The Raiders finally cured their biggest offseason headache when they agreed to ship two-time Pro Bowl defensive end Derrick Burgess to the New England Patriots in exchange for undisclosed draft picks.
Various reports had the Raiders receiving third- and fourth-round picks, a third and a fifth and some even had them getting a second-rounder in the deal. The Raiders themselves didn't even acknowledge the trade until after the team held its evening practice.
Whatever Oakland got as part of the deal, fellow defensive end Jay Richardson isn't sure it's enough.
"He's probably one of the most, if not the most respected guy in that building," Richardson said. "You don't really replace him, you just keep the ball rolling. I wish him all the best. He'll be just fine in New England's system. I'm sure he'll probably love it out there, coming off the edge like he does.
"But we've got plenty of weapons here on this defense. We've got a lot of young guys, a lot of talent. We're ready to go."
Burgess set a franchise record with 16 sacks in 2005 and followed that up with 11 the next season. Injuries slowed him the last two years, though, and he was increasingly upset over the team's refusal to renegotiate his contract.
He's set to earn $2 million this year but opted not to report to training camp in hopes of forcing a trade.
Burgess got his wish in being dealt to the Patriots where he'll join another former Raider teammate Randy Moss.
The Raiders? Cable, who repeatedly kept his comments about the situation brief and non-descript, didn't seem bothered or upset about losing the two-time Pro Bowl defensive end.
"He chose not to be here for whatever reasons and now the deal is done and we move forward, as does he," Cable said. "We just moved on without him and it is what it is. I was not kidding when I would say I would not talk about it because I was not thinking about it. I knew one way or the other it would get worked out. It was just a matter of which way it would go.
"We have good players here. That group of defensive ends with Ellis, and the young kid Shaughnessy, and Jay Richardson's back and Gunheim, Trevor Scott. We feel really good about it."
Wagaman's take: I'm probably one of the few who thought the Raiders should have made more of an effort to get something worked out with Burgess. When he's healthy, he's a beast who is capable of dominating performances, and although he's closing in on his 31st birthday, he's still one of the better pass-rushers in the NFL. That being said, it was evident months ago where this thing was headed and the Raiders were clearly ready to move on without him. That they took that stance in the offseason before training camp started – signing Greg Ellis to take Burgess' spot – made it all the easier to move on without the issue becoming a distraction. Oakland just has to hope Burgess doesn't go to New England do what Moss did when he was traded from the Raiders to the Pats.
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Burgess gets his wish, traded to Patriots
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