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Horse Tracks - 5/7/10 - The Raiders are finally above the Chargers

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Yep.  You read that right.  The Oakland Raiders now have the upper-hand over the San Diego Chargers.  By dumping former #1 JaMarcus Russell yesterday the Raiders have overtaken the Chargers for drafting the biggest bust in NFL history.  Ryan Leaf, the former title-holder, was not nearly as bad as Russell, who collected a ton of money for throwing a ton of incompletions.  That said, should Broncos fans be excited to see Russell go?  Part of me says 'Yes!".  Like Leaf, many of Russell's 'bright spots' came against the Broncos, in Denver no less.  In beating the Broncos in their own backyard - in both 2008 and 2009 - Russell and the Raiders in many ways kept the Broncos from making the playoffs.  In 2008, it cost the Broncos a division title and likely set the wheels in motion that resulted in the firing of Mike Shanahan.  While we can laugh a bit at the Raiders for this one, also breathe a sigh of relief.  As bad as Russell was, he did beat Jay Cutler and Kyle Orton, in Denver, in crucial match-ups.  I, for one, am glad he's gone!

A Fortified Front -
When the Broncos' 2009 campaign came to a close with an 8-8 record, the team knew what it needed to do to improve -- control the line of scrimmage.

Raising Awareness About Asthma -
That's why the Denver Public Schools Asthma Program created "Teaming up to Take Charge of Asthma" events, sponsored by National Jewish Health. The third such event was held at Montbello High School, and Head Coach Josh McDaniels -- who has asthma -- gladly gave his time in support of the program

Demaryius Thomas: Time for work to begin with Broncos - The Denver Post
In this installment, Broncos rookie wide receiver -- and top draft choice -- Demaryius Thomas answers questions about Denver's sudden southern flavor, training like Jerry Rice, and that other rookie draft pick.

Broncos beef up with veteran tackle Williams - The Denver Post
The Broncos continued their march toward a far bigger offensive front for the upcoming season, signing veteran tackle/guard Maurice Williams on Thursday.

Tebow honored, humbled that his jersey is best seller - The Denver Post
Tim Tebow had only eight full days, yet somehow he managed to top all NFL players in jersey sales for the month of April.

Krieger: It's time to show Elvis the money - The Denver Post
The Broncos have all spring to lock up the NFL's sack leader with a multiyear deal, if that's their plan. Everything they say suggests it is, except for the references to labor "uncertainty."

Broncos’ Quinn remembers draft day | All Things Broncos
File it under whatever doesn’t crush you will certainly make you stronger.

Paige: McD says Tebow has the "It" factor - The Denver Post
"I think the thing about Tim is what everybody calls the 'It'. There are those kind of people that have that 'It,' " the coach said emphatically this week in his office at Dove Valley. On the wall beside McDaniels' desk is a large TV, and frozen on the flat screen was Tim Tebow, in his orange Broncos practice jersey with a football by his left ear — a start button for throwing a pass.

The JaMarcus Russell era as ends in Oakland with the Raiders | All Things Broncos
JaMarcus Russell’s NFL career started as a disaster against the Broncos back in December of 2007, in a game at Oakland. Russell was pulled from his first start after completing 4-of-7 passes for 56 yards and replaced with Josh McCown, who led the Raiders to a 34-20 win against the Broncos.

Raiders go bust, release former No. 1 overall pick Russell - The Denver Post
The Oakland Raiders released former No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell on Thursday, ending a three-year tenure marked by his high salary and unproductive play on the field.

Lawrence Taylor charged with rape of 16-year-old - The Denver Post
Pro Football Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor was charged Thursday with raping a 16-year-old runaway who police said was forced into prostitution by a man who had beaten her up.

How 49ers circumvented the 30-percent rule | National Football Post
With so few contracts of substance in this depressing uncapped year for players, it’s worthy of note when one comes along of some significance. The extension reached Tuesday between linebacker Patrick Willis and the 49ers overcomes the limitations of the dreaded 30-percent rule that has hampered long-term extensions for rising young star players and guarantees close to 60 percent of total value for a player whose contract was not due to expire for two seasons.

Rookies who won’t live up to the hype | National Football Post
Every year, there are a number of highly touted draft picks who join an organization but fail to live up to expectations. Today, the National Football Post breaks down this year’s rookie crop and looks at players who might end up joining that group.

