Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

March 4, 2008
Rolling the dice

The Raiders finally paid attention to offense in free agency.

Six years, $55 million, $16 million guaranteed: the sum reportedly going to be paid to Javon Walker.

Three years, $16 million: How much Kwame Harris will reportedly be paid by the Raiders.

If those figures hold up, one thing the Raiders can’t be called is cheap.

But the Raiders can also be called gamblers.

Walker is a big upgrade IF his knee is fine. He missed eight games last season and tore his ACL in 2005.

Denver cut him in part to save paying him a bonus. If he’s right, Walker is the Raiders' best receiver since Tim Brown in his prime (Jerry Rice was great, but that wasn’t the best of Rice).

Walker would give the Raiders a legitmate No. 1 receiver with great size (6-3, 215) and speed.

He just needs to stay healthy.

Walker exiting Denver after two seasons might be good for his psyche, too.

In case you forgot, Walker was with late Denver cornerback Darrent Williams, when he was shot and killed. Williams died as Walker held him.

I won’t pretend to be a psychologist, but it couldn’t have been easy to play last season following the tragedy.

As for Harris, the move across the Bay is a chance for redemption.

Labeled a disappointment in San Francisco, Harris will play for Tom Cable, who some would call a miracle worker.

Cable did an outstanding job with the Raiders' offensive line last season. Perhaps Harris will fulfill some of the promise he showed out of Stanford.

He’d better. After all, he’ll be charged with protecting another first overall draft pick, JaMarcus Russell.

If these gambles on offense don’t pay off, Russell could be the most affected.

But you can’t say the Raiders aren’t trying.

--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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