Losing Robert Gallery, however, will not hurt the Oakland Raiders. In fact, they may actually prosper by picking up a guard in the NFL draft or through free agency.
Gallery was drafted in 2004. As the second overall pick in the NFL draft, Gallery signed a seven-year contract with the Oakland Raiders. From the start it appeared that Gallery would be a bust as he was often burned by the defense and the QB was hurried or sacked.
While Gallery has improved, his asking price is much higher than what he should be paid. Recently, Gallery had been seeking $8 million from the Oakland Raiders. Al Davis didn't bother to look into his check book as he and the Silver and Black were thinking $2.5 million, which is about Gallery's worth.
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It appears that rookie Bruce Campbell will take over for Robert Gallery. Campbell was selected in the fourth round of the 2010 Draft by the Oakland Raiders (106th pick overall). He looks solid, and should do well in the running game.
Campbell will surprise a lot of fans. Weighing in around 315 lbs, the 6' 6" lineman is a beast, and when moving forward he can help set the run tone for RB Darren McFadden.
On special teams last season, Campbell took on multiple speedy defenders and opened holes in space. He is also quick to set the edge. During his tenure at Maryland, he did a great job jamming opponents with heavy hands and was quick to reset when pass rushers attempted to slap his hands away.
The Oakland Raiders could possibly pick up another OL from the NFL draft this year or pick up a veteran that has proven talent. It's very unfortunate that many first rounders are handed huge amounts of money, only to be a bust at the professional levels (a.k.a. JaMarcus Russell). Yet, there are some stellar players in the draft, so it will be exciting to see who the Raiders pick up next.
As for veterans, Logan Mankins would have been perfect for the task, however the New England Patriots franchised him earlier this season. Mankins wanted a huge contract and it wasn't likely Al Davis would go after him.
It appears that the Raiders are working to keep a lot of last season's players. The team was on the verge of a playoff run, however there were issues at QB and that may have hindered their efforts last season.
Many players have been resigned (Richard Seymour, Kamerion Wimbley, Tyvon Branch, Stanford Routt, etc.). On the rookie side, Mike Mitchell, Rolando McClain and Jacoby Ford are budding superstars and their futures are looking extremely bright in Oakland, California.
Of course there is also the Asomugha free agency issue. In all likelihood, Al Davis will pay to keep the best in Oakland.
The Oakland Raiders have made some extreme decisions, yet every one of them seems correct thus far. This team should have no problem taking the AFC West Championship. The focus in Oakland will have to be defeating teams such as the New England Patriots. That's a game this writer will definitely be attending.
Go Raiders, and welcome Bruce Campbell to the starting lineup!
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