Oakland Raiders: 20 Players Hue Jackson Should Consider Getting Rid Of
With Tom Cable out and Hue Jackson in as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, the former offensive coordinator has a few personnel decisions to make.
While the team has greatly improved, there is still room for the Raiders to get better.
Jackson will have to decide which players to keep, which to bench or start and which to let go. It will not be an easy offseason for the new head man.
Let's have a look at the players Jackson should seriously consider getting rid of to improve the team even further.
The first player that should be shown the door is right guard Cooper Carlisle.
Carlisle has been, and continues to be, the worst starting offensive lineman in the league. His performances lack effort, production and heart.
Daniel Loper has been better in every opportunity he's been given. It's time to see if he or athletic freak Bruce Campbell can help the team at the right guard spot.
The fact is, the two young guys can't possibly be any worse than Carlisle.
Mario Henderson had his chance to prove himself, failed miserably and was replaced by a rookie from a Div-II school.
Langston Walker has been a decent player for Oakland over the years.
However, the time has come for him to be let go.
Walker was never a great starter or an integral part of the Raiders' success. He worked well as a stop-gap player in 2010, but was never going to be the "answer" at right tackle.
Once again, it's time for Walker to move on and allow younger players like Bruce Campbell and Khalif Barnes to have their opportunity to shine.
Samson Satele is a player that leaves me scratching my head. One play I think, "Wow! What a great play." The next, "Is he even trying?"
I guess inconsistent is the right word.
Satele has improved over the last two seasons, but not enough to justify letting him continue as the starter. At the moment however, he's the only center on the team.
Therefore, Satele should only be let go if there is a suitable replacement ready to step up.
Can USC rookie Alex Parsons be that guy? Is there a college player out there who can get the job done? Will there be any free agents available at the right price?
Only time will tell.
Rock Cartwright is versatile, has a good veteran presence in the locker room and is a solid special teams player.
But he has been hampered by injury and failed to provide the depth at running back he was assigned to do.
With the breakout of Darren McFadden, the excellent work by Michael Bush and the draft likely containing younger, less expensive backs, the Raiders should say goodbye to Cartwright.
Michael Bennett was brought to Oakland to be an experienced leader and to spell Darren McFadden when a speedy back is required.
Bennett never fully delivered and is costing the team money and salary cap room without being very productive.
Much like Cartwright in the previous slide, McFadden and Bush have the running back spot well in hand and the team would be better served by having a younger, less expensive back on the third string.
WR-Johnnie Lee Higgins
Johnnie Lee Higgins showed a lot of potential when the Raiders drafted him in the third round of the 2007 draft.
Unfortunately for Raider fans, Higgins has not been worth the pick.
Dropped passes, laziness when making cuts on his routes, a ton of fumbles on kick returns and bad reads have caused Higgins to serve no other purpose than to take up a roster spot.
The wide receiver position is one of the weakest on the team and the improvement in this area should begin with unloading some dead weight—starting with Higgins.
Once again, the wide receiver position needs a lot of dead weight removed. Shaun Bodiford is more of that dead weight.
Bodiford has been on the practice squad for several seasons now, but hasn't actually played in a regular-season game since he was a Packer in 2007.
If a player can't get off the practice squad in a season or two, it's likely he never will.
It's time to make room for players that have more upside and legitimate shot at making an impact.
This one pains me, but the fact is, Nick Miller is not going to be used properly in Hue Jackson's offensive philosophy.
Undersized body, oversized heart.
Miller is quick and elusive more than fast and has good hands and a big heart. He just never got the opportunity to be successful in Oakland.
Miller could be very productive in a Wes Welker-type role. Short, quick screen passes that get him the ball in space would work well for him.
Obviously, Hue Jackson feels this type of receiver will not fit in his system as he had an entire season to use Miller in this way and failed to do so.
I would like to see Miller stay, but not if he is going to be forced into situations he's not suited for. In this case, the Raiders should part ways with this promising young player.
Chris Johnson has bounced from team to team, never really performing up to his potential or physical talent.
Johnson had every opportunity to prove his worth to the team, but has failed far more often than he has succeeded.
With the improved play of Stanford Routt and the continued growth of young players like Jeremy Ware and Walter McFadden, Johnson's services are no longer required.
Picked up as an emergency player, J.T. O'Sullivan has given nothing to the Raiders.
With Jason Campbell coming around and the need for the team to get "the quarterback of the future," there is no room on the roster for O'Sullivan.
Let's move on, shall we?
In five appearances for the Raiders in 2010, Kyle Boller mustered a passer rating of just 30.2.
This is all most people need to know to realize that Boller is not worthy of a quarterback's salary, or even a roster spot.
Boller is here for one reason—he has a history with Hue Jackson.
People have criticized Tom Cable for "playing favorites." We're going to see if Hue Jackson will do the same for his back-up quarterback from Baltimore.
Truthfully, Ricky Brown played far better as a role player and special teamer than I ever expected.
That said, it's still time for him to leave.
Brown had a chance to be the starting middle linebacker at one point. As usual, he was injured almost immediately.
This has been his story from the beginning.
A decent play, followed by a horrible one, followed by an injury of some kind. Brown is simply too inconsistent and too fragile to offer anything meaningful to the team.
In 10 years, Sam Williams has failed to get even close to living up to his potential.
Basically, missing tackles and misdiagnosing plays are his strengths.
Raider fans have been frustrated to see him on the roster for years now.
It's time to cut this unproductive player loose.
Players To Consider Letting Go Conditionally
Chaz Schilens: Schilens has the potential to be a solid No. 1 receiver, but can't stay healthy. If he can't prove he can take the abuse, the Raiders should make room for someone who can.
Tyvon Branch: Branch is a great tackler, but breaks down fundamentally and is not very good in coverage. If his cover skills aren't markedly better, he should be traded so Mike Mitchell can get his shot.
Michael Huff: Huff had a great season, but still can't tackle a running back in a phone booth—much less in the open field. If his tackling doesn't improve, trading him for a draft pick might be a good idea.
Players You May Think I Forgot About
Darius Heyward-Bey: Heyward-Bey conjured up some very positive feedback about his progress in the offseason. Unfortunately, it never carried over to the field. However, he is still very young. With the right coaching he can be productive, but never spectacular.
Hiram Eugene: Eugene is not a great cover guy or tackler. However, he is an excellent special teams player. That, in and of itself, justifies him a roster spot in my estimation.
Robert Gallery: Gallery has the potential to be one of the best offensive linemen in the game, but injuries and inconsistency constantly get in the way. If he can't be on the field every down and make every play, he does the team no good.
There It Is...
Hue Jackson has a lot of work to do evaluating players, talking to scouts and setting up his own system for running the Oakland Raiders.
None of it will be easy, and the time he has to do it is shorter than you may think.
The decisions Jackson makes between now and training camp will make or break the Raiders' future.
Make the right calls and the Raiders continue to improve. Make the wrong ones and the Raiders return to the cellar, the fans rebel, and Raider Nation suffers...again!
So, what do you think? Who did I forget? Who did I add that shouldn't be there? Let me hear what you have to say in the comments.