Things were not shaking out well.
The Raiders had made a trade early in the offseason of 2009 for former Dolphins starting center Samson Satele. While Satele did not get injured, he was having a problem adjusting to the zone blocking scheme of Tom Cable.
Cable had actively pursued Satele in the trade, because when Cable saw the 2007 draft class from which Satele came, Cable thought Satele was the best offensive lineman in the class.
The line was becoming a big time question mark by the time Khalif came back from his injury. During or around the same time, the Raiders lost starting right tackle Cornell Green to injury as well. He would end up missing a good portion of the middle of last season.
The Raiders asked Khalif to train with them as a right tackle, and also tried to get him involved as a left guard, to perhaps replace the loss of Gallery.
I know, it’s all very confusing and complicated, but it is what it was…so to speak.
So soon after the Raiders tried to get Barnes to swap sides, reports surfaced that Barnes was complaining about the move. The speculation was that he did not want to play right tackle because they make significantly less money than left tackles that protect the quarterbacks blindside.
To the best of my knowledge, the rumors were never confirmed. It should also be noted that Barnes said after he was injured that he was told he’d be the starting left tackle regardless of the injury upon his return.
Amidst all the turmoil along the offensive front, the Raiders ultimately ended up calling upon the services of an old friend, former Raiders and Bills OT, Langston Walker.
Walker ended up bypassing all current Raiders lineman, and started a significant number of games at left guard in replacement of the oft injured Robert Gallery.
Whatever issues Barnes had with what went down last season, it seems that he, along with the coaching staff, have decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to push the reset button on Barnes’ stint with the Raiders.