"Holding. No. 76, offense."
This was a recurring phrase uttered at Texas/Cowboys Stadium over the last dozen seasons. Flozell Adams was one of, if not the most penalized offensive linemen in the game during his tenure with the Dallas Cowboys.
That said, there are some advantages to signing him. He is a big, physical left tackle with a reputation for having a mean streak. He pass blocks as well as he run blocks. These are traits the Raiders desperately need.
Adams' presence would open up competition between Khalif Barnes, Langston Walker, and Mario Henderson for the right to start at the right tackle position. We all know that competition is the best way to get the most out of any player.
The biggest hole on Oakland's offensive line is at the critical left tackle position.
Henderson played pretty well, but Adams is an experienced Pro Bowler at that very spot. His experience and high level of play will drastically improve the offense, and give the young quarterbacks some much needed confidence that their blind side will be adequately protected.
This, more than anything, will help develop the careers of both Bruce Gradkowski and JaMarcus Russell. It will also give any rookie tackle the Raiders draft in April a proven player from whom to learn his craft.
However, the most valuable thing Adams would give the Raiders is options on draft day.
Signing Adams would mean that Al Davis won't have to get a starting tackle in the draft. He can spend the eighth overall pick to bolster the defensive front seven, and get the "tackle of the future" in the second round, or even later.
Another option his signing would open up is completing the rumored trade for Eagles' quarterback Donovan McNabb. If Davis really wants to pull this off, having a proven left tackle would be a huge selling feature.
Pulling the trigger on that trade would mean Oakland would have to give up the 39th overall pick. Having Flozell on the team would afford the time it takes to get a third- or fourth-round player up to speed and ready to start.
Let's assume the Raiders sign Adams and trade for McNabb. The Raiders could take the best defensive player available with the eighth pick, the best available defensive player in the third round, and finish the draft by creating depth on the offensive line, both at tackle and guard.
Let's now assume Oakland gets Rolando McClain at No. 8, Geno Atkins or Lamarr Houston with the 69th pick, and guard Dennis Landolt or tackle Charles Brown with the 106th overall pick. That would provide two starters at critical defensive positions, and create much needed depth on the offensive line.
Without Adams in the mix, Davis will be almost required to take an offensive tackle with the eighth pick, and lesser defensive players with the 69th and 106th picks. This scenario would not improve either side of the ball as much as signing Adams would.
Now, if Oakland signs Adams, but does not trade for McNabb, it could be even better for the team. This would mean that you have a Pro-Bowl player at left tackle, and the ability to get the same quality of defensive player at No. 8, and an even better defensive player with the 39th pick.
It would also mean beginning the task of creating offensive line depth could begin in the third round, instead of the fourth round. This option makes a lot of sense because it addresses all of the team's needs—left tackle, defensive tackle, and middle linebacker—earlier in the draft. That means a better shot at getting starters.
However, I am well aware that signing Flozell Adams is not without risk. He is a volatile personality that doesn't always follow team rules. He would also be pretty expensive, but there is no salary cap in 2010. That would give the team some time to free up cap space by restructuring contracts and cutting some dead weight.
As I stated earlier, he gets called for more than his fair share of penalties. Holding, false-starts, and personal fouls are all a part of his repertoire. In his defense, most of those personal fouls are due to protecting his teammates, especially his quarterback, another trait the Raiders really need.
But, I ask you, when has any of this ever stopped Al Davis from signing a player?
What do you say Raider Nation? Let me hear you!