Time for Gannon to show his cards

Soon and very soon the Raiders will find out just where they stand with quarterback Rich Gannon. For the last three months Gannon has abstained from the team's offseason workout program in an apparent contract dispute. He has skipped two organized team activities as well as a voluntary mini-camp in April. But with Oakland opening a three-day mandatory mini-camp later this week, Gannon will have to make a decision.

Should he decide to attend the mini-camp, which runs from Thursday through Saturday at the team's Alameda facilities, Gannon will have to answer questions not only from the media but from his fellow players. Several of Gannon's teammates are reportedly upset over Gannon's decision to stay away from the offseason workouts and some have allagedly voiced their support to the coaching staff for second-year man Marques Tuiasosopo to be the starting quarterback.

Having Tuiasosopo run the offense is a serious stretch. While he's made strides since joining the Raiders as a second-round draft pick last season, Tuiasosopo has thrown just four passes in the regular season and is nowhere near being ready to run an NFL offense, particularly one that is expected to make a serious run at the Super Bowl in the upcoming season.

But it's clear that Gannon is losing support in Oakland. His absence can't sit well with first-year head coach Bill Callahan, who had hoped his quarterback would play a key role in the transition from Jon Gruden's regime. Instead, Gannon has refused to take part in the offseason workouts and instead has remained at his home in Minnesota.

Owner Al Davis likely isn't happy about the situation either and that can't be a positive for Gannon. After all, quarterback Steve Beuerlein once tried holding out on Davis and was promptly removed from the starting lineup and later out of the team's plans altogether. Running back Marcus Allen had a much-hyped falling out with Davis and found out the hard way what happens when the old man puts the squeeze on.

Of course none of this will matter much if Gannon reports, addresses and apologizes to his teammates, then goes out and has another solid season. Winning is the best cure-all and it heals a lot of wounds.

But if Gannon makes the decision to skip the mandatory mini-camp, expect things to get real tense real quick in the land of Silver and Black.

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