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Gannon likes Gradkowski

Former Raiders quarterback Rich Gannon has something in common with current Raiders quarterback Bruce Gradkowski.

Both were discarded and forgotten at one point in their careers.  And both found success in Oakland.

Of course, Gradkowski has a long way to go before parlaying his silver-and-black redemption into a league MVP award, like Gannon did.  But the man who once played for the head coach who honed Gannon’s skills (Jon Gruden) has done enough to get Gannon’s attention, beating the Bengals and Steelers two weeks apart.

“I know how important it is to him,” Gannon tells Nancy Gay of  “I know how hard he’s worked at it. 
I could just see it in his demeanor as I watched him play.  You watched
his facial expressions, the way he talked to the players in the
sideline and the huddle — this kid just realizes that this is an
opportunity of a lifetime
and he’s going to make the most of it.”

And Gradkowski might be helping his teammates make the most out of their opportunities, too.

“He offers hope, particularly for a team that is starving for
leadership and direction, and that’s what jumps out at
me when I look at Bruce Gradkowski and what he’s done the last three or
four weeks,” Gannon said.

So when the Raiders are trying to figure out what to do in 2010 with JaMarcus Russell, maybe the most viable option will be to keep Gradkowski and force Russell to unseat him. 

Then again, that might not matter to Russell.

“He has no passion for the game.  Everyone can see that,” an unnamed G.M. told regarding the first pick in the 2007 draft.  “I don’t think he’s getting anything at all out of
seeing Gradkowski succeed, other than nobody is booing him.”

Still, it’s unlikely that owner Al Davis is ready to give Russell a free pass out of Oakland, due to the possibility (however slim it might be) that Russell will discover his passion with a new team, and then make the Raiders look foolish for letting him go.

But if the Raiders choose to keep both, they’ll need to pay Gradkowski.  He’s due to be a restricted free agent after the season, and his base salary for 2009 is a paltry $535,000.

In contrast, Russell has a base salary this season of $7.8 million, and he’ll be paid a base salary of $9.45 million in 2010 under the current terms of his deal.

In other words, Russell will be paid more money each week next season than Gradkowski receives for all of the present campaign.

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23 Responses to “Gannon likes Gradkowski”
  1. magsdad1 says: Dec 10, 2009 10:26 AM

    That’s because he has some of the skills of an NFL quarterback.

  2. shake&bake says: Dec 10, 2009 10:30 AM

    The Raiders just neet to cut Shamu as soon as they can. If i were were Al i really wouldnt be worried about Shamu turning into a good quarterback. Thats just not going to happen. I don’t think anybody can turn that guy around.

  3. FireJerryJones says: Dec 10, 2009 10:40 AM

    Russell’s passion is McDonald’s, and his sofa.
    They should keep him as a backup for the O line.

  4. The Coop says: Dec 10, 2009 10:42 AM

    Too bad no one like’s Gannon’s color commentary.
    Shamu, now that’s funny.

  5. DonTerrelli says: Dec 10, 2009 10:53 AM

    They need to get their money back and give it to Gradkowski. JaMarcus will be a redskin next year, bu-lee dat

  6. swervinmervin says: Dec 10, 2009 10:54 AM

    Grads (The Polish Pistol) is 2-1 so far as a starter this season. He has wins against the Bengals and Steelers. In his only loss (Cowboys game) he had ZERO turnovers.
    If he plays well over the last several games of the season in games against decent defenses such as the Redskins, Broncos, and Ravens, then I think its safe to say that the Raiders have found their new Rich Gannon.
    We’ll know soon enough.

  7. phailing101 says: Dec 10, 2009 11:04 AM

    I wish I could make a ‘paltry $550,000’.

  8. Gautam says: Dec 10, 2009 11:05 AM

    Jamarcus turning into a good QB somewhere else … worst joke of the day!

  9. Joe in Toronto, Canada says: Dec 10, 2009 11:23 AM

    # DonTerrelli says: December 10, 2009 10:53 AM
    They need to get their money back and give it to Gradkowski. JaMarcus will be a redskin next year, bu-lee dat
    God, I hope you’re right, Don.
    Conventional wisdom say they’ll at least wait till training camp.
    If he arrives still sporting handles under his shoulder blades, then they’ll tell him to take a walk.

