Just when it looked like the news for the Oakland Raiders could not get worse, there is a beacon of hope. Earlier this week, reports surfaced that under the new CBA, the Raiders could wind up finding themselves over the new salary cap and forced to cut players in order to make room.
Now, it appears to be a chance the Raiders economic woes will be lessened, even if only slightly.
As has been reported numerous times throughout the NFL Lockout, assuming the new CBA moves unrestricted free agency back to four years, the Raiders will be looking at two of their bigger pieces in Zach Miller and Michael Bush becoming unrestricted free agents. This would mean that the two players would have the ability to test the free agent market and if they do choose to come back to Oakland, they would likely receive a much bigger contract than they would have under the first and third round tenders given by the Raiders right before the lockout began.
However, this morning, Adam Caplan theorized that Michael Bush actually might not be an unrestricted free agent after all. Bush spent his rookie season with the Raiders on the non-football injury list (NFI) and as a result did not see the field for the entire year. Caplan believes that because he was put on the NFI, that he may not be able to claim service for that year, meaning he has only three years credit in the league as opposed to four.
Incase you do not recall, Bush was originally considered to be a high value draft pick out of Louisville. However, a broken leg his senior year meant that Bush fell all of the way to the fourth round where the Raiders grabbed him. In addition, the fact that Bush broke his leg while in college, allowed the Raiders to place him on the non-football injury list (even though he injured it in a football game).
This could wind up being a big benefit to the Raiders. Al Davis fully intends on re-signing the back up to Darren McFadden and if the Raiders can get him for a first and third round tender, it will be the second time the Raiders will have gotten Michael Bush for a steal.
As always, for more in depth analysis of the Oakland Raiders, be sure to check out Silver and Black Pride.