We had an easy winner this week in our "you pick it" feature.
The readers believe the story of the week in the AFC West was Oakland keeping kicker Sebastian Janikowski off the free-agent market. The other candidates were: Arizona free-agent linebacker Karlos Dansby's interest in playing for the Chargers, and Miami linebacker Joey Porter's interest in San Diego as well.
Oakland signed Janikowski to a four-year, $16 million deal that included $9 million in guaranteed money. It was a record deal for a kicker.
Below are some of your responses. Thanks to everyone who participated.
Mike from Sunnyvale, Calif.,: The Raiders spending money to keep another key player on a bad team in the story of the week. It has to be.
John from Kansas City: It’s the Janikowski story. Oakland overspends to keep players because the only reason anyone would play there is to get overpaid.
Daylon from Wyoming: I dont even think the Raiders breaking the bank for a guy whos on the field for 10 plays a game should be a canidate. Its the Raiders after all. Some sensible signing would be a real story for the Raiders. And really its nothing compared to the JaMarcus deal. Heck JaMarcus will problaby see the field less than Sebastian will next year and he's getting paid alot more than him. So Im going with Dansby. He supposedly will play anywhere and money is the motivating factor, how is he going to get if from them? They are pretty tight, why would they break the bank for him? And if he is going to replace Merriman he needs to at least make people think he is going to morph into a pass rusher. Since I beleive his career-high in sacks is like 8 and that was 4 years ago, not sure how that is going to work out.
Parker from Spokane, Wash.,: Bill,This weeks Pick it has got to the the Jano story. He is maybe the best kicker in the NFL and the Raiders have locked him up for a long time, but they did it for a price and this raises some serious questions: Can Oakland keep spending the way they have been? How will this affect the FA and Seymour transactions on the Raiders end? Most of all it makes me wonder how good this team can make Jano? With a good offense producing more PAs and FGs opportunities will Jano get the points to finally make the Pro-Bowl?
Laurence from Texas: Hey Bill, I have enjoyed your blog over the last season.I think the storyline for this week is Janikowski signing a big contract with Oakland. I think the other two options aren't that big of news mainly because as you are constantly saying San Diego doesn't normally sign big name free agents. In addition to this, Oakland will start running out of money really quickly if they keep giving such huge contracts like they have with Janikowski.
Thomas from San Diego: Great work as always, Bill. The storyline of the week has to be linebackers and San Diego. Not only is Dansby interested in San Diego, Joey Porter is as well. Although Shawne Merriman will likely be franchised, the Chargers should spend money and pick up a veteran Linebacker through Free Agency. AJ Smith rarely makes big splashes in the FA market, but putting Porter or Dansby on the field would make an immediate impact.
Kevin from Lebanon, Or.: SEABASS! He is (and will be) our ONLY proven offensive weapon. This deal had to get done, he scores the points until someone proves otherwise. He has been one of the best kickers in the NFL for the last 10 years. Did you see how many good teams lost games this year because of their kicker? How much would the Redskins or Cowboys pay him? All we ask, no more 74 yard kicks or sneaky trick plays that require him to run the ball. Raider fans love the fact that our kicker can totally kick your kickers butt. GO RAIDERS!