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Thursday, November 13, 2008
Walker's days in Oakland could be over

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Don't be surprised if Javon Walker never plays for the Oakland Raiders again.

Walker

Walker told reporters Thursday afternoon that he will be out for the rest of the season with an ankle injury. Thus ends a miserable year for the player Oakland gave a six-year, $55 million deal in March.

Walker, who was cut by Denver in February after an injury-riddled season, was robbed and beaten in Las Vegas in June. In August, he had to be talked out of taking a year's leave of absence, he said, by the team. He was routinely criticized by former coach Lane Kiffin.

Walker, who was brought to Oakland to be a No. 1 receiver, never seemed comfortable in Oakland. He finishes the season with 15 catches for 196 yards and one touchdown.

This is the third time in four seasons that Walker's season has been severely altered by injuries. Unless Walker takes a huge pay cut, Oakland will likely be inclined to part ways with him in the offseason. The Raiders cut ties with cornerback DeAngelo Hall, another high-priced 2008 addition, last week.

Wide receiver will be at the top of Oakland's priority list again next season. The Raiders (2-7) will likely seriously consider taking a receiver in the draft, possibly Texas Tech's Michael Crabtree -- if he leaves school early.

In the meantime, Oakland will probably go with Ashley Lelie, signed just before the start of the season, to take Walker's place. Displaced starter Ronald Curry could potentially also get a chance.

In reality, Oakland is simply replacing a top receiver in theory. Walker never produced this season, so replacing him won't be a tall order.