Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

December 20, 2006
Moss and Porter: Are they history?

Question: What are the chances that the Raiders trade both Randy Moss and Jerry Porter during the offseason? Also, what kind of value can the Raiders get for them and what are the salary cap implications? It would be interesting to see if trading these two players could help in bringing in talent to improve the offensive line.

- Derek Walker, Littleton, Colo.

Answer: Porter is almost guaranteed not to be back. His situation has been a distraction, partly because the Raiders refused to play him and didn’t trade him. His value in a trade has been hurt because of all the problems he’s had with the Raiders. Teams will offer less attractive packages, such as fifth-, sixth- or seventh-round draft choices, assuming the Raiders want to dump him. The Raiders would take a salary cap hit if they just cut Porter, but would likely move him to get whatever they can.

Moss is a different story. He makes a lot of money and will entering his 10th season in 2007. It’s not often receivers with that many years in the NFL are dealt, especially when they are scheduled to make nearly $10 million next season.

Plus, player-for-player trades are rare in the NFL. So the Raiders would likely have to trade for a draft choice and take an offensive lineman to help that unit. With rookies starting at both guard spots, it wouldn’t be a shock to see the Raiders look for another veteran rather than add another young lineman. Coach Art Shell won’t address any changes right now.

- Jason Jones

December 20, 2006
Let Walter play out season

Question: With only a few games left in the season, why would Brooks be starting? Most likely he won't be back because of the money and his performance, so why not let Walter play the rest of the season? They are both very close on their stats; the big difference is that at least the rookie Walter won two games. It may not have looked good but a win is a win, and this so called veteran Brooks has not done anything.

- Doug Arbour, Pompano Beach, Fla.

Answer: The reason Brooks is starting is because the Raiders believe he gives them the best chance to win. I know, they’ve been out of the playoff race for months, but problems on offense limit what Walter can do. He isn’t mobile, which leaves him open to be beat up behind a shaky offensive line. And the coaching staff had to cutback the playbook in order to play Walter, something they don’t have to do with Brooks. And in the Raiders two wins, some would argue the Raiders won in spite of Walter and the offense, not because of him.

- Jason Jones

December 15, 2006

Question: I agree with what you said about Raiders being a competent offense away from 8-8 next year. Historically, they have focused on having a premier offensive line behind where unheralded players such as Hubbard, Van Eghan, my grandmother etc. could be effective. How would you fix the O-line? Are there going to be any competent free-agent LTs? I would put Gallery back at RT, trade down with our No. 1 pick and focus on getting two good offensive lineman in picks 1-4. I would look to replace Grove and Walker and start Sims, Boothe and Gallery. What are your thoughts?
-- Jonathan Mayhew

Answer: If I had the answer to that, I’d probably be the offensive coordinator, not John Shoop. The Raiders won’t be able to sign a franchise left tackle because those players are usually tagged "franchise players" by their teams and never become free agents.

What I would do is look at adding more size at center and find tackles that are not only good athletes (a quality everyone trumpets about Robert Gallery and Langston Walker) and find two guys who play with a mean streak. The Raiders need an aggressive leader for this group. Left guards like Steve Hutchinson and Larry Allen were available last year, but the Raiders didn’t make a run at them. Both would have been good leaders and helped Gallery.

But here’s what’s likely to happen. Robert Gallery will stay at left tackle because in spite of his struggles, the Raiders won’t concede he is a bust without letting play on the left side for another year. The Raiders are intent on playing rookie Paul McQuistan at left guard the rest of the season, meaning Barry Sims and the $13.3 million in guaranteed money he is owed for the next three season is likely gone after this season. Jake Grove will stay at center and Kevin Boothe has earned the chance to stay at right guard. Langston Walker could become a free agent and leave after this season, making right tackle a spot that might have to be filled.
-- Jason Jones

Question: Rumors have it that Al Davis wants to sell the Raiders for $740,000,000. It this only a rumor?
-- Bob Bevill, Denver

Answer: That would definitely qualify as a rumor. There have also been rumblings Davis would like to sell a portion of the team, but the Raiders haven’t substantiated that talk, either. Many of these rumors have to do with the state of Al Davis’ health. He is 77, but those around him say he is limited physically, but is as sharp as ever mentally. Davis no longer attends practices but comes to the facility in the evening to watch film. And he’s still coaching up players in the locker room after games.
-- Jason Jones

December 6, 2006
Bench Randy Moss

Question: Do you think that Randy Moss's comments regarding being disinterested in the game leads to dropped passes should lead to an automatic benching. How can you have a team leader basically make a statement that he will only play hard if he is interested?

John Sewell, Encino, Calif.

Answer: I would not be opposed to that. When a team captain says that and stays in the lineup, I think it sets a bad precedent. In a season where discipline and accountability are things Art Shell has stressed, I don’t know how a team captain can make statements like that and stay on the field, especially when Jerry Porter has spent most of the season ostracized because of his attitude. Keeping a player like that on the field when he’s voiced his lack of interest is not good for team morale.

- Jason Jones

December 6, 2006
Can Moss and Brooks be effective?

Question: Do you think if John Shoop can get this offense to score and be effective, that Aaron Brooks and Randy Moss could be a dangerous combination in the 2007 season? Considering Randy starts to play like he gives a damn, and he realizes what he has here in Oakland this year well enough to want to stay here. Also, in your opinion, if the Raiders were able to show much more offensive improvement these next few weeks, where do you see Oakland in the 2007-08 season?

- Anthony, Landover, Md.

Answer: First, regardless of what Shoop does, the Raiders would need to decide Brooks would be back. He signed a two-year contract, but the Raiders could cut ties with him and decide to go with Andrew Walter to start the 2007 season. But working under the assumption that Brooks and Moss are back, the two could be a dangerous combo if the Raiders offensive line is vastly improved and Moss is motivated. When the line is bad and Moss is unhappy, you get what you’ve seen this season. If the Raiders offense was just mediocre next season, they would win at least eight games. A defense with pass rushers like Derrick Burgess could be the best in the NFL if given the chance to play with a lead.

- Jason Jones

About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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