Raiders trying to fix mistakes of 2008

February, 20, 2009
2/20/09
7:39
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

The deconstruction of Oakland Raiders' disastrous 2008 offseason is underway (again).

When the Raiders shocked the league at midseason by cutting starting cornerback DeAngelo Hall (who signed a $70-million plus deal after being acquired in a deal with Atlanta), there were reports that the purge of newly signed players would continue after the season.

It started Friday when safety Gibril Wilson and defensive end Kalimba Edwards were released. Wilson signed a $30-million plus deal last year and Edwards was signed to a more modest deal. Veteran receiver Ronald Curry was also cut Friday.

In addition to Hall, Wilson and Edwards, more 2008 signees could be washed away. The Raiders shelled out $25 million in salaries and bonuses last year. Now, after a great failure, the Raiders are making headlines by whacking players who were brought in.

Left tackle Kwame Harris, receiver Javon Walker (although he would be a cap hit if released) and defensive tackle Tommy Kelly (who signed a $50-million plus contract to stay in Oakland last year) all could conceivably be cut.

Oakland fans shouldn't let the team off the hook here. They should be furious.

Yes, the Raiders made good by re-signing in-house standouts Nnamdi Asomugha and Shane Lechler to long-term deals this week, the colossal mistakes made last year will continue to hurt the team. Those moves were made to end a five-year downturn. Not only did the signed players do little to help the team in 2008, but the Raiders finished 5-11 to become the first team in NFL history to lose at least 11 games in six straight seasons.

Now, the long recovery begins.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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