NFL Trade Deadline: How Did the Oakland Raiders Do?
The NFL trade deadline has come and gone.
With such a move after Davis' passing, I couldn't help but wonder if Davis left a to-do list for every possible scenario. It's either that, Raiders head coach Hue Jackson can talk to the dead, or he just thinks like Davis.
Either way, the moves before and after Davis' passing look like Davis made the moves. I couldn't help but take a look at and grade the major personnel moves the Raiders made in 2011.
Turn the page to see my grades.
Jared Gaither: A
Sometimes the best moves are the moves that you don't make.
Jared Gaither was once a great up-and-coming left tackle in the NFL that I personally wanted to see in Oakland. After becoming a free agent, he came to Raider Nation for a visit and negotiations.
The Raiders did their due diligence—giving him an extensive physical that he failed. The Raiders then opted not to sign him and Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer has come out blazing this year—not allowing a sack in six games.
Gaither has been on the PUP list for the most part in Kansas City as the Chiefs hope he can return to form in the meanwhile. Last I heard, he is a backup at both the left and right tackle positions for the Chiefs.
Jackson made the right decision there.
Letting Go of Vets: A
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Robert Gallery had the nerve to ask for $8 million to stay and the Raiders allowed him to go to Seattle. Zach Miller is now getting paid in the neighborhood of tight ends like Antonio Gates while being out produced by Kevin Boss.
Nnamdi Asomugha went to go chase money and a ring and he's behind where he was last year. I still believe he would do well in the bump-and-run system of the Raiders but the money he costs is ridiculous.
Stanford Routt has replaced Asomugha and has outplayed him so for this year. Demarcus Van Dyke was drafted to take Routt's place while he moves into Asomugha's role as the No. 1 corner.
Right now, he is starting to shake off his rookie jitters and shut some receivers out. The Cleveland Browns were just 3-10 with no touchdowns throwing at him last Sunday.
The Raiders do need a left guard so Stefen Wisniewski can play center, but not for what Gallery wants. There's no way these guys could fit under the salary cap, so the Raiders had to move on without the three veterans.
The Raiders are at 4-2 and are playing a tougher schedule than last year, so the losses had to be planned for.
The Raiders get an A for that!
Not Overfixing the Receiver Corps: A
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Most of Raider Nation was up in arms about the Raiders not getting a veteran No. 1 receiver. The Raiders drafted Denarius Moore in the fifth round and the kid looks like the truth so far this year.
Louis Murphy has been on the mend early this season with Ford returning kicks and making an occasional play at receiver. Derek Hagan is a veteran that has made some contributions, but he's not a No. 1 receiver.
But a No. 1 receiver has emerged in Raider Nation and the young man's name is Darrius Heyward-Bey. Heyward-Bey has fooled many, including myself, and he's working his way off the bust list.
He is now making plays and on pace to get over 1,000 yards receiving. Adding a vet but still hanging in there with the young receiver corps has helped as they all have had to step in at points.
Aaron Curry: A
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If first impressions have anything to do with it, the Raiders are reclaiming the football career of Aaron Curry. He was on the bust list before the Raiders rescued him from the Seattle Seahawks.
He is known to play well against the run and rush the passer well, but zone coverage is his supposed weakness. Well, Jackson picked him up, and he played the run and rushed the passer really well last week.
The Raiders don't play a lot of zone as they are a man-coverage team. Curry is no Thomas Howard in man coverage, but he was decent in man coverage last week which means he's better than Quentin Groves.
Curry is a huge addition to the Raiders defense.
Carson Palmer: A++
When I look at the direction of the team, I see a run defense getting better—jumping up from No. 31 to No. 16 over the last couple of weeks. I think cornerback Chris Johnson, who is out with a hamstring strain right now, is going to be good when he gets to 100 percent.
Rookie Chimdi Chekwa played well for an injured Van Dyke for a spell before getting injured himself. Van Dyke then comes back and looks like a shut-down corner in the makings while Routt is still Routt.
The defensive line is of course one of the best units in the league.
Heyward-Bey is leading the track team of receivers and Darren McFadden is better than he was in 2010. All the Raiders need is for quarterback Jason Campbell not to mess it up and the Raiders go to the playoffs.
That wouldn't end too well because Campbell has proven that he can't shoot it out with the Tom Bradys of the NFL. Then a couple of weeks later, Raiders fans are unnerved because Campbell broke his collarbone.
Jackson then brings in a guy to win games instead of trying not to lose them. Carson Palmer is that guy and all reports are that his velocity is back to what is was before partially tearing a ligament in his elbow.
That was the sweet cherry on top of the delicious sundae.
The Raiders get a A++ for Palmer and an A+ all-around!
I have to give it to the Raiders for everything from this offseason to the trade deadline. The reason why they got off to a 4-2 start despite losing three major contributors is because everything was planned from early on.
Then you have outside linebacker Quentin Groves improving but really blowing it on certain plays. Jackson then brings Curry, a man Davis wanted in 2009, into Raider Nation.
Then you have the quintessential football checkmate with the injury of Campbell. The Raider then go ahead and pay a King's ransom to bring in Carson Palmer, an even better quarterback than Campbell.
I wonder if the move was planned for before Davis' death.