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NFL Free Agency: Oakland Raiders Sign Ron Bartell, Scoff At St. Louis Rams' Secondary Curse

In case you were a little put off by the St. Louis Rams waiving Ron Bartell at the start of NFL free agency shortly after he, you know, broke his neck during the Rams' 2011 opener, some good or bad news: He's signed a one-year contract, and/but it's with the Oakland Raiders. Lord knows the Raiders aren't afraid of curses, but the Rams' absurd, clearly supernatural experience with their secondary in 2011 it might be worth taking into account. (We can only hope that Cortland Finnegan is equally skeptical of the idea.)

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In all non-voodoo seriousness, Bartell is an extremely competent cornerback when he's healthy; his injury was one of the first signs that the Rams would not be building on their ostensibly promising 2010. The Raiders could have a bargain on their hands if he's able to recover from the neck injury.

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Or they could have unleashed the fury of a thousand dead pharaohs on their defensive backs. It's an open question. Since the Raiders allowed 31 interceptions through the air in 2011, the possibility exists that an ancient, fatal curse could lead to some improvement.