Khalif Barnes a Raider?

Could it be true?

To be honest I’m not sure what to believe. Don’t get me wrong, I want this to happen and hope that this fact and not another ESPN Raider debacle.

I’ll just say that I won’t believe this one until I see it on Raiders.com.

According to John Clayton, a senior football writer at ESPN and grand champion of “Magic: The Gathering, kbarnesKhalif Barnes has agreed to a one year deal with the Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders had been courting Barnes for nearly three weeks and it was believed that the former Jaguar was headed elsewhere as talks broke down last week.

Clayton’s report, if correct, would prove quite a gain for the Oakland offensive line which was in need of an upgrade after the poor performance of Kwame “The False Start Machine” Harris in 2008.

Barnes is by no means going to be given the left tackle job from day one. His one year deal indicates that he’ll be in competition with Erik Pears, another free agent acquisition, and Mario Henderson who played very well after replacing Harris late in 2008.

This move helps the Raider draft philosophy come into focus as it appears that the offensive line may not be addressed in the first round. Perhaps the hopes of Michael Crabtree or a top notch defensive prospect being available at #7 are looking more promising as the Raider staff prepares for the first off-season workouts beginning this coming Monday.

I’m not putting too much stock in Barnes being much more than a band aid, but if he’s willing to come in on a short term deal to prove his worth, then I’m on board. As opposed to extending a long term contract to a marginal player,Tom Cable and o-line coach Jim Micalczik are putting together a winning philosophy by creating a healthy competition for jobs.

If by now you’re not on board with Cable and his staff, then I don’t know what more you need to know. This is a complete 180 from last off-season and it is clear that the Cable philosophy is as infectious in the front office as it is in the locker room.

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Tags: Erik Pears Jim Michalczik Khalif Barnes Kwame Harris Mario Henderson Michael Crabtree Tom Cable

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