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Oakland Raiders Toss Aside Conventional Wisdom and Give Out Big Money Before the CBA Expires
March 4 is the big day for the NFL. The Raiders have been the busiest lately, and if the Raiders do something other teams aren’t doing, it’s usually the wrong call. Let’s examine these questionable decisions to show why they shouldn’t do this.
Signed DT John Henderson for 2 years for a total of $8 million. He’s had 30 tackles, no sacks or forced fumbles, and he’ll be 32 at the start of the 2011 season. Henderson certainly couldn’t have made that money on the open market, so bad business for the Raiders. He has minimal veterans written all over him. If the NFL has a delayed start, it will be more difficult to bring in free agent players and acclimate them to a new system.
Signed CB Stanford Routt for 3 years and $31.5 million, $20 million guaranteed. This decision shows that Nnamdi Asomugha will not be a Raider next year. Routt is a good young CB who put up some good numbers considering the QBs that are often thrown at him to avoid Asomugha. To compare, 10-time Pro Bowler Champ Bailey signed for 4 years and $43 million, essentially the same dollars a year as Routt. Routt is definitely a level below Bailey and covers for No. 2 receivers. The Raiders should have waited to see if Routt could defend against No. 1s in 2011 before giving him $10 million a year. The top 10 CBs in the NFL get $10 million a year, not the 2 CBs on the depth chart.
Kamerion Wimbley franchisee for $10 million expected next year. Wow, Wimbley better put over 10 sacks next year, or everyone will be laughing that the Raiders paid him over a million dollars per sack. He led the team with 9 sacks in 2010, but he didn’t make $10 million last year. The decision to use the buyout option to keep Wimbley for $3.5m looked great until the NFL ruled it violated base salary rule rising more than 30% in a year . Then they more than doubled his salary with the franchise tag.
Signed Richard Seymour to a 2-year, $30 million deal with the Raiders. Seymour is 31, so it’s good that they haven’t signed him to a long-term contract and burn themselves out if his production drops in his mid-30s. Richard Seymour and Julius Peppers shouldn’t be in the same sentence, but with these deals, they will be.
Still, it’s confusing to see the Raiders sign such expensive contracts with all the uncertainty with the NFL right now. No other team does this for players who aren’t All-Pro team regulars. The Raiders seem to be overvaluing their players and could find themselves in a tough spot depending on what happens with the new CBA if the cap is lowered to reduce the percentage of money players receive.
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