  10. RaiderChile says: Dec 10, 2009 11:25 AM

    Jamar-sucks goes to another team to find his passion? Right.
    I say let the fat ass go. He’ll steal someone else’s money and sit on the bench or get cut by the end of pre-season.
    Let him go and don’t pay that loser. Who would take him if everyone in the league knows he doesn’t care and has NO passion? Come on let him go and give that money to Gradkowski and Murphy.
    DHlameB should be put on IR and let him go too. He will NEVER get any better. He’s not even a number 3 or a return guy. He stinks and needs to go.
    Hopefully Murphy gets the Rookie of the Week award to show Al he’s the one who needs the better contract.
    DHB STINKS! He will not improve. Write it down. He’s not even a Doug Gabriel type or Jerry Porter. Boy that guy made the mistake of leaving. He should have stayed too for much less, now he’s out of football.

  11. AutumnWind999 says: Dec 10, 2009 11:38 AM

    Al needs to redo JaMarcus’ deal. No way this guy makes $9.45 million in 2010. They should offer him maybe $3 million with plenty of incentives. If he doesn’t like it, he can take a hike and good luck finding a better deal elsewhere.
    Al needs to realize that all the money he’s already spent on Russell is a sunk cost. It’s gone. It’s illogical to say ‘well we’ve already committed so much to him, we’ve got to give him another year at full salary based on the investment we’ve already made.’ The reality is you have to look at everything going forward. What has JaMarcus shown to make you believe he’s worth $9.4 million next season? Everything has to be decided based on what you expect to come, not what you hope to come or what you’ve already invested in the past. Bottom line: JaMarcus needs to take a major pay cut, or he gets cut.

  12. TylerDurden says: Dec 10, 2009 11:38 AM

    Bruce Gradkowski grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage!

  13. schism says: Dec 10, 2009 11:45 AM

    Germarcus’ situation angers me.
    What a bum.

  14. kosarsmyidol says: Dec 10, 2009 11:49 AM

    TylerDurden says: December 10, 2009 11:38 AM
    “Bruce Gradkowski grinds his coffee with his teeth and boils the water with his own rage!”
    That’s hilarious. It was painful watching the Steelers kill him during his sole start for the Browns. Of course, considering the first three quarterbacks had been injured, one really couldn’t expect the line to protect anyone. He seemed like a good guy; I’m glad he’s catching on somewhere…

  15. sodaknick says: Dec 10, 2009 11:56 AM

    “The Polish Pistol”, I love it!! I hate the Raiders but I could see myself cheering for this guy.

  16. blacktoothgrin says: Dec 10, 2009 12:41 PM

    It’s sickening seeing how much that fat piece of crap will make. If Al has 1 ounce of football knowlegde left in that senile old brain of his, he will dump Jafatass next year so there is no cap hit and pay Bruce what he’s worth. Sad thing is, someone will pick up Russell, teams picked up Leaf after SD cut him.

  17. CKL says: Dec 10, 2009 12:48 PM

    I watched Grado when he was in TB, I like the kid. His teammates are playing for him which is HUGE. Yes he had a couple lucky throws but those are the types of throws that teammates don’t even try for with JR back there, I assure you.
    I will say like I did in the Moss post that the Raiders shouldn’t care if JR becomes good anywhere else (though I would bet the deed to my house he doesn’t). All that matters is how JR is playing FOR THE RAIDERS. And compared to Grado, it’s especially ugly. As a franchise you can’t compound a bad decision by making it worse. Have to cut the losses and move on.

  18. Joe in Toronto, Canada says: Dec 10, 2009 12:55 PM

    DHB actually gives a shit and is a real team player, unlike Russell.
    Cutting him now makes no sense at all, let’s give the kid another year, he could end up being awesome.

  19. encinitasraider says: Dec 10, 2009 1:04 PM

    Your only as good as your last game. SO while Grad had a great game if he screws up against Washington top rank Pass D, none of this means anything

  20. GreyGoate says: Dec 10, 2009 2:07 PM

    The greatness of the Raiders is in the future of their quarterback, Bruce Gradkowski. Mr. Davis’ ability to nurture talent cast off by others is unparalleled in the NFL. The tribulations of the past will transform into the triumph of the future, and the pioneering vision of the most insightful man in football shall be revealed while vanquishing all those who dared doubt the Commitment to Excellence.

  21. Alzado's Vein says: Dec 10, 2009 2:19 PM

    All rookie contracts need to be incentive laden. Plain and simple. If they don’t like it, work somewhere else.

  22. Raiderfankirk says: Dec 14, 2009 8:36 PM

    Luv the comments about Al. He is one of the biggest reasons the NFL is what it is today. The God Father of Pro football. An also hell with a rookie qb, How many times we see that work out? Go Bruce Almighty.

  23. Beeray13 says: Dec 15, 2009 2:16 PM


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