Friday, March 21, 2008


The Raiders don't rebuild, they reload. At least that's what they said until forced to sift through the wreckage of the failed second Art Shell administration. Last year was clearly a "rebuild" as JaMarcus was brought along, a running game was installed, and the roster was purged. So has Al decided that one year is enough or that rebuilding is the wrong approach? This offseason, draft picks and cap money have been sacrificed for players that fill holes to help the Raiders win now.

A now popular cliche is that you can't build a winner through free agency. Is this really true? The argument seems to be that free agents are always overpaid, leaving limited cap money to cover the rest of the roster and preventing the team from filling important holes. So the Raiders are destined to continue their downward spiral, right?

Not necessarily. If there's one thing Al Davis knows, it's cap manipulation. With today's higher cap numbers Al has decided to go back to playing his game this year. Think about it: who were some of the key pieces the last time Al built a winner? Rich Gannon, Charlie Garner, Jerry Rice, Eric Allen, Lincoln Kennedy, Rod Woodson, Bill Romanowski. None grew up with the Raiders.

Perhaps the Raiders are in an organizational death spiral. But the personnel moves this offseason have made them a better team.

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