Will losing Huff and Asomugha leave Oakland down and out?
Things are currently looking a little bleak for the Raider Nation
Oakland has not renewed the contract of Tom Cable and have not appointed anyone new, so they currently do not have a head coach. Offensive coordinator Hue Jackson is rumored to be the head coach-in-waiting but his first move of the offseason was to interview for the head coaching role at the 49ers.
The Raiders are currently sending three players to this year's Pro Bowl and TE Zach Miller will hopefully make it four. Of these, P Shane Lechler has been very critical of the owner over letting Tom Cable go, while DT Richard Seymour, CB Nnamdi Asomugha and Miller are all free agents.
The Oakland Raiders had the 11th best defense in football in 2010 but key starters of that unit will be hitting the free agency market: DT Richard Seymour, LB Kamerion Wimbley, FS Michael Huff, CBs Stanford Routt and Nnamdi Asomugha.
The Silver-and-Black offense was much improved, scoring the sixth most points in the NFL this year. The success of the offense was based on running the ball straight down the gut. However all of the starting interior linemen are on the market (Guards Robert Gallery and Cooper Carlisle and center Samson Satele).
Is Al Davis a genius?
The Raiders finished the season with Michael Bush running over the Kansas City Chiefs and yet he is another out of contract player.
It should also be remembered that the Raiders do not have a first round pick in the 2011 Draft.
In summary, Oakland has no head coach, an offensive coordinator who is talking to other teams, a full-house of out-of-contract or disgruntled pro bowlers, veteran leaders hitting free agency across the board and no first round draft pick.
Which ever way you look at this it is not an ideal situation. From this distance out, the 2011 Raiders will look a whole lot different to last season's edition.
So what are the Raiders left with? RB Darren McFadden, QB Jason Campbell and some young but inexperienced wide-outs on offense. On defense the Raiders boast ILB Rolando McClain and some impressive D-linemen.
Of course, the elephant in the room is the ongoing re-working of the Collective Bargaining Agreement. With owners and players not able to agree on finance, there could be changes to free agency and the possibility of a lockout. Nobody quite knows what will happen.
Has Al Davis manipulated the situation perfectly, so he doesn't have too many players under contract? If the free agency rules are removed, does this give Davis more scope to weave his magic?
Or is this a nightmare scenario, where Oakland is likely to lose the heart-and-sole of their team and will be looking yet again to rebuild under a rookie head coach?
One thing is for sure, this is likely to be the busiest offseason in more than a decade.