Possible 2011 Oakland Raiders Offseason Departures: You're with Us or Against Us
Let the fun begin...
Yeah, I love watching Oakland Raider football every Sunday. But to be honest, the offseason is just as fun.
Cable is gone (good move), Hue will be our next coach (better move) and the task of building on the 2010 season will begin.
There are a lot of key free agents that Oakland must re-sign in order to maintain their team. There are also a couple of disgruntled players not so happy about Cable's firing.
Could they leave an emerging Oakland team for spite?
Money talks, so I doubt it, but...
Let's take a look at some possible departures this offseason, and whether I say good riddance or please don't go.
Bruce Gradkowski, QB
Jared Wickerham/Getty Images
The Great Bruce Almighty...man, I was jumping on his bandwagon after the Steelers win last season. Ahhh, memories.
Well, those memories are dead, as is Bruce's future in Oakland.
Two things Bruce proved this year:
1) He is injury prone.
2) He is, at best, a backup in the NFL.
Hey, we all love the guy, and he could go down in Raider history as the QB who got Raider Nation excited again.
But in the end, B-Grad has worn out his welcome.
Jason Campbell has earned another year, and he doesn't need Tom Cable's mascot breathing down his neck next season.
Verdict: Good riddance (sorry, Grad).
Michael Bush, RB
Tim Umphrey/Getty Images
You all saw what "The Bush" (as I like to call him) could do with full-time carries.
A dominant performance against the Chiefs is nothing new for us Raiders fans. We saw Bush do it back in '08, as well as '09.
The guy can run the rock. I was even campaigning for him to be our starter this past offseason (you might remember my GBDB campaign).
But then that other running back...Darren "I'm not a Bust" McFadden decided to show up in 2010, and ran like a mad man all over the league.
Hey, everyone's wrong now and then, right? (Well, except Al.)
So now there's a dilemma, could we actually let "The Bush" walk, or rather run, out of Oakland?
No doubt there would be plenty of suitors around the league possibly offering a starting role and big money, but would Michael leave Oakland for greener pastures?
I, for one, hope not. DMC is a beast, but he is also a beast who tends to miss a game or two. A solid No. 2 is necessary in this league and M-Bush might be one of the best.
Oakland has to find a way of retaining the goods, and keep "The Bush" from flashing elsewhere.
Verdict: Please don't go! Can't live without the Bush.
Robert Gallery, LG
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
I'm sure there is a ton of Gallery lovers out there (I'm not talking art, unless you count tattoos).
But, sorry R.G., you get no love here.
This dude was drafted to be the left tackle, not an injury-prone left guard.
As great as he is, you're only great when you're on the field. On top of that, he is eating up valuable cap space with that huge LT contract.
There is buzz that Gallery is upset over Tom Cable's departure. Gallery feels loyal to Cable and credits him for reviving his career.
It was also reported that Al's decision to axe Cable made Gallery's decision to stay in Oakland a whole lot tougher.
Well, cry me a F'n river! Are you kidding?
This guy got paid over $60 million to play left guard!
Where is the loyalty to Al Davis? How about your teammates? How about Raider Nation?
Verdict: Easy one, good riddance. I'll live with Daniel Loper or, even better, Logan Mankins.
Nnamdi Asomugha, CB
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
Is this the year that Raiders fans' worst fears come true?
Could Nnamdi be gone in 2011?
Not a chance. So rest easy Nnamdi "Awsome-One" is going to be in silver and black for at least one more season. Here's a few reasons:
1) Nnamdi's contract is ridiculous, I'm no contract genius, but here's a rundown on the logistics via Wikipedia. Check it out:
"The first two years, worth $28.5 million, are fully guaranteed. In the third year of the contract, if Oakland wants to keep Asomugha, it must pay him the average of the top five highest-paid quarterbacks or $16.875 million, whichever is higher. If the Raiders fail to pick up the option, Asomugha will become a free agent with Oakland not having the ability to tag him again." (Source Wikipedia)
2) Al Davis loves his cornerbacks.
I seriously believe Al walks around with a "I have the best cornerback in the league." T-shirt under that Raiders jumpsuit.
Sure, Al gave up on Charles Woodson a few years back, but if you remember, Woodson was battling injuries and seemed to be on the decline. Who knew he would have a career resurgence in Green Bay.
Anyway, as I was saying, Nnamdi will get that QB money and remain in Oakland. Although, I am one of the few Raiders fans who believes trading Nnamdi would be beneficial. Call me crazy.
Verdict: Please stay (so we can trade you to the Pats for draft picks and/or Logan Mankins).
Richard Seymour, DT
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Mr. X is going to get paid this offseason, no doubt.
The monster inside has become the true leader of not only the defense, but the entire Raiders team. I still think the first-round pick was a little steep, but you can't complain with production.
Richard Seymour was tagged last season, and opted to sign a one-year deal worth $12 million for 2010.
Now Raiders fans all have high hopes and feel comfortable that Seymour will sign a long-term deal this offseason, but wait just one minute...
Seymour wasn't exactly excited to play for Oakland when he was initially traded. Furthermore, if Seymour wanted to finish his career in silver and black, then why did he not sign long-term last year?
Also, given his old team's continued success, who's to say Seymour doesn't sign with the Pats for old time's sake.
Despite a great season and a boatload of money, the truth is our most dominant defensive player (sorry, Nnamdi) could be gone.
I'm hoping this isn't true and Al breaks the bank on a three-year deal ensuring Seymour retires a Raider.
Verdict: Please don't go, who will smack Tommy Kelly when he's being fat and lazy?
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
Well, those were some of the big names who might be playing for other teams next season. What do you think?
But before we go, here's my verdicts on a few other names who might find themselves in a crappy uniform next season.
Michael Huff, Verdict: Get the hell out of Oakland!
Shane Lechler, Verdict: Bash Al all you want, buddy. You might be the best punter ever! Yeah, I said It.
Tommy Kelly, Verdict: See Michael Huff.
Samson Satele, Verdict: Would love for him to re-sign, but strictly as a backup.
Cooper Carlisle, Verdict: Thanks, Coop, for your time, but your replacement is ready.
Thomas Howard, Verdict: Good attitude, still useful on special teams. Finish a Raider, Howard.