As stated previously this week, Al Davis is going to have to make some tough decisions once the new CBA is in place. John Clayton, the ponytailed pundit of ESPN, speculated on the various moves that certain teams could be making in order to adjust to the proposed new salary cap.
Clayton summed up Oakland’s predicament with the following analysis.
Depending on how much dead money is created by the voiding of Nnamdi Asomugha’s contract, the Raiders are more than $10 million over the cap. They can save $2.1 million by cutting guard Cooper Carlisle, but they have only six players with salaries of more than $1 million that can be used to restructure contracts to free up cap room. Remember they gave extensions to defensive end Richard Seymour and defensive tackle John Henderson and made Kamerion Wimbley a franchise player.
Despite the cap issues you felt the Raiders were going to turn the page on Carlisle no matter what. While his departure won’t cause much outrage the state of Oakland’s offensive line is cause for concern.
Carlisle’s play has slowly declined in recent years. Despite that there is a feeling that the Raiders could use all the help they can get on the O-line. There are more questions than answers and time is ticking on the drop dead date for labor resolution.
From a team perspective the real issue is that even with these proposed cuts there still isn’t much left in the cupboard to pursue free agents. That could mean even more drastic moves will have to be made.
From Carlisle’s perspective this could be the end of the line. The Raider have already re-upped with Daniel Loper and Bruce Campbell has been touted by Mr. Davis meaning he’ll get plenty of chances to start. Carlisle is 33 and despite his durability those 12 years of NFL service have taken their toll. Then again, given the fact that this will be a rushed free agency period there is always the chance a team will need a veteran as a last minute addition.
But again this is just more hypothetical lockout musing. It is still far too early to assume what will happen once the lockout ends. That being said it certainly seems like the Raiders will be going with the youth movement on the offensive line.