Gutierrez: Raiders 53-man roster analysis

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Gutierrez: Raiders 53-man roster analysis

Sept. 7, 2011

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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.com

Quarterbacks
6 Terrelle Pryor 6-6, 230 Ohio State Rookie Third-round supplemental draft pick can keep his nose clean by keeping it in playbook during five-game suspension, unless he wins appeal 7 Kyle Boller 6-3, 220 California 9th yr. Beat out Trent Edwards for No. 2 QB in one of most intriguing camp battles 8 Jason Campbell 6-5, 230 Auburn 7th yr. As unquestioned starter, more comfortable and confident than he was last seasonRunning backs
20 Darren McFadden 6-2, 210 Arkansas 4th yr. Run DMC looking to build on last year's breakthrough season22 Taiwan Jones 6-0, 195 Eastern Washington Rookie Called "probably the fastest man I've ever seen" by safety Michael Huff
25 Rock Cartwright 5-8, 215 Kansas State 10th yr. Soothing locker room presence and special teams ace29 Michael Bush 6-1, 245 Louisville 4th yr. Loves to bring the thunder to McFadden's lightning45 Marcel Reece 6-3, 240 Washington 4th yr. Stats may not mean much to fullbacks, but they should with the hybrid talents he bringsTight ends
82 Richard Gordon 6-4, 265 Miami Rookie A somewhat surprising add to roster, he seemed destined to practice squad83 Brandon Myers 6-4, 250 Iowa 3rd yr. Quality special teams player who must improve his pass-catching skills86 David Ausberry 6-4, 245 USC Rookie Former WR had prettiest TD catch of the preseason with his foot-drag-in-the-end-zone special87 Kevin Boss 6-6, 255 Western Oregon 5th yr. Counted on to fill Zach Miller's shoes, has been down since spraining left knee in second exhibitionWide receivers
12 Jacoby Ford 5-9, 185 Clemson 2nd yr. A highlight game for the ages against Kansas City has set the bar awfully high17 Denarius Moore 6-0, 195 Tennessee Rookie Again, how did this guy, who made a highlight reel catch seemingly every other day in camp, slip to fifth round?18 Louis Murphy 6-2, 200 Florida 3rd yr. Productive rough-around-the-edges pass catcher still recovering from what sounds like sports hernia procedure in camp80 Derek Hagan 6-2, 215 Arizona State 6th yr. A sure-handed veteran presence who gives receiving corps a missing element81 Chaz Schilens 6-4, 225 San Diego State 4th yr. Fans growing weary of his teasing skills but injury-prone ways85 Darrius Heyward-Bey 6-2, 210 Maryland 3rd yr. Is the third year the charm for the much-maligned former No. 7 overall pick?89 Nick Miller 5-9, 180 Southern Utah 3rd yr. Hanging on by fingertips as team's most experienced punt returnerOffensive line
61 Stephen Wisniewski 6-3, 315 Penn State Rookie Li'l Wiz entered camp as starting center, enters season as starting left guard64 Samson Satele 6-3, 300 Hawaii 5th yr. Center has a certain air of confidence surrounding him now66 Cooper Carlisle 6-5, 295 Florida 12th yr. Written off by several observers, all the right guard does is keep his position68 Jared Veldheer 6-8, 315 Hillsdale 2nd yr. Growing into his own while blocking the QB's blind side at left tackle69 Khalif Barnes 6-5, 325 Washington 7th yr. Locker room cutup has won the right tackle gig, but for how long?72 Joe Barksdale 6-4, 325 LSU Rookie Champing at the bit to assume right tackle from Barnes74 Bruce Campbell 6-6, 315 Maryland 2nd yr. The physical specimen missed the first few weeks of camp with a right knee injury but right guard is maturing quickly75 Stephon Heyer 6-6, 330 Maryland 5th yr. Can play any position on line, save center, and is one of most thoughtful quotes, tooDefensive line
77 Matt Shaughnessy 6-5, 270 Wisconsin 3rd yr. How close if he to being an elite defensive end in the league? Thisclose79 John Henderson 6-7, 335 Tennessee 10th yr. Mammoth run-stopping specialist DT needs to pick his spots as he has a lead of mileage on his tires90 Desmond Bryant 6-5, 290 Harvard 3rd yr. Defensive tackle has a cool fury about him that belies his Ivy League background91 Trevor Scott 6-5, 255 Buffalo 4th yr. Has looked impressive back down on the line at DE after a stint at LB and blowing out a knee last season92 Richard Seymour 6-6, 310 Georgia 11th yr. The spiritual leader of the locker room is probably on his way to Canton, but the DT to stay healthy in Oakland first93 Tommy Kelly 6-6, 300 Mississippi State 8th yr. Suddenly, the DT kept silent by Warren Sapp and Ted Washington is best quote on team, and motivated force on field94 Jarvis Moss 6-7, 260 Florida 5th yr. Mossology on Twitter isn't always politically correct, but neither is his mood heading to Denver, his previous employer99 Lamarr Houston 6-3, 305 Texas 2nd yr. A lot more is expected out of the defensive end in terms of sacks and making playsLinebackers
52 Quentin Groves 6-3, 265 Auburn 4th yr. It only seems as though he played the entire preseason as Raiders don't seem completely sold on him at WLB55 Rolando McClain 6-3, 255 Alabama 2nd yr. MLB started camp with a renewed purpose that needs to be re-lit from within entering the season56 Darryl Blackstock 6-3, 245 Virginia 5th yr. A UFL feel-good story who talks of his long-standing affinity for the Raiders and his Silver and Black Starter jacket57 Ricky Brown 6-2, 235 Boston College 6th yr. Dependable backup MLB who just re-joined the team after spending camp with New England58 Bruce Davis II 6-3, 250 UCLA 3rd yr. High-motor legacy player -- pops won a pair of rings with the Raiders -- who sees most of his time on special teams96 Kamerion Wimbley 6-4, 255 Florida State 6th yr. Leading sack artist from a year ago with nine due a guaranteed 29 million after agreeing to long-term dealCornerbacks
23 DeMarcus Van Dyke 6-1, 180 Miami Rookie Third-round draft choice should only learn and get better from his preseason baptism by fire, right?26 Stanford Routt 6-1, 195 Houston 7th yr. Ready or not, Routt becomes The Man in the Secondary with Nnamdi Asomugha gone28 Joe Porter 5-10, 205 Rutgers 2nd yr. Did just enough in the preseason to warrant his sticking, though could be one of first on chopping block35 Chimdi Chekwa 6-0, 190 Ohio State Rookie Separated a shoulder on first day of padded hitting in camp and has been playing catch-up ever since37 Chris Johnson 6-1, 200 Louisville 8th yr. Had what he called an "oil change" in camp and says his body has never felt betterSafeties
24 Michael Huff 6-1, 205 Texas 6th yr. A cool confidence has enveloped the second-team All Pro, meaning somebody voted for him over either Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu27 Matt Giordano 5-11, 210 California 7th yr. Grizzled vet can show off his Super Bowl ring with Colts after being re-signed this week to add depth30 Jerome Boyd 6-2, 225 Oregon 2nd yr. Another feel-good camp story, former practice squader can slide down to linebacker in big nickel defense33 Tyvon Branch 6-0, 205 Connecticut 4th yr. Known more for his hitting and tackling than his suspect coverage skills, says he's improved in all areas34 Mike Mitchell 6-1, 220 Ohio 3rd yr. Fan favorite missed most of camp with mysterious injury to left leg but insists he'll answer the bellPunter
9 Shane Lechler 6-1, 225 Texas A&M 12th yr. Best in the business at what he does, but is he still ticked Tom Cable got axed?Placekicker
11 Sebastian Janikowski 6-2, 250 Florida State 12th yr. Training regimen has him looking more like MMA fighter than paunchy placekicker; he'll break longest-FG recordLongsnapper
59 Jon Condo 6-3, 250 Maryland 6th yr. Former Pro Bowler more than Alcide from "True Blood" lookalike; also security blanket for Lechler and SeaBass

