Walker doesn't have to go

The Raiders still have to clear nearly $4 million from the books in order to get under the salary cap by Thursday's deadline. Could that mean more players are on their way out? Javon Walker's name has come up but Michael Wagaman thinks Walker is safe. Do you agree?

Walker had, obviously, a massively disappointing season in 2008. It started with the offseason incident in Las Vegas, continued with his talk of retirement during training camp and ended with him being placed on injured reserve midway through the year after making just 15 catches and scoring only one touchdown.

With Al Davis getting serious about trimming the fat from Oakland's roster, what with the recent moves to cut Ronald Curry, Gibril Wilson and Kalimba Edwards, there's been a lot of chatter that Walker could be the next one on the chopping block.

I doubt it.

For starters, it's obvious that Davis has a soft spot for Walker for whatever reason. When Walker went to then-head coach Lane Kiffin during the early days of training camp and talked of his desire to retire, it was Davis who convinced the 30-year-old receiver to stay. Walker had even offered to give back his $11 million signing bonus, which many NFL experts considered was far too high for a player with Walker's most recent health issues. But Davis stood firm and Walker stayed with the team.

If anything, look for Walker to renegotiate his deal, which has been a habit of the Raiders front office for years.

There's other players the team can look at to free up salary cap space as well. Quarterback JaMarcus Russell and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, for example, can agree to restructure their deals in order to free up cap space.

By the way, Kelly's name has also come up as a potential player to be cut as part of the Raiders' roster renovation, but Davis semi-addressed that issue earlier this month when he acknowledged Kelly had a disappointing season but said "We'll get a better thing this year. We didn't get as much as we hoped for last year. He did come through the year without injury. It usually takes a year to come around from that thing."

In short, the Raiders don't have to make any more moves. Restructuring deals on a yearly basis has been a practice in the NFL for years. Former wide receiver Tim Brown once said that the salary cap is just an excuse to not sign players and that any team could do whatever it wanted to simply by renegotiating current deals. Brown should know. He re-did his contract numerous times with the Raiders.

A few tweaks here and there should get Oakland under the cap with no problem by Thursday's NFL deadline. The Raiders may also make a few other minor roster moves or will have to do more restructuring after that, however, to create more room under the cap in order to sign their first-round draft pick.

Do you agree? http://mbd.scout.com/themes/scout2/post.aspx?s=66&f=1886

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