Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

March 5, 2010
All quiet on Raiders' free agency front...for now; Nnamdi staying put?; JaMarcus roster bonus puts him at risk?

All seems quiet on the Raiders' front on the first day of uncapped NFL free agency.

In fact, only six of the 531 free agents have reportedly been scooped up thus far - defensive end Julius Peppers, an unrestricted free agent who left Carolina for Chicago, defensive end Kyle Vanden Bosch, a UFA who went from Tennessee to Detroit, wide receiver Nate Burleson, a UFA who went from Seattle to Detroit and running back Chester Taylor, a UFA who went from Minnesota to Chicago.

Plus, a pair of free agents - UFA linebacker Gary Brackett and restricted free agent fullback Leonard Weaver - were re-signed by their teams, Indianapolis and Philadelphia, respectively.

So what does it mean for the Raiders?

It would appear as though they've learned their lesson from throwing obscene amounts of cash at free agents in 2005 - paging Derrick Burgess and LaMont Jordan - and in 2008 - Et tu, Kwame Harris, Gibril Wilson, Javon Walker? - and getting nothing in terms of W's in return.

But in an uncapped year, where there is essentially no ceiling and no floor, it would also seem the Raiders want to build through the draft. Meaning with a trade market frenzy that is expected to envelop the league shortly (Anquan Boldin from Arizona to Baltimore already), the Raiders would be more than willing to trade players for draft picks.

Which is why the Nnamdi Asomugha-on-the-trading-block rumors refuse to die.

Still, in any Asomugha blockbuster, you'd expect the Raiders to want a similarly already-established star in return. But who out there could take on his gargantuan contract, Washington? Dallas? Seattle? The New York Yankees?

And who would the Raiders see as an equal talent in return? Albert Haynesworth? DeMarcus Ware? Lofa Tatupu? A-Rod?

But I digress...

Something else to keep an eye on is if/when JaMarcus Russell, who has already said he will not restructure his contract, is due a roster bonus and how much it's worth, as well as if it's tied to the remainder of his contract becoming guaranteed. He's already guaranteed some $9-plus million this year.

The reason? Shortly before such a bonus/guarantee fully "vests" would be the logical time for the Raiders to cut him, should they choose to go that route.

I'm not saying they're going to cut bait with him, I'm just sayin'....

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And the final list of the Raiders' 14 restricted free agents and the tenders, if any, they were offered by Friday's deadline:

Quarterbacks
Charlie Frye - original, 3rd round
Bruce Gradkowski - 2nd round
J.P. Losman - none, unrestricted free agent

Running backs
Luke Lawton - right of first refusal
Gary Russell - none, UFA

Offensive linemen
Khalif Barnes - none, UFA
Chris Morris - original, 7th round

Long snapper
Jon Condo - 2nd round

Linebackers
Jon Alston - none, UFA
Ricky Brown - 2nd round
Thomas Howard - 2nd round
Kirk Morrison - original, 3rd round

Defensive backs
Hiram Eugene, 2nd round
Stanford Routt, 1st and 3rd round

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In addition, the Raiders have five free agents with six or more accrued seasons who are subject to the CBA's "Final Eight Plan" rules and can sign with any team with no compensation due the Raiders:

Offensive linemen
Cornell Green
Langston Walker
Jon Wade

Defensive tackle
William Joseph

Linebacker
Sam Williams

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Still confused? Then click here and read the NFL's official release on the current state of free agency.

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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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