Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders Yet To Dive into Free Agent Pool

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 23:  Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis speaks during a news conference introducing new Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin on January 23, 2007 in Oakland, California. Kiffin, a 31 year-old offensive coordinator from the University of Southern California, was named as the new head coach to replace Art Shell who was fired after going 2-14 for the season.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Bill HintonCorrespondent IMarch 7, 2010

Like many Raider fans, I eagerly awaited the start of the free agent signing period. I fully expected Al Davis to quickly make a big splash with a flashy signing. I'm still waiting.

Are the Raiders showing a newfound discipline? Is Al out of money? Do they even have any players targeted? These are the questions that hopefully will be answered leading up to the draft.

So far, I'm actually happy with our team's inactivity. Dunta Robinson is the only player who has signed, as of now, that I would have liked to see in silver and black. Playing opposite Nnamdi I feel Robinson would have had a lot of chances to make big plays. However at six years and $57 million, I think the Falcons overpaid for his services.

Speaking of overpaying for a player, do the Chicago Bears really expect to get a motivated Julius Peppers after throwing that kind of money at him? Really? The whole thing kind of reminded me of some of the things Al has done over the past few years.

It seems as though the way to go might be to look at some of the tender ratings and decide if there is a player available to be drafted who can be better than the signed free agent.

For example Evan Mathis of the Bengals is an offensive guard who is known as a quality run blocker. He also didn't allow a sack last year. He can be had for a third-round pick. Can anyone tell me of a guy available at that point in the draft capable of that kind of production?

Then there's Rob Sims. Seattle's best offensive lineman last year, Sims can be had for a fourth-round pick. How many fourth-rounders can step right in and be any NFL team's best lineman?

Hopefully this is the thought process in Raiderland. It would be the best way for the team to make immediate improvement. It would also be fiscally sound.

Only Al really knows what's going to happen and for what reasons. Until that plays out I'll look at the Raiders' inactivity as a positive step in the right direction. A direction that will land the team back in the upper echelon of the league. A place they've been away from for much too long.

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