Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

December 27, 2008
Revisiting the Gruden deal

TAMPA BAY - That the Raiders essentially traded Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for two players and cash still irks many Raider fans.

What did the Raiders get for Gruden?

In 2003, the Raiders used the Bucs' first-round pick on defensive lineman Tyler Brayton.

Brayton spent five seasons with the Raiders. He has 4.5 sacks this season for Carolina. He had six sacks with the Raiders including none in his last two seasons.

Brayton was always praised for being a hard worker, but the Raiders never knew what position to play him at. He was tried at defensive end, defensive tackle and outside linebacker.

After starting his first 31 games in Oakland, Brayton started only 13 of his last 32 games.

The Raiders used a second-round pick from the Bucs in 2004 on center Jake Grove. He was expected to anchor the offensive line along with Robert Gallery for years.

Grove split time between center and guard for two seasons before moving to center full-time in 2006. That season turned out to be detrimental to his body as he'd only play in seven games the following season and needed knee surgery.

Grove has missed four games this season because of a calf injury. He can become a free agent this offseason.

Who got the better of the deal? That's easy.

Gruden beat the Raiders to win Super Bowl XXXVII and has led the Bucs to three NFC South titles.

The Raiders have been one of the worst teams in football since 2003 and face the possibility of watching Grove join Brayton as being a productive player on another team.

*Because of the holiday and traveling yesterday (and being stuck at an airport and arriving at my hotel at 2 a.m.) I didn't realize stories from Friday and Saturday aren't showing up on the Raiders portion of The Bee web site.

I'll contact the powers that be on that. Here's the injury report you can't find on my site right now:

Defensive end Kalimba Edwards (wrist) will not play this week. Wide receiver Ronald Curry (turf toe) is doubtful. Listed as questionable are cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (neck), running back Darren McFadden (ankle) and cornerback Stanford Routt (groin). Running back Justin Fargas (neck) is probable.

Linebacker Ricky Brown (groin) was placed on injured reserve. Fullback Marcel Reece was promoted from the practice squad to fill Brown's spot on the 53-man roster.

Asomugha didn't practice this week but the Raiders are hoping his stiff neck loosens up in the next 24 hours.

Routt and Chris Johnson would start if Asomugha doesn't play.

--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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