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Oakland Raiders: Why Al Davis Is Back to His High Spending Ways

Antonio MatosCorrespondent IFebruary 24, 2011

Oakland Raiders: Why Al Davis Is Back to His High Spending Ways

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    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    As we all know, Al Davis is notorious for overspending when it comes to paying his players. We all still remember DeAngelo Hall, Javon Walker, Tommy Kelly and many other.

    It seems to me that while other owners (minus Dan Snyder) are giving out big contracts to elite players in their prime, Al is handing them out to his favorite players, past their prime.

    It looks like Al has changed his ways from overspending in free agency to overspending in house. Contracts need to be handled very carefully, especially without a CBA in place.

    Don't get me wrong, it's a good thing Al is resigning key players. The real question is at what cost?

Richard Seymour

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Richard Seymour was in the top-3 on the priority list for the Raiders. They traded their 2011 1st-round draft pick to New England for his services, so Al wasn't going to let him go that easy. According to sources, he just inked a 2-year contract worth $30 million.

    Does anything look wrong with this picture?

    If I told you that Al was paying a 31-year-old DT close to $15 million a year for 2 years, would you think he was crazy? Essentially, Al is paying Seymour the equivalent of being hit with the franchise tag this year and the next.

    That seems to be the norm for Al, as that's what Nnamdi's deal amounted to in the end. No matter how you put it, Al overpaid for Seymour. He will be the league's highest paid defender with this contract. I was hoping for something along the lines of 4 years for around $40 million for his services.

    By comparison, Julius Peppers was the league's highest paid player before this and he has 40.5 more sacks, 29 more forced fumbles and 6 more interceptions than Seymour with one less year in the league.

    Add on the fact that the run defense hasn't made that leap of improvement we had hoped when we first acquired him, and it looks like Al is getting the carpet pulled from underneath.

    In total, we will have paid Seymour approximately $46 million over 4 years.

Stanford Routt

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Good ol' Stanford Routt. If you dig up some of his stats from this year, you'll see that he had a pretty decent year opposite Nnamdi. He still had his occasional flashes, but it was a good year for him.

    Al just gave him a 3-year extension worth $30 million, with $20 million of that guaranteed. By comparison, Champ Bailey just signed a 4 year, $43 million deal. Champ will make $1 million more a year than Routt, despite being a top-5 corner for the past 10 years.

    I know they signed him as a potential replacement for Nnamdi but he's not worth top-5 corner money, especially after just 1 good season amongst 6. He's done well as the number 2 corner but how would he fare as the number 1 corner? Because that's the type of money we're paying him.

    I know most people thought that the Raiders could use the money saved by not signing Nnamdi to sign 2-3 quality players. It looks like they spent his money on a #2 corner and a DT who is past his prime. All while Nnamdi is still in his prime and could give a team 3-5 elite years.

    Let's be real, what team was going to pay him almost $10 million a year if he hit free agency? I would've preferred something around the figure of 4 years with about $28 million.

John Henderson

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    John Henderson was part of the DT rotation and played pretty well up until his foot injury. That injury caused him to miss 7 games this season and he didn't seem the same after recovering.

    Al just blessed him with a 2-year contract worth $8 million. That's about $4 million a season for a 3rd/4th DT who is 32-years-old, missed half a season and isn't an every down player. Unless they plan on cutting Kelly, Davis will be paying $25 million next season for Kelly, Seymour & Henderson.

    That figure is pretty high considering we still can't stop the run and they are 30, 31 and 32 each. This is basically a short term solution to our run stopping problems.

    If all 3 play out their respective contracts, we will be needing two starting DT's in about 2 years and possibly a third DT the next year after.

    For Henderson, a 2 year contract worth $5 mil would have been more suitable. It still would've been 2.5x the amount he got paid last year, despite his arguably poor performance.

Zach Miller

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    I know, Zach Miller hasn't received a new contract or been franchised (yet). Unless he does get franchised, I can see Al making him the highest paid TE in the league.

    Al makes at least one player the highest paid in their position every year. As it stands, Vernon Davis holds that distinction at TE with $7.35 million a year, followed by Antonio Gates at $7.23 million & Dallas Clark at $6.96 million.

    In this instance, the difference between the two highest paid TE's is $.12million. Al could offer him $8-9 million a season, despite the fact his best season isn't even statistically close to Davis or Gates best season.

    Don't get it wrong, Miller is a great player and a top 5 TE. He's still young and has at least two more good contracts. If I was Al, I would be thinking a 4 year, $26 million contract.

    He would make a little less than Dallas Clark, but it would set him up for a big contract after. He would be 29 and you could hit him with a 5 year, $40 mil contract.

Conclusion

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    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    While it's a great thing that Al is signing his team back, he has to be careful how he does it. He's dishing out money without a CBA in place, which could come back to bite him later. He's investing heavily in the older players, which are short term options.

    The Raiders don't have many picks in the earlier rounds, so we might have to resort to signing low risk/high reward players in free agency. You can't get quality free agents if you're overspending on your own players.

    It looks like Al is intent on winning now, which would explain the short term contracts with big money. Only the test of time will show if Al is making the right moves.

    What do you think Raider Nation? Are these contracts worth it?

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