In this edition of Four Down Territory, we’ll conjure up some ideas about what Al Davis wished for on his birthday and discuss the idea of a Robert Gallery change of heart. We’ll also take a look into the suggestion that Nnamdi Asomugha should sign a one-year contract to become a free agent again next season and we’ll finish it off with talk of the first handshake between Tom Cable and Hue Jackson since the inevitable happened and how the players should feel about that.
First Down – Is there a possibility that Robert Gallery hits the open market and realizes that there are no teams interested in paying $8.5 million a year and then ends up re-signing with the Raiders for close to the $2.5 million they offered him earlier this year?
BA’s Take: I think the fact that the Raider’s made the information partially public knowledge turned Gallery off, but it was he who actually said he would not be back initially. The organization was just giving their side of the story so they didn’t end up with ink on their face, so to speak. That said, I think there is potential here. But more likely somebody will offer Gallery in the neighborhood of $4 million or so. If the Raiders match it, I think there’s a good possibility he stays put. He’s already established in the Oakland area, so why not?
Dizzle’s Take: Yes and no. Yes, it is possible no one will offer him $8.5 million per season. And no, he won’t re-sign with the Raiders for $2.5 million. There is a considerable disparity between those two figures– $6 million to be exact. The Raiders low balled him and he is not happy about it. Even if he can’t get the $8.5 million he was hoping to get from the Raiders, he will get a lot more than $2.5 million. And at this point, even if no other teams offered more than the Raiders offered, he would probably opt to sign elsewhere just out of principle. Al Davis would have to step up and offer him more than another team. Al has already pulled his classic signature move of signing his replacement, Daniel Loper, to a similar contract as a not so subtle message that Gallery received loud and clear. Al did the same with Huff’s replacement, Hiram Eugene. Gallery is not coming back.
Second Down – Is there a possibility that Nnamdi Asomugha signs a one-year deal with the Raiders that would make him a free agent next off-season when times are less hectic?
Dizzle’s Take: Things may be hectic in general, but for Nnamdi it won’t be an issue. As we know, the biggest free agent names get signed when the clock strikes midnight on the opening day of free agency. And they don’t get any bigger than Nnamdi. He will have several teams approaching him with pen in hand, contract drawn up however he chooses. It is not in his best interest to sign a one year deal. One year deals are for players trying to make a comeback or those in the twilight of their careers. If he signs a one-year deal and gets injured, he would be out millions. Way too risky.
BA’s Take: I think if he re-signs with the Raiders it’s going to be a long-term contract, but this is an interesting idea. It would benefit the Raiders more to give him a long-term back-loaded contract where the money really comes through bonuses and in the later years of the contract. Al Davis has not been giving out many long-term deals since the Javon Walker and DeAngelo Hall fiasco though, so it will be interesting to watch. There’s no doubt in my mind they will offer him some kind of contract, but if it was this one-year thing, that would have to come from a suggestion from his agent, more than likely.
Third Down – Al Davis turned 82 last week, what do you think he wished for on his birthday?
BA’s Take: In a word, championship. But there are a lot of things that he could’ve contemplated, like somebody to build him a new stadium for one. Perhaps he wished for eight sell-out games this year, or the re-signing of all the key free agents. But the question is what I think he wished for, so I think he wished that Hue Jackson is the missing link that will get the team back to credibility.
Dizzle’s Take: Same thing he wishes for the other 364 days in the year; the Raiders as Super Bowl champions.
Fourth Down – Do you think anyone is still frustrated by the loss of Tom Cable or are they all over it and ready for the Hue Jackson era of Raider football?
Dizzle’s Take: Sure, there are probably a few that are skeptical. There are certainly a lot of people who are cautiously optimistic. If I had to guess, I would say that while 90% of Raider fans will say that firing Tom Cable after an 8-8 season and hiring Hue Jackson will work out, it is really more like 50% who are completely on board with it. The other 40% are hopeful they are wrong but if they are proven right, you will see them come out of the woodwork the same way they did in the years following the first firing of Art Shell. But I am only about 70% certain of my figures on this.
BA’s Take: They have to be over this, as this was all about business. If you listened to Davis’ conference when he introduced Jackson as head coach, you know that this has been a long time coming. Perhaps the players didn’t see it that way, but Hue Jackson brings so much energy and excitement that it won’t take long for the team to forget about Tom and become his. I remember all the way back at mini-camps last year, Hue Jackson made his presence known there and kind of took the whole atmosphere of the practices by storm. I think the players will buy what he’s selling, but there will be plenty of “Hi’s” and hugs to go around when the Raiders play the Seahawks in preseason action.