A Not So Quiet Offseason for the Oakland Raiders

Tommy TurreyContributor IMarch 23, 2009

It's so funny how the media still bashes the Raiders even when things are all quiet on the so-called "Western Front."  On ESPN's first take last week the host referenced about all the dysfunction that is the Raiders and I guess the comments were based on the past especially during the Lance/Lame era and not the present or the future.

You would think a reporter or commentator would research before making such comments but most of the so called "experts" suffer from what I like to diagnose as "Raiderhater-itis" it a little known mental condition. 

Even when the Raiders are terrible they still manage to be the team you love to hate and I would hate to see all the haters when we start winning, because they just might kill us with kindness.

To the outsider this is a very quiet off season in Oaktown, but to the actual followers of the Silver and Black who have been through the good times and of late; the bad times.  It has been a very productive and busy time away from the football field this year, unlike years before especially last year.

The Raiders have signed 12, count them 12 players and the most notably the re-signings of Nnamdi Asomugha, Shane Lechler, Chris Johnson and Justin Miller.  Then acquired key offensive linemen Khalif Barnes, Erik Pears, and just recently ex-Dolphin center Samson Satele, who can shift to either guard position if necessary.

There is a trend starting to emerge here folks and that is stability moving through the youth movement.  Al is finally saying "NO" to over used and priced free agents like Haynesworth and T.O. 

Now most haters will say it's because we are still taking on cap hits from DeAngelo Hall and Gibril Wilson.  It might be true and I will agree that D. Hall was bad from day one and I was upset like most when Wilson was cut, but not before he refused to re-structure his contract like Tommy Kelly, Robert Gallery, Javon Walker, and Justin Fargas.

Al Davis and Tom Cable can co-exist with each other and it's because Cable wants guys with a team first attitude and Cable is not avoiding Davis like others in the past(Norvel and Lance) 

It's obvious the communication lines are open, for example when Cable was all excited about signing Khalif Barnes, then master Yoda, I mean Al Davis had to teach his Padawan that patience would be instrumental in signing the free agent from Jacksonville.

Al was able to wait out the market on the big "O" lineman and convinced Barnes to sign a thrifty one-year contract with practically no strings attached.

The most important factor on the Barnes contract is if he is "performance worthy", then the Raiders can re-sign him to any dollar amount next season when the salary cap disappears in 2010.

In a time when our economy is still struggling and less is becoming more, the Raiders have managed to build a solid foundation without big names.  Then the Raiders remained loyal and were able to reward the players they drafted in the past who were part of the original blue prints.

Its not the loud bang you would usually expect, but a nice solid thump that will be felt  for years to come.  This makes the upcoming draft a bonus as we will add even more youth and depth to the greatness of the Oakland Raiders.

Keep that Raider faith...


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