Rhodes, Green return
By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Wednesday, March 5th, 2008 at 6:21 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Running back Dominic Rhodes agreed to a restructured contract which dropped his salary from $3 million to $1.75 million.
Rhodes was also scheduled to receive a $2 million roster bonus Friday, and it is a safe bet that he agreed to take much less. The Raiders reduced the salary of LaMont Jordan in a similar fashion last season.
In his final two games in relief of an injured Justin Fargas, Rhodes ran for 337 yards on 56 carries against Jacksonville and San Diego, a pair of playoff caliber defenses.
Rhodes missed the first four games of the 2007 season for being in violation of the NFL’s substance abuse policy _ a pending suspension the Raiders knew was a possibility when they signed him.
By the time he returned, Jordan had injured his back but Fargas had caught the eye of the coaching staff and eventually became the starter and featured back.
Getting Rhodes to return serves as insurance in case Michael Bush, the 2007 fourth-round pick who missed the entire season recovering from a broken ankle (correction _ leg) doesn’t develop as hoped. The organization has high hopes for Bush’s skill set and size, however he remains an unknown quantity until he actually plays in an NFL game.
Assuming they don’t make a deal before draft day, it also makes for an interesting situation if Darren McFadden were to be available when the Raiders pick at No. 4. With Fargas, Bush and Rhodes, taking McFadden would seem to be a an unnecessary luxury unless they’re convinced he’s a once-in-a-decade talent.
Miami, picking at No. 1, has Ronnie Brown as its lead back. St. Louis, which picks second, is secure with Steven Jackson. Atlanta, which won a coin flip against Oakland for No. 3, recently signed free agent Michael Turner.
The Raiders, whose M.O. is usually to trade up rather than down, could be in prime position to make a deal for an established player, extra picks or both.
Word is the Raiders have also agreed to terms with offensive tackle Cornell Green on a two-year contract. Green had a career-high 10 starts last season before sustaining a knee injury and surrendering the right tackle spot to Paul McQuistan.
Makes it probably just a little less likely that McFadden will be drafted by the Raiders....it does make the backfield just a bit more crowded though as far as what the split will likely be.