The First 5 Things the Oakland Raiders Must Do Once the NFL Lockout Ends

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst IJuly 21, 2011

The First 5 Things the Oakland Raiders Must Do Once the NFL Lockout Ends

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    It has been a pretty hectic NFL offseason, to say the least.

    The battle between the players and owners has caused it all, but it looks to be coming to an end soon. Teams are now posturing themselves for the H-E-double hockey sticks that's about to break out shortly.

    If things go right, camps are to start in days, and free agency will be in effect not too long before. The Raiders have their own issues, as they have free agents to sign to at least keep the core of their team together.

    Then you have a team of players that haven't seen a whole lot of each other since the football season ended.

    What can the Raiders do to make the best of this hectic offseason?

    Turn the page and see. 

Call All Players to the Team Facility

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    The players haven't seen each other in a long time and have probably never met some of the coaching staff. This needs to happen as soon as possible so the players know what is expected of them from the coaches.

    It is also an opportunity to see what kind of shape the players are in going into training camp. The trainers then have their chance to give treatment to players with any injuries.

    It's time to get together. 

Sign Draft Picks

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    Free agency usually starts before the draft, but this time it's the other way around. The picks have been made already, so maybe the rules will allow for draft picks to be signed first this year.

    There won't be any holdouts because there will be a rookie wage scale in place going forward. Getting these free agents signed is particularly important because it's a new system, team and league for them.

    They need to be comfortable as soon as possible in order to contribute right away.

Call Zach Miller In

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    The first free agents that NFL teams will be able to contact are their own, and Zach Miller is an important man. The 2010 Pro Bowler has to be No. 1 on the to-do list for Raider owner Al Davis.

    Therefore, he needs to sit down with Miller and hammer out an agreement that keeps Miller in-house. The Raiders offense suffers in the running and passing game if they lose him.

    Get it done!

Call in Nnamdi Asomugha and Michael Huff

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    Since his contract was voided, Nnamdi Asomugha has to hit the market before the Raiders can make a play for him. Due to the 30 percent rule, Michael Huff has to hit the market just like Asomugha does.

    This is half of the No. 2-ranked pass defense in 2010 we're talking about here. I don't believe in fixing things that aren't broken on your football team.

    The Raiders should build off their pass defense.

See What Else Is Out There

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    With over 400 free agents hitting the market, there has to be someone out there who can help the Raiders.

    They may not be able to get a big name under the cap if they keep their guys, but they can get someone who can help.

    Maybe they'll find players who can replace players who are underproducing for their contracts. Maybe they can find some players who weren't that great on other teams but then end up doing well with the Raiders.

    That's what free agency is about, isn't it?

Ready to Rock

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    Let's start training camp!

    If the Raiders' priorities are taken care of and actually work out, they will really be ready to go. Keeping a team together should be every team's priority when coming off a lockout.

    The Raiders just happen to have some real talent to try to re-sign.

    They've had a player-organized minicamp so that should help a bit, but they still need to get together ASAP.

    That's the phrase for today.