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AFC West mailbag

2/14/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Lawrence from San Jose: Hey Bill. So, you keep saying that the Raiders have to pick between Asomugha and Lechler to franchise and keep. Does that mean that neither of the two want to stay with the Raiders and the only way they can retain them is to franchise one of them? Or they can't afford both of them? Salary cap issues? Is it impossible or just unlikely to keep the both of them?

BW: Teams can franchise just one player. Thus, Nnamdi Asomugha or Shane Lechler (most likely Asomugha) will be franchised and the other will be unrestricted and free to sign elsewhere. It would be very difficult for Oakland to retain both. Both players would be sought after on the open market and will likely get a huge contract to leave. Is it impossible that Oakland keeps both players? No. But it will be a trick.


Michael from Pueblo: Hey Bill, so i have a question what is going on with Tatum Bell...is he staying in Denver?

BW: Bell was brought in as an emergency back late in the season because of a rash of injuries. He could be brought to camp but I doubt he will be a high priority in the team's plans.


Mark from Wilmington, DE: Bill - As always, luv your AFC West blogs. Any chance of Oakland picking up Owens, and Burress? Then they could concentrate on their O & D lines during their draft. Any chance of Big Al bringing back long time loyal Raider Tim Brown to work soemwhere in the organization? He has publicly stated that he's hurt whenever people take jabs at the Raiders and would love to help out at any level.

BW: Both of them? I don't think so, not with Oakland's limited salary-cap space. Plus, both of those players would want to be the top receiver wherever they play. Plus, Owens is still a Cowboy and Burress is still a Giant, so all talk is premature. But if either player becomes available, I could see the Raiders trying to pursue one of them.


Steve from New York: Hi Bill, I understand your draft comments about KC but don't you think Curry is worth the # 3 pick?

BW: My comment was that there are more quality offensive players than defensive players high in the draft. But if the Wake Forest outside linebacker proves to be worth the high pick, sure the Chiefs should take him.