Listen, I got nothing against old people. When I see an old man or woman sitting alone in the diner, I have to fight the urge to sit with them and just chat. I always imagine they’d come to that dinner with their loved one every day for the fifty-one years of their marriage and now have continued the tradition as a loving tribute.
But Al Davis must be stopped. He is too old and out of touch to run an NFL franchise. When he signed the mediocre Tommie Kelly to a seven-year, $50.5 million contract, we all laughed. It’s his money and – aside from leading to other silly contracts – it did not destroy the competitive balance of the sport. Now Davis has given a 2011 first-round draft pick to the New England Patriots for the soon-to-be-thirty-years-old Richard Seymour. A franchise with more missing parts than a stolen Buick in Newark has given up a first-round draft pick to acquire an aging player who has made his name playing a position (3-4 end) that does not exist on their football team (they run a 4-3). Add in that he’s set to be a free agent come the end of the season and you realize that the Raiders will be forced to overpay Seymour in order to refrain from losing the pick outright.
And that’s not what bothers me. What bothers me is they gave the pick to the best team/franchise in the sport. How can other teams hope to reach the Pats’ level of success when Davis is throwing them future top-ten picks and alleviating their salary concerns? To realize the value of that pick, you need to look no further than difference at our quarterpack position this summer, as opposed to last summer. First round draft picks – especially with coming changes to the league’s salary structure – are gold to a ballclub. What if this deal were made with the Packers or Vikings? How angry would you be?
At what point the league will burst through the door and force action is unknown. But it needs to be soon. Otherwise the Raiders will become the laughing stock off the field that they already are on it.