Al Davis: The End


For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, two days ago the New England Patriots sent Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders for a 2011 first-round draft choice.

You have read that correctly.

In exchange for a pick that—based upon Oakland’s staggering ineptitude and lack of depth—could be the No. 1 spot in the draft, New England surrendered a 30-year-old defensive end in the final season of his contract.

You have, again, read that correctly.

My brain wants to ask, “Are the Raiders completely insane?”—but, really, why utter the obvious. This already goes down as one of the most lopsided trades I’ve ever seen, right there with Herschel Walker to the Vikings and Lou Brock to the Cardinals. Right now, all the Raiders have is hope—hope that young players pan out; hope that the drafts are deep; hope that, well, things get better. The best way to squash that hope? Trade your first-round draft pick for a 30-year-old defensive end who can walk at the end of the year.

Seriously, it’s time for Roger Goodell to think about stepping in and doing something here. It wouldn’t be unprecedented. In 1976, Major League Baseball’s Bowie Kuhn told Oakland it could not sell Rollie Fingers to the Red Sox and Vida Blue to the Yankees. Based on the ineptitude of Cleveland Cavaliers owner Ted Stepien in the early 1980s, the NBA passed a rule prohibiting teams from trading away first-round draft picks in consecutive years. (This rule is known as the “Ted Stepien Rule.”)

Has Al Davis reached this level? Undeniably yes. The Seymour trade. The signing and release of Jeff Garcia. The drafting of Darrius Heyward-Bey and Michael Mitchell. The hiring and firing of coaches.

The Oakland Raiders, once the franchise of the NFL, are officially pathetic.