Year in and year out there are many articles written by reporters regarding what the Oakland Raiders will and will not be able to do during the offseason. Many more articles are written claiming some inside scoop on players and what they may or may not do with regards to signing new contracts and so on.
And every year when all is said and done ,most of the claims in these articles prove to be pure fantasy with many based on WILD speculation. I have watched as year in and year out, the complete opposite of what these reporters claim will happen actually happens.
This year I have read that even if an offer is presented to Nnamdi Asomugha, he would not sign it and wants out of Oakland at all costs. I have read that Shane Lechler will not sign an offer with the Raiders and wants out of town at all costs. These reporters have even gone so far as to claim that the players have had all their belongings sent home.
This year, like so many others, none of these reports have turned out to be true. It had been reported that the Raiders would not even be able to use the franchise tag on Asomugha because of the salary cap. It turns out that they were half right on this one for the Raiders did not use the franchise tag on him. Al Davis signed Asomugha to a three-year contract and the Raiders will have the services of the best corner in the NFL over the next few years.
Lechler, who many already had wearing another team's uniform, has also been signed long term. Davis has locked down the who that may turn out as the greatest at his position in NFL History and Lechler will be wearing the silver and black for years to come. I guess Lechler better contact Mayflower Van Lines and have his belongings shipped back to Oakland.
The corner Chris Johnson was another possible free agent who did not want to test the free agent market and signed a long term contract with the Raiders. And it looks like the Raiders will not be using the franchise tag at all this year. Davis and the Raiders went three-for-three with regards to Asomugha, Lechler, and Johnson and as Mr. Davis always does, he took care of business.
Would you expect less from an owner who has had his Raiders play in a record 15 AFC or AFL Championship games under his watch? I am well aware of the Raiders' play on the field over the past six years. But what Team in the NFL does not go through some down times? As a matter of fact, down times are all some teams have ever had.
The Raiders last year showed over their last six games what kind of team they can be. And as the Raiders have always done in the past, when they have had a few lean years, this young team looks to be finding its way back to playing the type of football that has landed the organization in 15 championship games.
And to all the reporters who have shown to be so good at writing fiction over the past few years, I hear that Disney World is hiring and they are in need of writers who can lay out a good story based on fantasy. You would think that some of these writers would learn to hedge their bets just a little, but hey, if you are going to go down with the ship, you might as well grab on for dear life.
All people and all owners in the NFL make some mistakes over time. What makes the great Mr. Al Davis different from the rest is that if he does make a mistake one year on a free agent he brings in, it does not stop him from trying again the following year. And if you go over this Hall of Fame owners history, the man has been right a much higher percentage of the time than he has been wrong. If not for Mr. Davis' vision and knowledge, there would be no corner in the NFL by the name of Asomugha.
Good luck to Mr. Davis and the whole Raiders organization this coming year. My family and I will be in our seats in the Black Hole this year as we are every year. And thank you, Mr. Davis, for all you have brought me over the years as a Raider fan and for all that is yet to come.