Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

March 2, 2009
Grove reportedly close to becoming a former Raider

The Raiders could be without their starting center in 2009.

Free agent Jake Grove is reportedly visiting the Miami Dolphins today and is said to be close to reaching an agreement on a contract.

Grove was a second-round pick of the Raiders in 2004. Grove bounced back from microfracture surgery to win the starting job last year.

Should Grove leave, John Wade would become the starting center. Wade started four games last year when Grove was sidelined by a calf injury.

*The National Football Post reports the Raiders are interested in making a deal for St. Louis offensive tackle Orlando Pace, who is reportedly on the trading block along with wide receiver Torry Holt.

The Raiders would have loved to have been the team to draft Pace out of Ohio State in 1997. But after the Raiders had moved up to No. 2 in the first round, the Rams jumped ahead of the Raiders to get the first pick and select Pace.

The Raiders settled for defensive tackle Darrell Russell.

Pace is a seven-time Pro Bowl pick. He played in 14 games in 2008 after injuries limited him to nine total games in his previous two seasons.

The additon of a player like Pace would probably move Mario Henderson to right tackle or make him the backup tackle on both sides if the team signs another veteran or drafts a player like Andre Smith or Michael Oher and puts him at right tackle.

Meanwhile, the Raiders remain interested in free agent tackles Marvel Smith and Khalif Barnes.

*According to the Dallas Morning News, linebacker Kevin Burnett was scheduled to visit the Raiders today. He'd likely be a backup/special teams player for the Raiders.

*Javon Walker is due a $5 million bonus tomorrow unless he's aggreed to restructure his contract.

And Walker would be crazy to do that, considering the bonus is protected against injury, so he'd get it even if the Raiders cut him. Walker finished the season on injured reserve because of a broken ankle.

--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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