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Tuesday, February 10, 2009
Chargers and Raiders notes

By Bill Williamson
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Here is a look at a few key offseason issues for Oakland and San Diego:

Oakland:

The Sacramento Bee looks at some players who may be cut.

My take: The Raiders could cut players such as Ronald Curry, Michael Huff (which would cement him as one of the great draft busts of this decade) and receiver Javon Walker. This story suggests Walker may be safe. I think that would be a mistake on Oakland's part.

The Raiders have to admit they made a mistake, take their lumps and move on. Walker, sadly, is on the back nine of his career. Serious injuries have greatly affected him three of the past four seasons, including the past two. The odds are against Walker becoming a legitimate top receiver again. Meanwhile, the Raiders need a No. 1 receiver. They need to move on.

San Diego:

The Chargers are close to starting to address their issues at running back.

My take: This San Diego Union-Tribune story brings up several interesting points. It suggests that the team and running back LaDainian Tomlinson could soon begin discussing a restructured contract. I believe that is how this tale will eventually end. Unless one side becomes unrealistic during negotiations, I believe Tomlinson will take an incentive-based contract that will keep him in San Diego.

Also, the Chargers are considering putting the franchise tag on backup running back and return star Darren Sproles. It would be pricey, but Sproles is a threat in all aspects of San Diego's offense. If he is franchised, San Diego has to do a better job of splitting carries between Tomlinson and Sproles. I'm not saying Sproles should get as many carries as Tomlinson, but this could be a nasty combination and it could add years to Tomlinson's legs. It would only make San Diego's offensive more dangerous.