Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

February 26, 2010
Busy week in Raiderland elicits more questions

It was a busy week in Silver and Blackdom.

First, the team announced its first ever feel-good Raidercruise along the Mexican Riviera, which prompted jokes of Charo as a Raiderette.

Then, Randy Hanson followed through on his threat of a civil suit against Tom Cable and the Raiders, in light of the Napa D.A. declining in October to pursue criminal charges against the head coach.

Finally, the Raiders slapped the "exclusive" franchise player tag on Richard Seymour, meaning they have exclusive negotiating rights with the defensive end.

What a week to make a "Chronicle Live" appearance on Tuesday, my annual "pilgrimage" to the alma mater to take in a UNLV hoops game on Wednesday - the Rebels led TCU by as many as 31 points - and then cover Cal's rollercoaster beatdown of Arizona on Thursday (and yes, the Mountain West is far superior to the Pac-10 this season and deserves four teams in the Big Dance to the Pac's one - Cal; be on the lookout for that story the week of the Pac-10 tourney).

Did I mention my laptop melting down so epically it cost me some eight months worth of work files, transcripts, stories, columns, research, etc...? Yeah, it's been that kind of week on this end.

But the biggest news of the week coming from the Raider compound? Of course, the cruise, which prompted a breathless press release.

Seymour being guaranteed a minimum of $12.398 million for the 2010 season - or the average salary of the top-five paid defensive ends in 2010, whichever is higher - merely generated the following on the Raiders' Web Site: "The Oakland Raiders have designated defensive end Richard Seymour their franchise player. Seymour was offered the exclusive tender, which gives the Raiders sole negotiating rights."

That's it.

Of course, there's more to it. Much more. According to Jerry Mac, had the Raiders allowed Seymour to walk as a non-exclusive free agent, he would have been free to shop his services, with the Raiders then having the choice to either match the top offer, or accept a pair of first-round draft choices as compensation.

Remember, the Raiders gave up ONE first-round pick, in 2011, to New England for Seymour, so they could have hauled in TWICE as much in return during this eternal rebuilding project.

Who knows, maybe the Raiders do think that highly of Seymour and believe they are thisclose to turning the corner. Otherwise, a pair of future first-rounders sounds tempting, no?

Unless Al Davis believes there will be no football, thank to a lockout, in 2011 or anytime soon thereafter.

All of which brings up the next conspiracy theory - that Davis is keeping Cable merely to fulfill his two-year contract. Otherwise, he'd have to pay Cable to go away this season, then hire another coach to a multi-year deal. Meaning, he'd pay TWO guys this season, and one guy for 2011, when they might not be a season.

Is Charo still working these days?

In any event, Cable is. And he's scheduled to speak at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, where the Bee's Matt Barrows is Blogging and Tweeting away - at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Should be interesting, especially in light of Hanson's suit, the free-agent market opening next Friday - the Raiders have 13 restricted free agents, including the People's Quarterback Bruce Gradkowski and fallen-out-of-favor linebackers-in-arms Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison.

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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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