The most recent bit of non-news reporting is the notion that the Raiders have essentially put the entire team on the block. This idea was first sparked at the Pro Bowl when Nnamdi Asomugha joked about teaming up with Darrell Revis on the Jets or vice versa. The rumblings of tampering and possible teaming up of those two on the same team began immediately. All the while, Nnamdi admitted he was not serious and was likely getting quite a kick out of the sports reporters more closely resembling tabloid “jounalists.”
In every trade scenario I came across, it was all about Nnamdi going to the Jets rather than the other way around. The theory being that Nnamdi would welcome the chance to escape Oakland to join a winner like the Jets. The other bit of “proof” presented is Rex Ryan’s passion for great corners. If that is all they got then I see your Rex Ryan and raise you Al Davis. No one in the history of the NFL has had more of a passion for great corner play than Al Davis. And if they think that he will just let Asomugha go, they are seriously fooling themselves. And yet those rumors have not gone away since then.
That spark began to smolder and now it has become a nice little blaze– and it’s spreading. What started with just Asomugha, has turned into rumors of an all out fire sale. “Come one come all! Choose a player and make an offer. No reasonable offer will be refused.” Well, this must be quite a blowout. All that is left for Al Davis to do is put arches of balloons and those bright colored, dancing, wind sock guys outside Raider headquarters. Afterall, when car dealerships do it, you know it is a once in a lifetime deal right? It’s not like it happens all the time! Right?!
Al Davis can be accused of slipping in many intillectual qualites in his old age but being a savvy business man is not one of them. The problem with this “news” of an “everything must go” clearance sale is that Al lets that story “leak” every year. It just makes good business sense to allow every team to think that you are open for some wheeling and dealing. When the phones are ringing, good things can happen. Any owner or GM that doesn’t take this approach is short changing themselves.
Al wants the attention of every team in the NFL. He wants them to take a nice long look at his players and consider who they may want and what they would be willing to part with to get that player. And now, with the help of the media who feeds on every little bone the Raider organization tosses out to them, Davis has everyone’s attention.
The other gift this message gives the Raiders is that there can be no speculation or leaks about the Raiders trying to trade a certain player if they appear to be willing to trade everyone. How is the media going to put out their patented “according to an inside source, the Raiders are entertaining the idea of trading (insert player name here)”? They already said that the Raiders are accepting offers for the whole team, so OF COURSE teams are going to call and OF COURSE the Raiders are listening. No news there (although that never seems to stop them).
A certain Mr Shefter at ESPN is heading off this particular non-news story. But what he fails to mention is that the reason the Raiders have few takers when they put out the word that they are willing to listen to deals, is that Mr Davis is not looking to simply exchange the players he has for other players. He is looking for upgrades and offers he can’t refuse.
You see, whether it is really the case or not, Al Davis always thinks that he is one or two trades, draft picks, or acquisitions away from returning to greatness. To suggest that the Raiders would do an overhaul is to suggest that they are looking to rebuild. And that is just not a word that is in big Al’s vocabulary. Regardless of the team’s record, he is not looking to rebuild, he is constantly looking to reload. And with the temporary success that some stability at quarterback brought this team last year, he may just be right this time.
I wonder if any NFL team might be in the market for a bloated, overpaid, sloth quarterback who spends more time in vegas getting drunk and buying bling than he does in the film room or on the practice field? I suspect not.