BA’s Banter: Ocho, T.O., or Plaxico?

Following the 2010 NFL season, it was clear the Oakland Raiders needed help in their wide receiving corps. The Raiders have clearly put off having a veteran presence at the position for too long. A veteran wide receiver would be the last piece of the puzzle in providing what the Raiders need to grow their young guys potential.

The question is: Who is it going to be?

Chad Johnson Ochocinco Johnson:

Chad Johnson was under Raiders’ head coach Hue Jackson’s tutelage in Cincinnati from 2004-06. He caught 95 balls for 1274 yards and nine TD’s in 2004. The 1274 yards was a Bengals’ record that he later surpassed in 2005, recording 1432 yards. He led the AFC in receiving yards for four consecutive seasons, and he made the Pro Bowl five straight times from 2003 to 2007.

The biggest question about Johnson is if he is still dedicated to the game. His off the field and on the field antics are things that will follow him forever. From a premature Hall of Fame jacket to customized cleats with his picture on them, Johnson has done just about everything to draw attention to himself. He is also a reality TV figure now.

The Bengals currently have an option on Chad Johnson’s contract to bring him back in 2011. At first it appeared as though a divorce was eminent. But Johnson recently told NFL Live that he does not wish to leave Cincinnati anymore. “I don’t want to go anywhere,” he said. “I love Cincinnati, I love the fans. And, Cincinnati is all I know. That’s all I know and I just look forward to next year.”

What of his love of Hue Jackson? Well, Johnson is not Jackson exclusive.

“I’d do anything to play for someone like Rex Ryan,” Johnson said. “Or anyone who has that type of mentality.”

Johnson has also said that he hopes the Bengals bring back Terrell Owens.

Chance of Being a Raider: 60-70%  Johnson would have his competitive fire back if reunited with Hue Jackson in Oakland. I think both of these men know that. Don’t be surprised if Ocho goes to O-town.

Terrell Owens:

Owens has been to a lot of different cities in a short period of time since he left the San Francisco 49ers.  At 37 years young, you have to think his tank is starting to run low.

Owens recently told NFL Network that he still has a few good years left in him and he wants to make those years with a team that has a chance to win a championship. Owens said that he has been to the Super Bowl, and now he wants to do it again and get a ring this time.

From the way he talked, he does not wish to return to the Bengals. He spoke of how Carson Palmer is “saying some things without directly saying them” by asking for a trade. He also spoke a little bit about how the coaches were not doing their jobs as well as they were capable of.

Last year there was approximately a 50-50 split of fans that wanted T.O. in Oakland. Some said he still had a lot to offer, and clearly a 70-plus catch, 900-plus yard, 9 TD performance in 2010 is a lot to offer. Other people contend that he would be detrimental to the QB wherever he is.

Chance of Being a Raider: 40-50%  Owens could be considered a high reward, low risk pickup for a team. No guaranteed money means you can butt him if he acts up.

Plaxico Burress:

On Friday, November 28, 2008, Burress shot himself in the right thigh. A few months later, he went to prison for two class-C felony counts of criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree. With good behavior, he will be released some time early in 2011. Since the Giants released him from his contract, he will be a free agent.

Overall, Burress had a rough year in 2008.

In August and September 2008, Totowa police responded to two domestic disturbance calls at his house. At both times temporary restraining orders were issued that were later dismissed by state court

On September 24, 2008, the team announced that Burress would be suspended for the game on October 5 for a violation of team rules. He did not show up for work on a Monday and could not be reached by phone for two days. On October 24, 2008 he was issued three fines totaling $45,000 for the following reasons:

1) $20,000 for post-game comments — specifically, inappropriate comments on officiating
2) $20,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct — specifically, verbal abuse of the head linesman
3) $5,000 for throwing the ball in the stands

According to the Associated Press, Burress has been sued at least nine times since he joined the NFL in 2000 and he currently has a civil lawsuit pending against him in Broward County, Florida, where a woman claims that his $140,000 Mercedes-Benz collided with the back of her car. The suit, filed on December 8, 2008, claims that Burress was liable for causing permanent injuries to the woman. It is noted that because Burress failed to pay his car insurance premium, his policy was cancelled three days before the accident.

Hines Ward has publicly stated that the Steelers should bring Burress back to Pittsburgh. Burress will likely want a larger contract than either Johnson or Owens.

Chance of Being a Raider: 10-20%  Burress is too much trouble for Al Davis at this point in his career. He is exactly the opposite of what you want young receivers learning in the NFL.

Santana Moss:

Moss was with Jason Campbell in Washington every year of his career as a Redskin. In 2010, he was also the most productive of the players mentioned in this article, producing a career-high 93 catches for 1100-plus yards and 6 touchdowns.

But it may have been because he was all pumped up.  In May 2010, The Washington Post reported that Moss allegedly received human growth hormone from Dr. Anthony Galea.

It’s also worth noting that Moss is familiar with Al Saunders as an offensive coordinator, though he was not 100 percent healthy when they were together in Washington.

Moss set a single season receiving yards record for the Redskins in his 2005 Pro Bowl year. His 93 catches last year was the second highest mark in Redskins history. He will be 32 this year and heading into his tenth season. Based on his play in 2010, he could be a pricey free agent.

Chance of Being a Raider: 70-80%  Of the guys listed here, Moss has been the most reliable for his offense. He really doesn’t have the character flaws of some of these guys and he has history with Campbell and Saunders.

Randy Moss:

Don’t be shocked if another Moss comes to Oakland this year to reunite with Richard Seymour and a couple other former teammates. Al Davis still thinks Moss is a dangerous vertical threat and Moss may be desperate enough for a job to promise Davis big production in 2011.

Moss could be another low risk, high reward player in Oakland. He has shown that he is capable of not running off at the mouth, though he did dig his most recent graves in New England and Minnesota. The Titans chose to franchise their kicker over Moss. That’s got to hurt the man’s enormous ego just a bit.

Moss still has gas and Davis still has his regrets. The fans may not be so friendly though.

Chance of Being a Raider: 50%  There’s history here… and perhaps unfinished business.

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Put it in my box: Bret@tfdssports.com

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