"I'd rather be right than consistent" clearly comes to mind when looking at Al Davis latest move—the signing of Kalif Barnes, the former Jacksonville Jaguars starting left tackle.
Last year Al overpaid for free agents. Everyone including Al knows this. What is up for debate is the reason why he overpaid.
Al has never shied away from getting what he wants, whether it be a free agent such as Tommy Kelly, Warren Sapp and Asomugha to name a few; or for getting his guy in the draft via trading up Nap Harris, Michael Bush and Mario Henderson to name a few; or for trading for Randy Moss, DeAngelo Hall and Steve Wisnewski to name a few.
His detractors say that he needs to overpay to get people to Oakland and perhaps there is some truth to it, but let’s be real….Al gets ANY PLAYER who Al wants. Coaches are another story.
The Kalif Barnes story is classic Davis. Al made it real clear that the Raiders (Coach Cable and Al) wanted (recognized a huge need) to get better at the tackle positions. They targeted him from the get go and Barnes and his agent Zuckerman clearly thought more highly of their market value and believed that Al would overpay for a player he wanted.
“Not so fast rabbit, tricks are for kids!!!” Zuckerman tried to play the oldest trick in the book stating talks are off and his client will be signing with another team. Al called his bluff and let them walk. Al may overpay because he WANTS a player, but don’t be naïve, he knows the market for every player, every year. He was simply biding his time as Kalif was still on the market a week later.
My guess is that Al got him to play for the Raiders for practically nothing, especially after Kevin Shaffer, formerly of the Brows and Falcons, hit the market yesterday. Al may still bring Shaffer in too as he is a student of the ZBS and was on the Raiders radar last year.
Stories will continue to circulate that the old man has lost it, but we Black & Silver bleeders know better. Al’s still got it!!!