Saturday, December 8, 2012

Oakland Roster Breakdown - Who's Staying? Who's Going?

I feel at this point in the season we can tell who is playing hard for a spot on the team next year and who really doesn't care anymore.  Let's take a look at the roster breakdown by free agents, re-signings, and trades/cuts.  Most of the names below will be the most notable guys...not the Special Teams guys you don't really hear about as those guys come and go without people batting an eyelash or even knowing.


Free Agents - Keepers

DT Desmond Bryant - I've like him over the years when he rotated in & out at DT.  Now he seems to have produced better at times than Seymour and Kelly at 1/4 the price.  I feel Oakland should bring back Bryant if he is a good price.
Why?:  Oakland can't get rid of everyone on the d-line and Bryant is still young enough and talented enough to start and rotate with a couple other DTs.

OLB Philip WheelerWheeler appears to be one of the best low-key signings from this offseason and has been a bright spot on the severely talent-lacking Raiders defense.
Why?:  Wheeler is one of the few names you hear and see making plays throughout each game.  If The Raiders can give him some help in front of him he can be a real play maker on defense.

TE Brandon Myers - Myers surprised a lot this year with his hands and ability to make plays in the West Coast Offense.  Most didn't think he'd be able to carry the load and that Ausberry would see more action in passing downs.  Myers should be re-signed but only if he doesn't try to collect big time on his good season.
Why?: Well, why not?  We need a TE that has proven to be reliable in passing situations.

SS Mike Mitchell - I know I'm going to catch the most heat for this one, but Mike Mitchell should be back at a cheaper price and offers a good special teams guy and a decent backup at both safety positions.
Why?: Say what you want about Mitchell I like the heart he plays with on the field.

CB Phillip Adams
- Although Adams started off a little slow and got benched from playing CB early on he has been one of the few CBs on the team to make some plays down the stretch.  Adams probably won't be doing too much punt returning next year if he stays as I'd expect to sign or draft a guy who can handle those duties.
Why?:  Adams has the advantage of being on a team that has virtually no one at the CB position.  The Raiders can use someone who can make some plays and maybe start if desperate or someone goes down with an injury.

CB Joselio Hanson - Hanson can be a very useful slot CB as he's shown with his short time with the Raiders.  I also like his willingness to go up and hit the HB and WR.  I appreciate a decent tackling CB who isn't afraid to hit.
Why?: Like Adams, CB is so weak Oakland need to keep a few decent back-up and slot Corners that may be able to even start.


Free Agents - Goners

DE Matt Shaughnessy - Keep Mike Mitchell but cut Matt Shaughnessy?  I know people probably think I'm crazy.  I'm sure people will say he was still recovering from the injury from the year before and has potential.
Why?: I'm tired of making excuses for the Raiders lack of pass rush, lack of run defense and if you aren't part of the solution...well, you're part of the problem.

OT Khalif Barnes - I don't think anyone will really argue here.  Barnes needs to go and needs to be replaced by someone who can block.
Why?:  Penalties, getting beat off the edge, and just not performing at a level that's acceptable for a RT.

DE Andre Carter - Carter was brought in to help the sad pass rush of the Raiders, but with only recording 1 sack so far Carter hasn't really shown he's fully recovered from his injury.
Why?:  Very strong d-line draft class.

CBs Ron Bartell & Shawntae Spencer
 - I was actually pretty high on the Bartell signing at the start of the year, but Bartell has shown a lack of confidence as well as an inability to get back into the swing of things. After both went down with another injury early on in the season neither has added much to their secondary.  Obviously, it's a position of need for the Raiders, but I don't want to wait another year to find out if Bartell or Spencer can regain their form and stay healthy.
Why?:  Give the spot to young guys or different veterans next season.

P Shane Lechler
- Possibly the best Punter of all time who has had a phenomenal Raiders career.  Lechler just made too much money ($3.8M in 2012) here, time to move on and get younger.
Why?:  The King shall now reign.

