Oakland Raiders Finally Have Their Stars Aligned

Bill HintonCorrespondent IJune 16, 2010

DENVER - DECEMBER 20:  Chaz Schilens #81 of the Oakland Raiders is congratulated by Javon Walker (L) after scoring a touchdown late in the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Invesco Field at Mile High on December 20, 2009 in Denver, Colorado. The Raiders defeated the Broncos 20-19. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Every day I seem to wake up and hear something that could have a positive effect for the Raiders season in 2010.

I was already optimistic about the Raiders getting off to a good start this year for many reasons: The schedule is kind, and may get even more kind if there is a Chris Johnson holdout or Vince Young suspension come week one in Nashville.

With the Rams, Cardinals and Texans on tap for the next three games, you have a rookie QB, no Kurt Warner, Karlos Dansby or Anquan Boldin, and a suspended Brian Cushing.

4-0 seems very possible!

Now for the news that made me feel even better today. It seems as though the San Diego Chargers feel they can win without their best receiver and starting left tackle.

According to a report I watched on the NFL Network this morning, Vincent Jackson and Marcus McNeill have not signed their tenders.

What this means is that if they were to not be able to work out extensions the players would have to play the season for $600,000. Or they could wait until week 11 and get $200,000 and not lose the year of service time.

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It appears as though both the Chargers and the players are willing to roll the dice and see who blinks first.

Whatever the outcome, this is again a positive happening for the Oakland Raiders. Even if the Chargers do manage to get both these guys in the fold, the distraction and resentment is sure to have a negative effect on the team.

Meanwhile, in Raiderland, the team has shown a unity and focus not seen in a long time. The AFC West is changing right before our eyes.

The Chargers are showing those little signs of disfunction that will eventually snowball. The Broncos are a complete mess under Josh McDaniels, who is trying to be the smartest guy in the room rather than going with what has been proven to work.

Only the Chiefs have had even close to as good an off-season as the Raiders. Make no mistake, they will be better, but they are too far away for it to matter in 2010.

The stars are starting to align. It seems to get better every day. I wonder what good news we'll hear in the morning? 

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