Despite starting every game for the Dolphins during his first two years in the league, Samson Satele was traded to the Raiders. The writing has been on the wall for Satele over the last few weeks, when comments from general manager Bill Parcells surfaced that he wasn’t pleased with the center’s ability to handle the mammoth nose tackles employed by the Patriots (Vince Wilfork) and Jets (Kris Jenkins). And, as everybody knows, once the Big Tuna decides you’re not cutting it, it’s time to pack your bags.
Satele’s release continues Parcells dramatic roster turnover of the Dolphins as he brings in players that fit the description of what he wants at each position, which generally means bigger is better. The former 2nd round pick was well regarded by the previous regime of Randy Mueller and Cam Cameron but wasn’t as big or as physical as Parcells prefers his offensive linemen to be. For reference sake, consider the Cowboys massive offensive line prior to Parcells leaving Dallas.
The Raiders thought enough of Satele to move their 6th round pick in this years draft to the Dolphins and also swap 4th rounders, which allows Miami to move up 18 spots in that round. Nonetheless, this trade shapes up as a decent one for Oakland considering they acquire a former 2nd round pick with two years of starting experience who fits their scheme well and who carries the league minimum salaries over the final two years of his rookie contract.
Fantasy Football Impact
The Raiders have struggled to find a center for a number of years going through Barret Robbins, Adam Treu, Jake Grove, Jeremy Newberry and John Wade. It would be a major surprise if Satele isn’t the team’s starter on opening day and he figures to provide stability at the position for the next two years.
The team still needs to solidify a starting offensive line that currently lists starters from left to right as Khalif Barnes, Robert Gallery, Satele, Cooper Carlisle and Cornell Green. Green’s roster spot is in jeopardy courtesy of domestic battery charges coupled with the team’s acquisition of Barnes and former Broncos right tackle Erik Pears in free agency. With 2007 3rd round pick Mario Henderson also in the mix at tackle, this unit figures to improve on its performance in 2008. That would bode well for the impressive running back trio of Darren McFadden, Michael Bush and Justin Fargas.