Retired players’ voices raised | National Football Post
There are about five or six different but fairly interlocking groups of retired players currently advocating around the league on a variety of issues. Most of them have a shared list of grievances, concerns and membership. I have the greatest respect for these heroic retirees, who were, in many cases, my boyhood idols. The love for the game that I, and many like me, have today is directly related to their valor, talent and humanity. That same love is also the reason the NFL has the ability to collectively earn $8.5 billion in annual revenue. So I’m reluctant to criticize anything these gentlemen propose and am usually extremely supportive of their advocacy.

Vince Young pitching in to help flood victims | National Football Post
Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young is pitching in to assist flood victims in Nashville.

Samari Rolle to retire | National Football Post
Former Tennessee Titans and Baltimore Ravens cornerback Samari Rolle reiterated that he plans to retire.

Ravens sign Division II cornerback standout | National Football Post
The Baltimore Ravens have signed undrafted Central Washington cornerback Courtney Smith, according to a league source.

NFLPA considering boycott of some Indy hotels | National Football Post
In a display of support for hotel employees in Indianapolis attempting to unionize, the NFL Players Association is threatening to boycott a trio of Indianapolis hotels during the annual NFL scouting combine: the Sheraton, Hyatt Regency and the Westin.

Saints will have 65 players at rookie camp, including Paulus | National Football Post
The New Orleans Saints will kick off their rookie minicamp on Friday and it will be a crowded field.

Michael Bennett joins Raiders | National Football Post
Bennett has previous stints with the San Diego Chargers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Kansas City Chiefs and the Minnesota Vikings.

Bengals agree to terms with Pacman Jones, Gibril Wilson | National Football Post
The Cincinnati Bengals have agreed to a two-year contract with cornerback Adam "Pacman" Jones, according to and the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Mike McLaughlin eager for his shot in Baltimore | National Football Post
didn’t take long for the Baltimore Ravens to begin recruiting Boston College linebacker Mike McLaughlin.

DeMaurice Smith reacts to StarCaps ruling | National Football Post
It certainly isn’t over yet for Minnesota Vikings defensive tackles Kevin Williams and Pat Williams when it comes to the StarCaps case, but their case was dealt a serious blow in Hennepin County (Minn.) court today.

Bruce Allen frustrated with Albert Haynesworth's absense | National Football Post
Mike Shanahan has made it clear that he’s grown tired of the speculation surrounding the whereabouts of Albert Haynesworth for this coming season, so naturally it is Bruce Allen’s turn to speak on the matter.

Russell supplants Leaf atop list of all-time draft busts
Ryan Leaf has waited a long time for this day, the one where his place on the all-time draft bust list matched his draft position: No. 2.

Rookie GM Schneider key to a turnaround in Seattle
At one point during last month's draft -- with Seattle about to acquire (steal?) Leon Washington from the Jets, completing a stunning weekend overhaul of talent -- I could have sworn Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was going to hoist himself on the shoulders of general manager John Schneider and begin galloping around the war room like Angus Young jamming above the head of Bon Scott at an AC/DC concert.

Eagles guard is first to tackle weight issues with trendy surgery
Eagles guard Max Jean-Gilles grew so tired of being hammered about his weight that he went to extreme measures -- in the eyes of some -- to get his playing career on track. He had lap-band surgery on April 28 to help him lose between 60 and 70 pounds -- he last weighed in at nearly 390 pounds -- by the start of training

Judge sides with NFL in StarCaps case, delays suspensions ruling
A Minnesota judge chastised the NFL on Thursday and said the league broke state law, even as he handed it a significant victory in a closely watched lawsuit by two Minnesota Vikings players challenging their suspensions for taking a banned substance.

Jets QB Sanchez begins running in rehabilitation from knee surgery
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez ran on a treadmill for the first time since his knee surgery, NFL Network's Lindsay Soto reported Thursday.

Lawyer: NFL hasn't asked about evidence of Saints' Vicodin theft
A lawyer who says he has recordings showing that the New Orleans Saints tried to cover up prescription Vicodin thefts from team headquarters adds the NFL hasn't asked to see any of the evidence that already has been sent to federal authorities.

Ravens safety Reed plans to play after hip surgery, advisor says
Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed is committed to playing football in 2010 following hip surgery, his friend and financial advisor, Brad Davis, said Thursday.

Sources: The Dallas Cowboys are trying to trade linebacker Bobby Carpenter - ESPN Dallas
The Dallas Cowboys are shopping linebacker Bobby Carpenter, a team source told's Calvin Watkins.