by Stephen Buel
If Al Davis had to blow a ton of cash on free agents, at least he found the right way to do it this year. On Thursday the Chronicle reported that the Raiders offered Pro Bowl cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha a three-year, $45-million contract that makes him the best compensated cornerback in the league. An earlier deal for Pro Bowl punter Shane Lechler received a four-year, $16 million dollar deal that makes him tops at his position.
Now comes the hard part. As Nancy Gay reported on Monday, the Raiders rank ninth on the list of highest NFL team payrolls, and that was before either of these two blockbuster deals. Before the deals, Davis only had about $7 million of clearance between his payroll and the 2009 league maximum payroll of $123 million. Time to clear out some of the dead wood from Al's prior free agent spending orgies. That's gotta be done by Feb. 27.
Meanwhile, Coach Tom Cable seems to have his priorities in proper order. He's preparing study a lot of film in preparation for the 2009 NFL draft.