It appears the Oakland Raiders are trying a new philosophy with free agency 2010.
Instead of handing enormous sums of money to has-beens who are past their primes, the Raiders are instead handing pink slips to has-beens who are past their primes.
The Raiders cut receiver Javon Walker and linebacker Greg Ellis on Monday, the Oakland Tribune reports. Steve Corkran also reports in the Tribune that Ellis could be welcomed back to the Raiders for training camp, albeit at a far lower salary.
That's not all. The Raiders also let lineman Cornell Green walk away, and the Buffalo Bills scooped him up. So if you had any ethical issues with the Raiders having a starting right tackle who beats the mother of his children senseless with an aluminum mop handle, you might sleep a little easier this season.
Javon Walker's outlandish Raiders contract has become something of a poster child for everything that's wrong with NFL free agency. David White quite fairly referred to Walker's deal on his Chronicle blog as "the worst free-agent signing in franchise (maybe even NFL) history."
Why all the hate? Well, as ProFootballTalk.com notes, Walker made $14 million over two seasons for catching a measly 15 passes. That's nearly one million dollars per catch.
Mamas, do let babies grow up to be unproductive wide receivers.
Greg Ellis did not stink on such a historic scale, and his '09 performance wasn't half bad. He certainly provided the veteran leadership the Raiders wanted, and he tied for the team lead in sacks. But he did it with a knee swollen to the size of a grapefruit, and he'll have to heal that fragile knee before the Raiders will take him back.
So maybe count Greg Ellis among the people who are pleased to see that the mop-handle assault specialist has a one-way ticket to Buffalo, NY.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is a little misty-eyed over this being the last time he can link to those Javon Walker champagne-spraying photos on TMZ from the night he got beat up in Vegas.