AKA John Clayton...

Raiders' options drying upposted: Monday, March 5, 2007
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Monday was not a good day for people in the Raiders organization who might consider moving Randy Moss to another team in a trade.
First, the Packers had to start mapping out plans to replace departed halfback Ahman Green. With Travis Henry, LaMont Jordan and Thomas Jones no longer possibilities, the Packers might have to consider using one of their top two draft choices on a running back. It was probably unlikely the Packers would give up anything higher than a third-round draft pick for Moss, but those options are drying up.

Second, the Patriots gave a second-round draft pick and a seventh-round draft pick for 5-foot-8 wide receiver Wes Welker. While the Patriots have an extra No. 1 from Seattle, they clearly won't give a first-rounder for Moss. With only six draft choices left, the Patriots have made their big trade acquisition in Welker. Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli are too good at building their team to go into a draft with five or less draft choices. Moss may be stuck in Oakland.

Bears moving up: If you are trying to figure out the Thomas Jones trade, it's pretty simple. The Bears moved up 26 spots in the second round, getting a Jets pick at No. 37. That's a prime position to get a borderline rookie starter or a quality prospect. Why would the Bears have to give up a second-round pick and Jones to get a second-round pick? The answer is simple. The market for veteran running backs is at best a third-round pick. The Bears wanted to get a second-round pick alone but they couldn't. If you look at the draft value charts, the Bears gave up 280 points. That's the equivalent of one of the final choices of the second round or a top choice in the third round. In other words, they got the best value possible for a 28-year-old running back.

The Jones trade puts the Buffalo Bills in a tough spot. They really do want to trade Willis McGahee, who is entering the final year of his contract. The best they are going to get is a third-round pick but they better move fast to get a trade. Teams are filling up their running back spots. The Jets, Texans and Broncos are no longer buyers. They got their backs. The Raiders aren't going to get a back after re-doing Jordan.

Jordan makes right move: The reason Jordan is off the market is he decided at the last minute to restructure his contract. He reduced his roster bonus from $4.75 million to $3 million. He didn't get a signing bonus; he just took a straight pay cut. Jordan was reluctant to do that over the weekend but changed his mind. He was smart in doing that. He lost out on a chance to go to the Jets when they traded for Jones. Jordan could have lost a game of musical chairs by getting released by the Raiders.

Dolphins give up McMichael: The Dolphins tried like crazy to get trade value for tight end Randy McMichael. He was due a $3 million roster bonus on Tuesday and the Dolphins elected not to pay him. His performance had been too inconsistent in their eyes and he had some off-the-field issues. Ideally, they would have liked to pick up a third-rounder for him because he clearly is one of the league's more talented pass-catching receivers. Still, the Dolphins can't get too greedy. They got a sixth-rounder for Big Daddy Wilkinson. I'm still trying to figure out how they got an additional seventh-rounder out of the Patriots. The Dolphins weren't going to match the Wes Welker offer sheet. They would have been content to take the second-rounder. But the Patriots felt it was easier to give them an additional seventh than go through the ordeal of bloating a contract that the Dolphins wouldn't match. They weren't going to match. Now the Dolphins have nine draft choices.

No Bucs youth movement: Don't be surprised to see the Bucs make a move on former Giants left tackle Luke Petitgout on Tuesday. They had him in for a visit last week. They seem to be interested in signing him. They've brought in Jeff Garcia at quarterback and Kevin Carter at defensive end. This isn't a youth movement with the Bucs. They are trying to win now, which is why a veteran left tackle is attractive to them.

Bly not happy guy: The Broncos definitely have problems with cornerback Dre Bly. While he was being shopped by the Lions, the Redskins, Saints and Broncos wanted him. The Redskins were willing to restructure his contract in a way he liked. Unfortunately for Bly, this wasn't free agency. He's upset with the Broncos and won't restructure his contract for them. The Broncos will be reluctant to trade him, and there might not be options because the Redskins signed Fred Smoot to help out at cornerback. Bly may be stuck in Denver -- although the Broncos did call to set up a visit from Cardinals cornerback David Macklin.

Curtis makes strange move: Kevin Curtis made the strangest move of the day by changing agents. He had one of the best, Tom Condon. He had visits to the Vikings and Lions. Condon set up a visit to the Giants. Should he officially change agents, he would have to wait five days to hire another one. Losing five days in this free-agent market can cost a player a lot of money.

Johnson likes what he sees: Brad Johnson's signing with the Cowboys shouldn't be a surprise. He liked the idea of working with Jason Garrett, the team's new offensive coordinator. Despite the Vikings poor season last year, Johnson still is considered one of the league's best backup quarterbacks.