Offseason Overview: Raiders and Russell Should Be Better in 08

Russell

FRANCHISE PLAYER: CB Nnamdi Asomugha (exclusively tendered at $9.465M, could increase as of April 25).

TRANSITION PLAYER: None.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS

• QB Daunte Culpepper got in enough starts while Raiders waited for Russell to put on his resume and move on.

• WR Tim Dwight caught a pair of touchdown passes and provided a spark but had trouble staying healthy at age 32.

• RB ReShard Lee had his moments as a runner-receiver under Art Shell, but was injured early last summer and missed the entire season.

• C Jeremy Newberry surprised everyone by starting 14 times after knee troubles had limited him to 11 games in three previous years with the 49ers. Said he wants to return.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: None.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED

• WR Drew Carter: UFA Panthers; $2M/1 yr, SB unknown.

• DE Kalimba Edwards: FA Lions; $5M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

• CB DeAngelo Hall (traded Falcons).

• T Kwame Harris: UFA 49ers; $14M/3 yrs, SB unknown.

• LB Ed Hartwell: Fa; terms unknown.

• DT William Joseph: UFA Giants; terms unknown.

• DE Greg Spires: FA Buccaneers; terms unknown.

• C John Wade: UFA Buccaneers; terms unknown.

• CB Michael Waddell: Not tendered as RFA by Titans; terms unknown.

• WR Javon Walker: FA Broncos; $55M/6 yrs, $11M SB/$5M RB 2009; 2008 cap: $2.83M.

• FS Gibril Wilson: UFA Giants; $39M/7 yrs, $16M guaranteed.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED

• LB Jon Alston: ERFA; terms unknown.

• LB Ricky Brown: ERFA; terms unknown.

• LS Jon Condo: ERFA; terms unknown.

• S Jarrod Cooper: UFA; terms unknown.

• LB Isaiah Ekejiuba: RFA; tendered at $927,000; terms unknown.

• RB Justin Fargas: Potential UFA; $12M/3 yrs, $5.395M SB.

• OT Cornell Green: UFA; $4M/2 yrs, SB unknown.

• S Hiram Eugene: ERFA; terms unknown.

• DT Tommy Kelly: Potential UFA; $50.5M/7 yrs; $18.125M guaranteed.

• TE John Madsen: ERFA; terms unknown.

• WR Chris McFoy: ERFA; terms unknown.

• OT Jonathan Palmer: ERFA; terms unknown.

• DT Josh Shaw: RFA, tendered at $927,000; terms unknown.

• LB Sam Williams: Potential UFA; terms unknown.

• OT Mark Wilson: ERFA; terms unknown.

PLAYERS LOST

• DE/DT Tyler Brayton: UFA Panthers; 2 yrs, terms unknown.

• CB/S Chris Carr: RFA Titans; $2M/1 yr (did not match Titans offer).

• DE Chris Clemons: UFA Eagles; $13.585M/5 yrs, $4M SB.

• QB Josh McCown: UFA Dolphins; $6.25M/2 yrs, $2.5M SB.

• WR Jerry Porter: UFA Jaguars; $30M/6 yrs, $3M SB/$3.6M RB, $2M RB ‘09.

• RB Dominic Rhodes (released).

• DT Warren Sapp (retired).

• OT Barry Sims (released).

• CB Fabian Washington (traded Ravens).

A promising start turned into another awful season for the Raiders, who went from 2-2 to lose 10 of their last 12 games in 2007, ending the year 4-12. It earned them the right to pick a player in the draft they feel will change their fortunes – Arkansas running back Darren McFadden. The team is hoping the tandem of McFadden, Michael Bush and Justin Fargas can give them a solid three-some at running back. JaMarcus Russell gets the QB reigns from day one, allowing him and the offense to hopefully grow into what it should be. The team brought in two wide outs that hopefully will add some abilities to the mix – Drew Carter and Javon Walker.

The big move on defense was making a deal to get CB DeAngelo Hall from the Falcons, and signing safety Gibril Wilson to a big deal to anchor the secondary. The defense should be better with those two players, as well as with some players on the front line that allowed way too many yards in the run game – 145.9 per game. Lane Kiffin has had his issues already this season to the point where it looked as if he might not be around, but if he can survive the wrath of Al Davis, the Raiders could be a much better team in 2008.

Offseason Grade to Date: B 


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