Michael Silver: The Raiders aren’t as lucky as the Colts
Michael Silver wrote an article last night talking about how Carson Palmer doesn’t want to play for the Raiders this year even if they pay him $10 million. OK. Then Carson Palmer is an idiot, but we already knew this much.
What we didn’t know is that Silver somehow got his hands on a ‘document’ from inside the Raiders headquarters comparing the Colts situation to the Raiders last offseason. Now, before I go into how stupid this argument is because the Colts had THE NUMBER ONE PICK IN THE NFL DRAFT WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE ANDREW FREAKING LUCK A ONCE IN A GENERATION QUARTERBACK, let me talk about some other problems with the column:
1.) Silver pulls most of his quotes from ‘a source.’ Nothing is more frustrating than a writer hiding behind a nameless source (one who, quite honestly, sounds like he is Carson Palmer’s agent).
2.) Silver mentions that the Raiders had no draft picks last year and politely declines to mention how his BFF Hue Jackson was the one responsible for causing the Raiders to cough up a 1st and 2nd round pick for a proven quitter who is now about to quit on his 2nd team in 4 years.
3.) In one paragraph, Silver mentions that this offseason the Raiders let big impact players like Philip Wheeler get away. In the next paragraph he mentions Reggie McKenzie’s bad free agent signings. He fails to mention that Wheeler was signed by Reggie McKenzie…so I guess he didn’t miss on all of the free agents he brought in.
Now, as for the Colts/Raiders comparison, it doesn’t make sense for a couple of reasons.
1.) The Colts have been perenial contenders with ONE bad season in an otherwise stellar run. To wit: 2007: 13-3; 2008: 12-4; 2009: 14-2; 2010: 10-6 and then they had their bad season in 2011 when they went 2-14 and got the first overall pick. The Raiders have been without a winning season since 2003.
2.) The Colts had the first overall pick which was Andrew Luck. The Raiders didn’t pick until the very last pick in the third round.
3.) The Colts had ten draft picks, the Raiders had 5.
4.) Silver–or rather, Silver quoting from the ‘document’ he obtained–states that the Colts and Raiders had similar dead money situations: the Colts had $38 million in dead money and the Raiders had $28 million.
The difference? The Colts were able to get out of salary cap hell in one year. This year, they had $41 million in cap room when the offseason started. And what did they do with all of that cap-room? They signed a bunch of questionable players: Laron Landry got $14 million guaranteed, Ricky Jean Francois was given $22 million over 4 years and someone named Gosder Cherilus was given a $34 million over 5 years. So in the one year the Colts GM had money to spend, he spent it poorly. And even with all of those signings they still have over $11 million in cap space.
The Raiders meanwhile have $23 million of dead money this year. That is almost as much as last year. AND they only had about $4.5 million in salary cap space when free agency opened. After cutting and signing some players, they have about $7 million now. So they still had to take a chain saw to their roster, still had dead money, and still basically had no money to spend. That’s how bad their situation is.
5.) OK now here is the big one. You know how many games the 11-5 Colts won in 2012 by 5 points or less? 6.
You know how many games the 8-8 2011 Raiders won by 5 points or less? 4. And we all know what happened to them last year.
So, who wants to bet that the Colts take a BIG step back next year? I certainly do.