Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Ok, Greg Knapp is Fired. Now What?

As it stands today, the Oakland Raiders are a non-team, completely irrelevant and without proven leadership that can carry out a successful rebuilding phase.

Dennis Allen is still a rookie head coach and he has done very little (if anything) worthy of praise in year one. In fact, as Owner Mark Davis stated, the team's performance regressed from early season promise. This includes the coaching.  Allen should resign but that is rare for a coach to give up voluntarily.  He is still under contract and so is GM Reggie McKenzie.  They will be given at least one more season to perform as an NFL caliber team.

The brain trust of Mark Davis and unofficial consultant, John Madden, are guiding the ship.  It's just not good business sense to turn over the GM and head coaching posts so soon.

The problem facing the franchise in 2013 will be finding enough talented players to make a difference from 2012.  They need to unload underperforming, over-priced guys like Darren McFadden and Carson Palmer, see if they can acquire additional draft picks, trades, anything to start filling gaps, especially on defense.

We all know how bad an OC Greg Knapp was. However, he cannot be blamed entirely for the team's offensive failures.  The firing of the OL coach indicates they are going to place a premium on that area in the forthcoming rebuilding.  They need to keep whoever they have at QB, upright.  

Unless Palmer agrees to a massive pay cut, they are surely going to try and trade him.  The problem is his massive contract will make that difficult to do, especially considering the beating he has taken thus far in his career. He's a very expensive liability for any team.

It remains to be seen if Matt Leinart will be with the team in 2013 with a contract renewal. Terrelle Pryor is still under contract but he's not that expensive.  Maybe they will give him a chance to earn his keep but he doesn't seem to have the qualities of a number one guy just yet.  Neither does Leinart or a washed up Carson Palmer.

The bottom line is if the Raiders select a QB with their first round pick in the draft, that is a lot of salary overhead to invest at QB position.  The problem is the Raiders don't have a pick in every round in 2013. Look for McKenzie to select the best OL on the board in round one and swing deals to try and land the best QB available and load up on defense with the rest of whatever picks he can get.

That is unless there are some trades between now and April.

Darren McFadden has already been paid the bulk of his massive contract. He has one year remaining at a "measly" six million. This is the best time to trade him for some draft picks or for talent at other positions. Each year he has shown ability but he has never been consistent.  The Raiders need the draft picks.  It's that simple.  Finding serviceable running backs like Mike Goodson to replace McFadden is achievable in the draft and free agency. McFadden should be used as trade bait.

It sounds crazy considering how reliable Sebastian Janikowski has become, but with one year remaining on his contract, he would bring in good trade value.  It will be interesting to see if they hang on to Jano or try to trade him.  Can they find another reliable PK?  Probably not as money as Jano but what is the trade off?  A shitty defense for another season because the team can't rebuild with just draft and free agency?

Shane Lechler is a free agent.  Doubtful they will re-sign him for big money with so many pressing needs elsewhere. Maybe he will re-sign for a reasonable salary.  Same for Richard Seymour even though he seemed disinterested to be a Raider last season.

If the Raiders can head into Spring OTAs and mini-camp with a QB who has solid credentials (whose name is not Carson Palmer); an improved offensive line; a handful of good running backs and receivers; a rebuilt defense from stem to stern, then there is good reason for optimism in 2013.

1 comment:

RaiderFan4Life said...

Wingman -- You're right on with the need to trim the fat. Carson is a warrior, but his best battles are behind him. Pryor is not a #1 at QB and needs to make a position switch if possible. We need a franchise QB ASAP, and one can be had in the later rounds as evidenced by Russell Wilson and Tom Brady. We need to tighten up the O-Line also. I think DMC is trade bait and could lure a few picks in the upcoming draft. Seymour has been a bust since got to the Raiders. Not so much on the field, but in the locker room. He is clearly not leadership material and only seems to play for a check. Burris and Wheeler are good linebackers, Huff is good at Safety, but we need at least one shutdown corner. Maybe we can get Nnamdi back on the cheap?

I think McKenzie will figure things out, but his handling of Philip Adams and the failure to find a decent CB makes me doubt his skills.