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Raiders Vault: Top 4 Offensive Players of the 2000s

In this latest Raiders Vault installment, we’ll look at who were the greatest offensive players from 2000 to 2009 for the Silver and Black.


For this piece, I’m going to use a similar method as what I used last summer when looking for the five greatest Raiders of all-time. The rating scale will still be the same, with the same five categories, but with some slight tweaks. Basically, it’s the same criteria, but isolated in the years 2000 to 2009. So any time you look at the above criteria and see the words “ever” or career,” replace them with “from 2000 to 2009.”

1. Rich Gannon, Quarterback, 2000-2004

A. Greatness Relative to Team: 5
B. Greatness Relative to Position: 5
C. Personal Accolades: 4
D. Team Success: 3
E. Time Spent With Raiders: 5
Total: 22/25

Gannon had by far the highest score among players in this era. He was the best player on the best Raiders teams of this decade. He was even named league MVP the year they made it to the Super Bowl. Relative to other Raiders quarterbacks from this decade, Gannon might as well be Dan Marino. Seriously, the best quarterback might be either Bruce Gradkowski or Daunte Culpepper… oof. Despite only having three good seasons with the Silver and Black in this decade, Gannon clearly has the most impressive resume.

2. Lincoln Kennedy, Tackle, 2000-2003

A: 3
B: 5
C: 3
D: 3
E: 5
Total: 19/25

Once again, despite not playing most of his career in this decade, Kennedy was one of the best players on the best Raiders teams from this time period. It helps too, that during the “dark years” from ’03 to ’09, the tackle position wasn’t a huge strength for the team. Barry Sims was solid, but not quite a Pro Bowl-caliber tackle like Kennedy. Robert Gallery was serviceable but never lived up to his top-five draft position.

T3. Jerry Rice/Tim Brown, Wide Receivers, 2001-04/2000-03

A: 3
B: 4
C: 2
D: 3
E: 5
Total: 17/25

Rice and Brown earned identical scores here. The 2000s played out pretty much the same for both of them. They were in the twilight of their careers but were still productive. They each did four seasons with the Raiders, including the team that made the Super Bowl. Both receivers earned a Pro Bowl nod. You could argue either one as being the greatest Raiders receiver of the 2000s since there isn’t much competition elsewhere (sorry, Jerry Porter). As a result, it’s only fitting that they get packaged together to round out the top four.

Honorable Mention

Zach Miller, Tight End, ’07-’09, score:15/25

Miller was one of the unsung heroes of the dark years. He might be best known as JaMarcus Russell’s security blanket. Had Miller played with a better quarterback, he might’ve gotten to a Pro Bowl before 2010.

Barret Robbins, Center, 2000-’03, score: 15/25

Robbins was far and away, the best center that the Raiders had in the 2000s. He was an All-Pro the year they made the Super Bowl. He may have found himself higher up on this list had it not been for his issues off the field.

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*Top Photo: Jose Carlos Fajardo/Mercury News Staff

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