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An historic day in the NFL (and other notes)

Saints Punishment, Raiders fallout

Most of you will already be aware of the historic punishment that Commissioner Roger Goodell handed to the New Orleans Saints in response to the unfolding bounty scandal that has been the talk of the football world.

If you’re not aware of it, you can read more here.

The point to take away for Raiders fans is that head coach Dennis Allen appears to have escaped from punishment.  He was the secondary coach for the Saints during the 2009 season.  It appears that all administrative roles that are to be punished have received their punishment.

In addition, the Saints 2nd round pick for this year has been removed.  If the Raiders get the top Comensatory pick – the first at the end of the 3rd round – it just got one position better with the loss of that 2nd round selection.

Another addition at CB

The Raiders continued to gather former 2nd round defensive backs that have fallen on hard times, coming to terms with former Green Bay cornerback Pat Lee today. 

Lee is similar to recently signed CBs Ronald Bartell and Shawntae Spencer in body type.  He is 6’0”, 196 lbs, which is w/in an inch of each of the other players and within 10 lbs of the others as well.  His resume is much less impressive however.

Where both Bartell and Spencer have starting experience and have flashed the ability that made them 2nd round picks, Lee has barely seen the field and has never started a game.  He’s made 19 tackles and has 0 interceptions in his 4 years in the league.

He is expected to compete for a position in sub packages, but probably not for a starting position.

Raiders interested in Tollefson, Lawson

The team is reportedly interested in looking at free agent DE Dave Tollefson.  Tollefson, most recently a Giant, was drafted by Green Bay in the 7th round in 2006 but never played a game for them.  He’s 6’4 and 266 lbs. 

He was used in rotation with the Giants, playing in every game last season but only starting in two.  The Giants play a 4-3 base defense which is likely the base defense the Raiders will use this season, based upon their personnel.

The Raders are reportedly also interested in hosting LB Manny Lawson.  Lawson was drafted by San Francisco in 2006 with the 22nd pick in the 1st round but he never lived up to his 1st round hype, there and he left to Cincinnati after 5 years with the 9ers.  He played defensive end in college but has made a transition to LB in the NFL.

He has extensive starting experience having started 72 of 80 career games.

Another familiar face

The Raiders resigned OT Khalif Barnes today.  He was an unrestricted free agent.  He started all 16 games for the Raiders at RT last season.  The signing gives the Raiders options in training camp for the structure of the offensive line.

Barnes may be given a look at RT but he’ll face competition from Joseph Barksdale and, possibly, Bruce Campbell.

Barnes gives the Raiders a good fall back option in case no other player steps up but he’s probably best in a backup role, especially if the team is serious about reducing penalties.  If Barnes wins back the starting position, Raiders fans can look forward to another false-start-plagued season.

For updates during the day or to ask questions or tell me what you think, follow me on Twitter @AsherMathews