Thursday, March 30, 2006

Raiders In Hunt For...Joey Harrington!? Can You Say "Trade Bait"

If the Oakland Raiders do strike a deal with Detroit Lions quarterback Joey Harrington, it will give them a set of four quarterbacks, all of which can start for the Silver and Black: Harrington, the recently signed Aaron Brooks, second-year man Andrew Walter, and sixth year man Marquez Tuiasasopo.


The Raiders will almost certainly keep three quarterbacks, so one has to think that they're going to use one of the others as trade bait to move up in the draft. It's the only logical move.

Stay tuned.

Raiders get OK to meet Harrington
Oakland already has three QBs signed
By Bill Soliday, STAFF WRITER
Oakland Tribune

Having signed Aaron Brooks, are the Raiders still in the market for a quarterback?

That possibility was raised when the Detroit Lions said the Raiders were one of several teams that had requested permission to speak with Joey Harrington regarding a trade.

Harrington, the Lions starter since his rookie year, remains on the Lions roster, and Detroit is expected to explore a trade after adding Jon Kitna and Josh McCown in recent weeks. Failing to trade Harrington, it is believed the Lions will give him his release on June1.

The Raiders had no comment on the Harrington report.

The Raiders acquired Brooks earlier this month as a free agent who was formerly the starter in New Orleans. He joins holdover quarterbacks Andrew Walter and Marques Tuiasosopo on the Raiders roster.

Coach Art Shell, speaking with reporters at the owners meetings in Orlando, Fla., said nothing was concrete in terms of which of the current three quarterbacks would be designated the starter.

"He (Brooks) is coming in to compete against the two kids," Shell said, noting that the new Raider was not opposed to trying to win the job.

"The job has not been given to him. We went to dinner together, talked about a lot of things, and he said, 'Coach, all I want to do is compete.' The biggest thing for him is to get away from where he's been. Mentally erase as much of what happened and just dive into what we're doing with the Raiders. Come in, have fun, compete and he'll have success."

As for the holdover quarterbacks, Walter and Tuiasosopo, Shell said, "We feel pretty good about (them). Those two kids are outstanding talents. With the competition at that position, I think we're pretty solidified at that position. But we're always looking to upgrade in all different areas."

Addressing speculation the Raiders might be inclined to draft a quarterback on April29, Shell deferred comment for the moment.

"We don't know who we're going to draft, to be honest with you," he said. "We don't know how this thing is going to go (and) won't rule anything out. The Raiders' history is take the best player available, and (with) the draft, it changes every day."

During his meeting with reporters, in his first public comments since a press conference upon his hiring on Feb.11, Shell said the decision to hire Tom Walsh as his offensive coordinator was based on a comfort level he felt with the man who held the position throughout his first tenure with the Raiders.

Walsh has not coached in the NFL since 1994 and in recent years has been out of football totally while running a bed and breakfast and serving as mayor of a small town in Idaho.

"He's a great football mind," Shell said. "He's a smart guy. He knows what I want, how I want to do things. He knows the system I like to run.

"He hasn't been involved in the NFL, but he's been involved in football. We've been talking for about two or three years now about football. I told him if I ever got back into this thing, I want (him) to come with me. I really feel good about him. He's going to do well. Having Tom back is a real plus to me because he knows me."

EXTRA POINTS: Confirming earlier reports, the Raiders will play in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio, on Aug.6 against the Philadelphia Eagles. The 5 p.m. game will be televised on NBC. Former Raiders coach John Madden and the late Reggie White, who played for the Eagles (as well as the Green Bay Packers), are scheduled for enshrinement. ... The remainder of the Raiders' exhibition schedule finds them playing the Vikings in Minnesota on Aug.14. Specific dates for home games against the 49ers and Detroit that follow have not been set, nor has the exhibition finale at Seattle. ... The Raiders have played in the Hall of Fame game twice, defeating Dallas 20-13 in 1979 and Green Bay 19-3 in 1993.