Raiders mailbag: Bryant's mugshot, interest in Smith?

Raiders mailbag: Bryant's mugshot, interest in Smith?
February 28, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Back in September, Geno Smith threw for 656 yards and eight touchdowns in a win over Baylor. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Paul, the Raiders say that they are considering drafting QB Geno Smith as the 3rd overall pick?(@CJSports2)
Not sure the Raiders actually said that, since they don't comment on such matters, but I'll play along with the latest non-story story of the moment…sure, they're looking at Geno Smith. They're also contemplating pass-rushing outside linebacker Jarvis Jones. And run-stuffing defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Sharrif Floyd. And burner receiver Marquise Goodwin. And offensive tackles Luke Joeckel and Eric Fisher. Linebacker Manti Te'o? Sure, why not? Put it this way -- the Raiders are doing their due diligence and looking at every conceivable possibility. But as one NFL source told me at the Senior Bowl, the Raiders' most likely and logical move is to trade down from the No. 3 spot to get more picks. And with so many smokescreens going up, the Raiders showing "interest" in Smith could be akin to general manager Reggie McKenzie building up interest, and thus, trade value, in said No. 3 pick.

Rams GM Les Snead said Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie is the smartest guy in NFL (@Skyler Beltran)
Did he now? He wouldn't be softening up Reggie McKenzie for a trade for that No. 3 overall pick now, would he? Remember, some three weeks after getting the Rams GM gig last year, Les Snead pulled off the deal that sent the No. 2 overall pick in the 2012 draft to Washington (turned out to be RGIII). And by the time draft day arrived, Snead had the Rams picking four times within the first 50 picks. Maybe he likes someone at No. 3 this time around? After all, the Rams have two first-round picks this year (No. 16 and No. 22 overall) and the Raiders want to get back into the second round as well (as bargaining chips, St. Louis picks 16th in the second round, 46th overall, 16th in the third round, 78th overall). Are we seeing the first signs of a beautiful trading relationship between two old L.A. franchises? How smart would that be?

How much $$ did this cost Bryant on open market? Stay in Oakland for bargain price (@TCRaider)
Are you talking about Desmond Bryant's arrest on a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief for allegedly causing a commotion at a neighbor's house while, ahem, inebriated? Or his epic, though none-too-flattering, made-for-a-Deadspin-photoshop-contest mug shot in the wake of said arrest? Either way, he did himself no favors, even as Bryant tied for the Raiders' team lead with four sacks in his contract year. Didn't see many teams breaking the bank for the undrafted defensive tackle out of Harvard before this unfortunate incident. See even less now. Bryant did come into his own as Richard Seymour's replacement last year and Bryant had a base salary of $1.927 million. He should make more, but how much more now is up for debate. The franchise tag window closes Monday, not that he's a viable candidate. Just don't stare at his mug shot for too long.

So Palmer pretty much has to do like Brady and agree to a restructure right? I don't see another way he stays (@DeejDawson)
Indeed. As I wrote way back on Feb. 12, the Raiders would love for Carson Palmer, who is is due a base salary of $13 million with a cap number of $15.335 million for 2013, to come to them and offer to take a pay cut to afford the team some salary cap relief. But keep this in mind -- Palmer essentially did the same last year, playing for the vet minimum as his base salary. The Raiders, you could say, are playing a dangerous game of chicken if they are the ones floating such rumors. because really, they are not ready to go all in with Terrelle Pryor under center. That's not a shot at Pryor, it's simply the truth. The Raiders, though, are in a tough spot -- how do you acknowledge that Palmer is the unquestioned starter, as they did in the first few weeks of the offseason, and yet, expect him to take a paycut? Hence the sudden talk of "competition" at quarterback. Also, don't prepare Tom Brady for sainthood just yet for taking what's been described as a paycut to afford the Patriots salary cap relief. He's still getting his. If Brady wants to impress Raider Nation, he should admit it was a fumble, right?

I know this is crazy, but both Woodson and Nnamdi set for FA. Clear some cap space and bring both in? We can dream, right? (@CodyWMathews)
Dream away. And while you're at it, summon up the spirits of Mike Haynes and Lester Hayes. Yes, Reggie McKenzie loves him some Charles Woodson, and Nnamdi Asomugha has had a rough go of it in Philadelphia, so it would make sense for both to ride into the sunset of their NFL careers back in Oakland. Except…both players have said they want to play for contenders. And the Raiders are in full re-build mode. In fact, even with running back Taiwan Jones making the conversion to cornerback and Michael Huff moving back to free safety, this coming season's starting corners might not even be on the roster yet. Then again, Willie Brown still draws a check from the Raiders, right?