Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

March 5, 2008
A moment of clarity

The Raiders have been mocked and scorned nationally for their spending in free agency.

The last two deals, WR Javon Walker and OT Kwame Harris, have raised questions just about why the Raiders are wasting money.

In case you missed it, the Raiders were reported to have given Walker a six-year deal worth up to $55 million, $16 million guaranteed.

In the case of Harris, he was reported to have received a three-year deal worth up to $16 million.

The key words, however, are "up to."

So instead of ripping the team for spending money, lets look at how these deals impact the Raiders.

From the Raiders’ perspective, Harris has a one-year deal worth $3 million, with two option years that would make it a $14 million deal. If Harris reaches playing incentives, he’d earn an additional $2 million in year three.

But if things don’t work out, the Raiders can part ways with Harris after 2008. But the belief is Harris, 25, can reach his potential playing for offensive line coach Tom Cable after an uneven stint with the 49ers.

The team has talked to Harris about playing left tackle, where he’d replace Barry Sims.

As for Walker, he’ll receive a $6 million bonus and salary of $5 million in each of the next two seasons to account for the guaranteed amount that has been reported.

So the Raiders see it as a two-year deal for $16 million.


Chances are if Walker plays like the Pro Bowl receiver he’s been, he’d get a new deal before year three, assuming all is well between the union and owners.

--Jason Jones

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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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