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

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