Oakland takes stage in latest act of Empty Gesture Theatre

Oakland takes stage in latest act of Empty Gesture Theatre

Editor's Note: The above video is from Nov. 6, 2016.

As we consider with the distance and clarity of the new day the latest developments from the City of Oakland in the attempt to attract the Raiders to stay where they are, we are reminded of one very important thing.

The Raiders STILL aren’t a part of these talks. Haven’t been, don’t want to be, and unless put in a bind won’t consider it.

In other words, what we have here is a deal between a city and a developer to buy land and build something FOR NO INTERESTED TENANT. Why this has escaped most people is an amazement, but there we are.

So I am now willing to predict a third potential outcome for this slow-motion train to nowhere: The league kicks the can down the road, putting off making a decision on the fate of the Raiders until one of these deals gets sweetened to its liking.

Now, back to the hilarious present.

The only intriguing thing about this new term sheet between the City of Oakland (throw-weight, $200 million) and the Ronnie Lott-fronted Fortress group (throw-weight: $175 million for the land as a starter) is that it exists at all.

But it isn’t a deal that seems to be attracting much notice from the NFL, the Raiders, or really anyone else. It is Empty Gesture Theatre, and frankly, it probably shouldn’t be anything more than that. Cities have been screwed into near-bankruptcy pandering to sports teams for decades, and both Oakland and Nevada deserve better -- though people don't often recognize what they deserve.

Now let’s reiterate the problems here:

The Raiders desperately want to leave. Mark Davis believes his best chance at future glory is in Nevada, and nobody has been able to shift him off that position, even though he has apparently been told as recently as two weeks ago that he does not yet have the 24 votes from his fellow owners at present.

