ALAMEDA – I addressed the news of Lane Kiffin’s press conference.
Now onto the rumors that always follow the Raiders.
Running back Dominic Rhodes has been rumored to be cut by the team. Kiffin said he told Rhodes that he’s talked to no one about releasing him.
Fox and ESPN reported the Raiders didn’t want to release Rhodes and risk Denver (Mike Shanahan) or Tampa Bay (Jon Gruden) picking him up.
Kiffin hasn’t lied to me and I have no reason to believe he’s lying when he says he hasn’t looked into cutting Rhodes.
But that doesn’t mean owner Al Davis hasn’t been on the phone, seeing if there are any teams that would claim Rhodes.
That’s all rumor. The fact is for a two year, $7.5 million contract, Rhodes is a part-time kicker returner for the Raiders.
I know the Raiders return game has been lacking, but that’s a lot of money for a return man that hasn’t carried the ball at running back in two of the three games he’s played in.
Well, he did run once against San Diego, but a penalty killed the play.
Rhodes was good enough to carry the load in the Super Bowl for Indianapolis, but can’t win the kick returner job outright from Chris Carr outright as a Raider.
Only $1 million of Rhodes’ deal is guaranteed. He forfeited 4/17 of his base salary with his four-game suspension for violating the NFL substance abuse policy.
Rhodes can help the offense. If the team doesn’t add any more receivers, he could line up wide and give the Raiders some help in the passing game.
Maybe he can break a long run to spark the offense.
But until further notice, he’s a part-time kick returner.
No wonder he had nothing to say today. I can’t imagine he’s happy.
*Kiffin was noncommittal as to whether the Raiders would keep Andrew Walter on the roster. The team is comfortable with JaMarcus Russell as the third quarterback and with needs at receiver, it seems odd the team would hold up a roster spot with Walter.
Then again, if the Raiders eventually activate Michael Bush, he could take Walter’s spot.
But don’t be surprised if Walter is still a Raider at the end of the season.
And with Rhodes waiting his turn, Bush would only add to a crowded backfield.