Finally it happened — Marshawn Lynch is officially a Raider, at a bargain.
I know I’ve said this before, but with the release of Aldon Smith, it bears repeating — can you think of another team that has had an off-season as catastrophic as the 49ers have gone through? They’ve lost their five best defensive players, head coach, #1 running back, and #2 wide receiver (who seems to be gelling just fine in Raiders training camp). They’re in arguably the toughest division in the league. Only an imaginative homer would think it’s going to be anything but a tough slog for them in the coming season.
As bad as the Raiders have been over the last 12 seasons, it’s been especially difficult the last few years, watching the Niners climb out of their own cellar and become successful again, while the Raiders continued to flounder. It’s starting to look like it’s going to be the other way around.
There are still some holes to fill, obviously, but the running game cannot possibly be any worse than it was last year, therefore we should see at least some improvement this year. Ken Norton, Jr. appears to be a fiery coach looking to make an impact in his first year as a DC, and Bill Musgrave should be able to improve on last year’s dismal offense. Things are starting to look up.
Win at home, win the division, make the team and the stadium a name to be feared again, and things will fall into place right away.
When I heard over the weekend that Giants star pass rusher Jason Pierre-Paul had: 1) mangled his hand in a fireworks accident; and 2) not yet gotten around to signing the $14.8 million franchise tag tender from the Giants, I wondered for a moment what might happen if, depending on the severity of the injuries, the Giants might rescind their offer and let Pierre-Paul test the market.
If it gets to the point where Pierre-Paul is a free agent, the Oakland Raiders would have to be considered a prime pursuer. As of Monday, the Raiders have $16.3 million in salary-cap room. Every player on their roster is signed so they have money to spend.
As the article also points out, the Raiders did not upgrade the defensive end position during the free agent period (although they did upgrade the middle of the line with Dan Williams). Justin Tuck obviously brought Pierre-Paul along with the Giants, making the latter a natural fit with the current lineup.
If it’s true that the Giants are rescinding their tender offer, and they have no Plan B to keep Pierre-Paul, there may be a deal to be had for the Raiders.