Oakland has neither the money nor the political will to make a proposal that will dazzle the Raiders into staying. Mayor Libby Schaaf has committed the city to $200 million in infrastructure costs and no more, and part of the time-honored stadium soak is that a city throws in a lot more money, either through bond issues, tax increases, free land or a deal with the concrete guy. That cities shouldn’t even be in this business has dawned on Schaaf, and she really wants out of this deal is a regular tenant who will see to it that the taxes are paid in regular installments.

The NFL is frustrated that Oakland isn’t playing the city’s traditional role as a sucker. It doesn’t much like the Fortress people, either, which is still slightly more benign than its view of Las Vegas Casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who is still a linchpin of the Vegas deal even though he threatens to leave.

In short, Oakland provided no particular reason to have the owners look more kindly upon it, at a time when they want a reason to reject Vegas on market-size grounds. It is in many ways the Carson-v.-Inglewood fight of 11 months ago, in which the league’s owners had to decide on the site they liked (Inglewood and Rams owner Stan Kroenke) against the guy they liked (San Diego Changers owner Dean Spanos).

They voted the money, as you knew they would. The Rams are building in Inglewood, and apparently will joined, albeit with great reluctance, by the Chargers, who were rejected with great vigor by the voting citizens of San Diego last month.

Now in this scenario, the Vegas deal is the one with the short-term money but the long-term danger signs, while the Oakland deal has the market size but not the money or the will. And in the Oakland deal, the league doesn’t have direct leverage over Davis to modify his level of franchise control, which it very much wants to happen sooner rather than later.

So the other 31 owners can either accept one deal they don't like, another deal they don’t like, or give it another year in hopes that some deus ex machina will appear and make the decision for them. Typically the NFL at its most powerful had the outcome cemented ahead of time and just acted, but this is not the NFL of 20 years ago. It has been reactive throughout, letting events come to it, in exchange for which it now has two unappealing options with which to deal.

So I would expect the NFL to consider its options and delay a decision yet again. It wants neither Adelson, Fortress, the Oakland plan or the Vegas market, so it is most likely, barring some radical change in the current equation, to wait for a more clement time to strong-arm its desired conclusion upon everyone.

In the true spirit of NFL Christmas: Ho ho ho, and hands up, suckers.

Oakland, Alameda County to vote on possible Raiders stadium term sheet next week

Oakland, Alameda County to vote on possible Raiders stadium term sheet next week

The Oakland City Council and Alameda County Supervisors will soon hold a public hearing and vote on a term sheet for a stadium proposal designed to keep the Raiders in Oakland, the City of Oakland announced on Friday afternoon.

These actions will occur on Dec. 13, as local authorities attempt to expedite a stadium plan that will prevent the Raiders from being approved to relocate to the Las Vegas market.

Oakland and Alameda County have paired with Fortress Investment Group to create a stadium funding plan that does not include taxpayer dollars. The public will contribute to infrastructure improvements, but stadium construction will come from private sources.

The private investment group is fronted by former NFL players Ronnie Lott and Rodney Peete.

Details of this stadium framework were released by the city of Oakland on Friday afternoon. 

The term sheet calls for 105 acres of Coliseum site land for a 55,000-seat football stadium and 7,000 parking spaces, with another 15 acres reserved for an Athletics ballpark. If all goes according to plan, the term sheet set a target date for the stadium to be ready by the 2021-22 season. The plan also accounts for  mixed use areas on the site that could be used for ancillary development. 

The financial framework calls $200 million in public funds, generated through private and public bonds, would be used for infrastructure improvements. The Coliseum site land was valued at $150 million, and would be transferred to the Lott group. It is uncertain how the public will recoup that land value. 

The Lott Group would invest $400 million dollars, and the Raiders and the NFL would put in $500 million combined, with $200 million from the league's stadium loan program. The Raiders could also raise funds from the sale of personal seat lisences, a common funding tool used in new stadiums throughout the league. 

The stadium project plus infrastructure improvements is estimated at $1.3 billion. The Lott Group would be responsible for financial overruns. 

City and county votes are the next step in creating a plan enticing enough to the NFL that it would pump the brakes on allowing the Raiders to move to Las Vegas.

That is Raiders owner Mark Davis’ stated desire. He has not negotiated with local public officials in some time, pouring focus into a Las Vegas stadium plan that has already received $750 million in public subsidy to construct if the Raiders are given the green light to move.

There are several complications associated with this deal, most notably that Davis wants no part in it. The NFL is reportedly intrigued by Oakland’s market potential, and generally prefers that teams remain in their home markets.

Oakland and Alameda County will vote on whether to continue working on this term sheet and present it to the NFL. The league meets on Wednesday to discuss relocation, and East Bay officials want to show they have a viable alternative to keep the Raiders in Oakland.