Can Al Davis Do the Improbable, Add Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens to Raiders?
Lately, many Raiders fans have had a lot to say about the Raiders' seven-year playoff drought.
At one time, when players were cast aside by one team and given a second chance in Oakland, it was the highest honor that a player could have.
Players usually responded by playing with a renewed vigor and took playing for Al Davis seriously.
If any teammate was to try to act contrary to the Raider way, other players quickly met them with an attitude adjustment.
But that was then. Since free agency became the standard in the NFL, we have seen new labels for players. Terms like prima donna, journeyman, cancer, and even diva have been applied to high-profile athletes.
Since the Raiders' Super Bowl XXXVII disaster, it doesn't seem like the Raiders can do anything right. At the core of the blame game have been bad personnel moves: players like Randy Moss, Warren Sapp, Aaron Brooks, JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, and Darrius Heyward-Bey.
These players, coupled with coaches Norv Turner, Art Shell, and Lane Kiffin, have turned out to be colossal disasters for the Silver and Black.
At the center of the blame game has been one man: Al Davis.
During the '70s and early '80s, the rogue owner was showered with division championships and three Lombardi trophies. That is not the case today. The media mocks the Raiders every chance they get, fans are sick and tired of losing, and Davis is becoming desperate to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
Okay, I know what you’re thinking: "So? