Time to jack the Raiders again?


Oakland’s got a kicker making $4 million a year and a punter making $4 million a year, so maybe this all shouldn’t be so shocking.

But still …

The Raiders tender CB Stanford Routt — who started one game last fall — at the first- and third-round level. They tender long-snapper Jon Condo at the second-round level. And then they tender Kirk Morrison at the original-draft level (third round, in Morrison’s case).

Huh? I’m all for sound special teams and defensive depth, but Morrison’s been a tackling machine for the Raiders. He’s a true three-down middle linebacker, having played in 1,041 of Oakland’s 1,096 defensive snaps in 2009 (21 of those missed were in a game, vs. Houston, in which he got hurt). He was on the sideline for a total of 12 snaps in the season’s final 12 weeks. And he’s still just 28 years old.

Again … huh? Looks like the Patriots have an opportunity here to move in and poach another Raider, and one with some experience playing for an ex-New England assistant (Rob Ryan). The one hang-up is that New England doesn’t have a third-round pick right now, meaning they’d either have to get one or work something out with Oakland (hasn’t been an issue in the past).

The other problem: This guy ain’t flying under the radar. He’s just what the doctor ordered for the New York Giants, looking to replace Antonio Pierce, and could be a consolation prize in the Karlos Dansby Sweepstakes for a team like Miami. So he probably won’t come cheap.

But I know the idea of pairing a guy like Morrison with Jerod Mayo’s a tantalizing thought for people around here.


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