Raiders Release Dead Weight JaMarcus Russell, So Who's Next?
The Raiders have officially given up on JaMarcus Russell. Cutting what many fans would consider dead weight while saving the team $6.45 million.
It would seem that Al Davis is finally taking advice from his critics:
Lane Kiffin for example said he couldn't win with JaMarcus.
Last year, though he didn't drop any names, Greg Ellis blamed some of the Raiders performances on players going out the night before games.
And Jeff Garcia claimed he felt the Raiders had too many players "just collecting paychecks".
Sure JaMarcus may have been one of the players going out the night before games and "just collecting paychecks", but was he the only one?... Definitely not...
The Raiders are yet to completely purge the team of dead weight. Here's a look at some of the other players who are likely next to visit JaMarcus Russell on the unemployment line.
Johnnie Lee Higgins
Johnnie Lee Higgins has never really excelled as a reciever and is more of a special teams player than a reciever.
Last year as a punt returner he did absolutely nothing. And in an attempt to improve the Raiders return game, and likely replace Higgins, the Raiders have brought in a few specialists: Jacoby Ford, Yamon Figures, Nick Miller, Rock Cartwright and maybe a few others.
Though Johnnie Lee Higgins is imensely talented, like JaMarcus, his work ethic has been questioned.
Coaches have accused Higgins of "half assing" practices and running sloppy routes, while putting in little effort to improve his craft.
Hopefully the Raiders parting ways with JaMarcus will be a wakeup call for Johnnie Lee Higgins, otherwise he likely will be among the next players cut.
If JaMarcus represented the scapegoat for the Raiders struggling offense then Stanford Routt(Gerrard Warren as well) represents the scapegoat for the struggling defense.
Last year Routt was beat for quite a few TDs as the Raiders nickel corner.
In an attempt to improve the defensive backfield the Raiders have infused it with youth drafting two corners.
But Routts' 1st and 3rd Round Tender suggest maybe Routt isn't the one the Raiders are trying to replace, Chris Johnson should watch his back as well.
Cooper Carlisle represents everything lacking in the "zone-blocking-scheme" . I mean how else could a 32 year old 6'5'' 290lbs man start at guard in the NFL.
Because of his smaller stature, for an NFL guard, he is constantly overpowered by bigger defenders.
But being a seasoned veteran of the ZBS Carlisle may be a good candidate as a mentor for some of the younger players. Carlisle has played in the ZBS for the last three years with the Raiders, and before that for seven years with the Broncos.
But now it is rather aparent Carlisle just doesn't have it anymore. And the Raiders currently have a few young players gunning for Carlisles' job including: Bruce Campbell and Alex Parsons.
Now don't get me wrong, I do not dislike Luke Lawton.
But fact of the matter is he is facing a suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.
While Lawton is facing his suspension others will be given a chance to shine: Tonga Manase, Marcel Reece and Chane Moline. If these guys prove worthy of a roster spot before Lawton returns, then he is as good as gone.
One more QB
Before the season starts atleast one more QB will fall.
I think it's safe to say Jason Campbell is safe but the other three will have to earn their spot on the roster.
Kyle Boller was easily the "rustiest" QB in mini camp, looking plain awful throwing the ball.
Charlie Frye happens to be the least talented on the Raiders roster, though he is known for his work ethic and study habits.
And Bruce Gradowski is a fan favorite for what he did in a few games last year. Then he tore both MCLs. More recently he tore a pectoral muscle forcing him to watch mini-camp from the sideline with his arm in a sling.
One of these three will be gone soon, who I'm not sure.
Mario Henderson was one of JaMarcus' biggest supporters on the team.
In 2008 Henderson played well starting the final five games of the season not giving up one sack. But in 2009 saying he struggled is an understatement, as Mario Henderson led the league in sacks allowed.
Because of that Henderson has taken alot of heat from Raider fansand his job is no longer safe with players like Jason Veldheer and Khalif Barnes in the mix.