Kirk Morrison is available, Stanford Routt is not

Hey Kirk Morrison!

What did the five fingers say to the face?

That pretty much sums up the offer the Raiders made to Morrison today. It was a straight up slap in the face.

Oakland placed a first and third round tender on nickel corner Stanford Routt. The same Stanford Routt who has started just 5 times in the last two years and has yet to consistently live up to any of the potential he displayed when selected in the second round of the ’05 draft.

Meanwhile, Morrison (picked in the third round of ’05) was given an original round tender. That’s right! The same Kirk Morrison who ranks fourth in the NFL since 2006 in efficient defensive stops.

I can’t front. I’ve been as critical of Morrison as anybody else for his hot and cold tendencies. He’s routinely out of position, over pursues and has racked up some gaudy numbers due in large part to the opposition constantly running the ball down the throats of the Raiders.

How much of that fault can be blamed on Morrison’s short comings and how much of it is a direct result of the leatherhead era style of defense the Raiders still employ in the 21st century?

That’s debatable.

What is not debatable is Morrison’s professionalism, his work ethic and his toughness. The Oakland native and Bishop O’Dowd alum has only missed one game in his entire career. Since being plucked out of San Diego State in ’05, Morrison has been a starter every time he’s stepped onto the field sporting Silver and Black.

Now, the Raiders are willing to let him go for the low price of a third round pick should another team make an offer.

Trust me, somebody will come calling. Al Davis is betting on it.

To add insult to injury, the Raiders gave Ricky Brown a second round tender. That’s right! The same Ricky Brown who was in competition with Morrison for the middle linebacker job in training camp last summer.

I’ve always felt that Morrison would be better suited as an outside backer, but that never seemed to be an option for the Raiders.

Maybe Morrison will remain in the East Bay for the ensuing season. Maybe this is just an overreaction to a benign decision made by management.

No matter what, the value speaks for itself.

The Raiders placed a high price on Routt all but assuring no team would pay the costly amount for his services. Meanwhile Morrison is suddenly available at a bargain rate. If these two were stocks then Morrison’s value has remained stagnant while Routt’s over bloated price is ripe to be sold short.

In addition, the Raiders applied second round tenders to Thomas Howard, Bruce Gradkowski, Hiram Eugene (not a misprint) and long snapper extraordinaire Jon Condo.

No doubt the Raiders could have easily lost 11 or more games a year without the services of Morrison. But it certainly is not going to be any easier winning without the leadership and dedication of players like Captain Kirk.

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Tags: Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured Bruce Gradkowski Hiram Eugene Jon Condo Kirk Morrison Ricky Brown Stanford Routt Thomas Howard

  • jaraider

    I really think AL Davis is now DEMENTED, Im not being mean, but the poor Raiders aint going no where and fast, what a pity, could say ist a sin, all that wasted money ( could feed kids) and talent all lost while Mr Davis is around,

  • Felix Chan

    Morrison isn’t worth a 2nd round pick and route may be the best slot DB in the league. Its a hard position not everyone can play. Look at the offenses today and try and tell me we dont need to cover 3 wrs well.

    Its my guess that Al will use the 8th pick on Rolondo Mcclain to fill the MLB position who id be very happy with over morrison. Not only do we get a stud LB we get a 3rd rounder for letting our old one go. Not a bad move if you ask me.

  • Gene Yamamoto

    If a team really wanted to work out a long term contract with a player and that player thought he was worth so much more than offered, would it make sense to allow the player to test the market with a low tender so that the market could decide what the team and player should agree upon as an offer? Could this perhaps be an explanation? Is it possible that this was an agreement between the team and Morrison?

  • DOCLEW 28

    This is a business move. The Raiders will let the market set the price and either match or not. This will ensure that the Raiders are not outbidding themselves when it comes to contracts. It’s pretty smart actually.

    And don’t let the Stanford Routt tender cloud this situation. They are totally unrelated. The Raiders have absolutely no depth at CB right now. We need Routt because big CB’s that can play man coverage in our system are hard to find. We will probably draft a CB and he will compete with Routt next season. if he beats hom out, say goodbye to Route in 2011.

  • Slam

    I agree that it’s hard to evaluate our LB’s because of our Flintstones Defensive scheme, but in my opinion letting Morrison go for a third round pick; OR matching a relatively low salary, is a very smart move.

    This new era of NFL “uncapped” salaries will be tough on B-List players like Morrison. He’s gotta be hatin’ it right now.

    Once again the NFL owners are holding all the cards.

  • KB

    Great Article

  • Chris Shellcroft

    Great points all the way around guys!

    I agree that Morrison doesn’t hold much trade value beyond his tender status. I agree with you DOCLEW that you have to let the market set the price.

    Slam, you’re right about B-list players too. Tough for those guys to break the bank.

    While the team won’t be destroyed by losing Morrison, it just seems a little insulting not to protect Kirk considering how much he’s contributed over the years. Routt has played well at times but to give him a 1st and 3rd is just not right. Morrison didn’t deserve the highest tender but to think anybody was going to give up even a 2nd for Routt is crazy.

  • Slam

    This new system of “tendering” draft picks for players is REALLY interesting.

    We may see some teams with fewer starting players and a TON of Day One picks at the draft. And some teams with a bunch of new veterans and an insignificant draft.

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