Raiders Play “Deal or No Deal”

Two red-hot rumors in Raiderland indicate that the Oakland Raiders are quite serious about playing "Deal or No Deal" with a major trade before the April NFL Draft.

And this is bad news for "The Weakest Link", otherwise known as JaMarcus Russell.

The Donovan-McNabb-to-the-Raiders rumor hit DEFCON 1 Monday when the NFL Network's Adam Schefter tweeted that "Oakland is favorite to land Eagles QB Donovan McNabb." And then Schefter added the kicker, that McNabb and Raiders offensive coordinator Hue Jackson are cousins.

All weekend long, Raiders fans have been passionately choosing sides like "Twilight" fans debating whether they are for or against a proposed Nnamdi-Asomugha-for-McNabb-and-Asante-Samuel trade. The rumor first showed up on Thursday night, and the Raiders quickly issued their standard denial to the Oakland Tribune.

There's a very good reason to not expect that trade to happen. Nnamdi is the highest-paid cornerback in the NFL. There is a perception around the league -- maybe right, maybe wrong -- that paying top salary for positions like placekicker, punter, and cornerback is lunatic behavior in which only an insane person like Al Davis would engage.

Philadelphia might wish to avoid Asomugha's $15 million per year price tag. But keep an eye on the possibility of a totally different McNabb trade scenario. The Eagles put out a feeler last week, reported by the Associated Press, that they would take any pick in the top 42 selections of the NFL Draft in exchange for McNabb.

The Raiders have pick number 39, in addition to number 8 overall.

And what of JaMarcus Russell, his $10 million salary, and the unbearable salary cap hit the Raiders would take for cutting him? Simply put, there is no salary cap anymore and the only real financial consequence is to the pile of Monopoly money that is Al Davis' bank account . If you're going to cut a $68 million mega-bust draft pick, well, this would be the year to do it.

The intrigue doesn't end there, Raider Nation. David White breaks a whole separate other bombshell trade rumor in the Chronicle, that some unnamed NFL team has offered the Raiders next year's No. 1 pick plus this year's second round pick in exchange for the Raiders'  eighth-overall pick in this year's draft.

The Raiders might listen. Remember, they already traded next year's first-rounder in the Richard Seymour deal.

And if "Team Anyone But JaMarcus" gets their wish, the Raiders might be about to trade this year's second-rounder in a Donovan McNabb deal.

 Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who is trying to figure out how to fit the words "Team Gradkowski" onto a t-shirt.

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