Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 17, 2009
CJ's big raise

After making $520,000 in base salary last season, cornerback Chris Johnson will make $2 million in base salary in first year of his new contract.

Johnson signed his four-year deal last week.

Johnson is scheduled to earn $2.6 million, $3.2 million and $3.5 million in base salary in the following three seasons.

Not bad considering Johnson, 29, was out of the NFL in 2006.

Johnson took over for DeAngelo Hall, who was waived after eight games. Hall made $8 million for his eight games.

*The economy has hit the newspaper business. So while Matt Barrows spent a few days at the Senior Bowl, there will be no NFL Combine for me this year.

But here's what the Raiders should be looking for this week while I drive myself crazy by taking the time to watch college kids sprint, jump and lift weights on television.

Offensive linemen

The Raiders need help at tackle. It wouldn't surprise me if the Raiders try to find a starting right tackle early in the first two rounds of April's draft, assuming Mario Henderson isn't moved to that spot.

Raiders coach Tom Cable wasn't happy with how Cornell Green was playing at various points near the end of the 2008 season, but Cable said he had no other options.

The team also needs to look at the interior of the offensive line. Right guard Cooper Carlisle and center Jake Grove are free agents.

At center, the Raiders could go with John Wade, who is due to make $1.5 million in 2009 and groom a center to take over in 2010.

Wide receiver

There's Chaz Schilens, Johnnie Lee Higgins and ...?

There's no telling what the Raiders will do with Javon Walker. Ronald Curry and his $3.5 million base salary could be released any day now.

Linebacker

Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison are both in the last year of their contracts. So the Raiders, who already had depth issues at linebacker, might need to find the eventual replacement to one or both.

Cornerback

Stanford Routt is in the last year of his deal. And barring a long-term deal, Nnamdi Asomugha could be franchised this week and leave after 2009.

--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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