The worst free agent class in Raiders fans' memory continues to receive it's proper recognition -- in the form of pink slips.
Everyone with so much as a wireless modem is reporting Monday that the Raiders will release wide receiver Javon Walker, one year into his 6-year, $55 million contract. Walker will end up having made $17 million for appearing in eight games and catching a total of 15 passes. That works out to $1.3 million per caught football.
Walker did attempt to retire on them last summer, before ever even playing a single game, reportedly telling the team his "heart was no longer into it." Man, if I could devise some way to make $1.3 million every time I successfully caught a football, rest assured my heart would be very much into that arrangement.
Walker's Raider tenure will be best remembered not for anything he did on the field, but for a bizarre nightclub incident last summer in Las Vegas where he was robbed, beaten up, and changed his story several times when security camera footage kept disproving each new version of events he submitted to the police.
The Raiders have been cutting last season's unproductive free agent acquisitions like gangbusters as of late, showing the door to the underwhelming likes of offensive tackle Kwame Harris, safety Gibril Wilson, and defensive end Kalimba Edwards. All of the above were given generous, eight-figure multiple-year deals... and all have been "one-and-done" embarassments. But those guys look like the '85 Bears compared to the even more fantastically ineffective DeAngelo Hall, acquired last summer and released eight measly games into his 7-year, $70 million deal.
There is a silver (haha!) lining to the Raiders' glut of intellectually bankrupt personnel moves -- the team recognizes the problem, and they are engaging in a genuine and targeted mop-up job to address this mess. They're not a cheapskate team, they're sincere in aggressively trying to improve the roster and win games. It's encouraging that they are willuing to spend to pursue results, and willing to correct course when they don't get results.
It's not encouraging, though, that the same brain-dead braintrust that got hoodwinked into overpaying for the last batch of stooges is still in place, presumably to overpay another new batch of underachieving stooges.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who has himself been properly recognized in the form of pink slips.