Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson
It's official: The Oakland Raiders are the worst franchise in the NFL.
They now, apparently, want to undo what many thought they should never have done by dumping the high-profile, high-priced players they brought in this year.
Oakland, according to sources, is close to cutting cornerback DeAngelo Hall and could eventually part ways with other high-priced veterans. Candidates could include Javon Walker, Tommy Kelly, Gibril Wilson and Kwame Harris.
These players were all brought in during the offseason to give a spark to Oakland, which had won an NFL-low 19 games since the 2003 season. But, by and large, these players have been high-priced disasters.
Oakland (2-6) is on its second head coach of the season and it appears to have taken steps backward.
Now it seems Oakland's management -- i.e. owner Al Davis -- wants a do-over. The Raiders want to erase 2008 and start from scratch. Of course, it's not that easy even if the Raiders get rid of all of these players before the start of the 2009 season. There will be salary-cap consequences. Oakland will simply not be able to go on another spending spree next season.
My advice: Start the next do-over in the trenches. Oakland needs to get better on both the offensive and defensive lines. The Raiders don't need glitzy, big-name players. They need good, solid, young players. They need better drafts. They need to be smarter in free agency.
The Raiders were so happy about this offseason that they convinced themselves they'd be a playoff contender. Clearly, they no longer think that. Maybe that is the positive here. Maybe Oakland finally realizes that it has made mistakes.
Sure, the price is steep. If Hall is cut and leaves Oakland after eight games, he would have been paid $8 million and would have cost Oakland a second- and a fifth-round draft pick in April's draft.
Yes, this whole thing is a disaster. Is there any way we can't look at this team as the worst franchise in the NFL?
Chris Mortenson talks about Oakland's latest moves.