FS Matt Giordano, QB Matt Leinart & FB Owen Schmitt - Neither of them really offer the team much.  Giordano is has regressed from his 2011 performance and is a reminder of 2 years of horrible defense.
Why?: Change is good sometimes.

OG Cooper Carlisle - Has had his ups and downs here as a Raider, but had a decent year this year.  I'd prefer to see a younger guy take his spot though.
Why?: Time to move on to someone new.  (Bergstrom?)

RB Mike Goodson - Not sure on this one...kind of on the fence about Goodson as I think he has some big play potential in the ZBS is we stick with it for next year.  He seems to have some injury concerns though so...
Why?:  Mind as well look for some late 7th round HB or UDFA to replace him at less money.



DT Richard Seymour - Still an APB out on Seymour as I write this.  The first two years here he provided some good veteran leadership while getting good penetration into the backfield a ton.  Now he spends more time practicing than on the field during game days.  (He never practices by the way)
Why/Cost?: Just time for a change upfront on the defensive side of the ball.  Seymour isn't ever playing anyway so why pay him? If we cut him before day 1 of the 2013 season the cap hit is only $2.24M. (Credit TheBlackness for Cap numbers)

DE Dave Tollefson - I know he offers depth on the d-line and isn't too expensive, but what good is depth if it doesn't serve a use?  Tollefson is consistent with his play I give him that much, the problem is he is consistent at getting blown up by the O-line and not being able to hold the edge.
Why?/cost:  I'd rather watch a rookie or UFDA get time here learning on the job missing assignments than a "veteran" who makes the same mistakes with less ability and talent. His cap hit would be 725K.



Obviously the trade market highly depends on another teams needs but these are trade I feel should be made if possible.  If The Raiders can't trade them then we should try to cut them.  If they can't be cut due to a high cap hit then we may just be stuck with them riding the bench or seeing limited action.


ILB Rolando McClain - Public Enemy #1.  McClain was last seen jogging around the field trying his best not to make a play.  McClain is a cancer that needs to be dealt with.  Hopefully someone feels he still has some talent and values him for a 7th rounder on a chance he comes around.  Probably a team that runs a strict 3-4 defense.

FS/CB Michael Huff - Hopefully his Al Davis Scholarship runs out this season and we can unload him for a 5th-7th round pick. His lack of play-making and poor tackling isn't a good recipe for a NFL safety. Calling Jerry Jones...?

DT Tommy Kelly - I liked Kelly for years and thought he was actually undervalued for a bit.  Now it's just time to move on from the past and head into the future though.  I doubt Oakland can get rid of Kelly and may be forced to keep him and use him in a rotation.  Maybe The Raiders can just snag a late rounder for him or even a future 6th-7th rounder.  This will also will help clear some cap space

WR Darrius Heyward-Bey - I love his attitude, his work ethic and his passion.  DHB has flashes his ability to make plays from time to time but never has fully matured into a #1 pick type receiver.  His contract is too big for his production.  If DHB is to stay here he needs to seriously re-structure his contract or be traded in my opinion.  DHB could snag a 4th-5th rounder if traded to the right team like the Dolphins.

RB Darren McFadden - This one hurts to put up here because McFadden is one of my favorite Raiders to watch when he is healthy.  The problem is, he is rarely healthy.  Mcfadden just isn't worth holding onto eating up around $7M.  Hopefully some team will think they can fix his injury problems and offer up a 4th-6th rounder for him.


Closing Thoughts:

If Oakland can move half the guys on the list above we can grab a few late round draft picks to fill in some depth at HB/CB/DL/OLB to replace what we lost.  Other needs will be filled based on the money The Raiders have to spend in free agency.  It's tough to know how much money players will save Oakland or the total amount of cap space we'll have until more officials numbers come out.  Look for Reggie to pick up a few cheap options on the free agent market much like last season.  Some will make an impact (Wheeler) and some may not (Bartell/Spencer).


Thanks for reading and look forward to hearing your feedback!

1 comment:

  1. well, looks like Owen Schmitt and Ron Bartell are gone.