More than 12 hours into the NFL free agency frenzy and not a peep out of the East Bay. In fact, since the wretched spending spree of 2008, the Raiders have taken a drastically different approach in handing out contracts.
Instead of passing out multi-million dollar meal tickets to total strangers, Al Davis has been rewarding his own.
$45-million to Nnamdi Asomugha, $16-million to Shane Lechler, $16-million to Sebastian Janikowski.
The biggest splash the Raiders made in the free agency last year was inking Greg Ellis to a three-year deal.
This time around might not be much different.
Even without a salary cap, the Raiders have little wiggle room to pursue any of the big names seeking new places of employment. Of course, the Julius Peppers and Dunta Robinsons were off the market by the time Davis fired up his projector this morning. Not that Oakland was going to make a play anyway.
Give Davis some credit. While he might not have a keen eye for talent around the league, he seems to have a pretty good grasp on his own roster. (JaMarcus Russell not withstanding)
Last year Al wasted no time in ridding himself of his wayward signings from the ’08 crop. Gibril Wilson was given a shocking 6-year deal worth $39-million. The Bay Area native only made it through one year of that deal. Davis sent him packing and the Tuna came calling in Miami.
After one year in South Beach, Wilson was once again shown the exit as the Dolphins gave him his outright release today.
Al knew he had Tyvon Branch in his back pocket thus making Wilson expendable.
Maybe he knows Stanford Routt is ready to breakout next. At least one can only hope considering the high value Davis placed on the man poised to become the NFL’s highest paid nickel corner.
While there is, as of yet, no movement on the Raider front you can bet that things will pick up very soon. Sure, Davis knows he’s got some young talent blossoming but he also knows that there are certain voids that can only be filled via free agency and trades.
Or, Davis could view the uncapped year as a chance to trim a little fat off the payroll.
After handing out a good share of RFA tenders, Davis is positioning his pieces on the board.
The silence today is good news sign for Al’s wallet. But not as good for the wallets of the players given their tenders. Consider Thomas Howard among the latter.
As always, you should expect the unexpected. Just don’t expect anymore mega-millionaires to be made in the East Bay during free agency. After all, Al’s got to save that money for his newest toy to be purchased in April’s draft.
Update: David White reports that the Raiders have re-signed Khalif Barnes to a one-year deal.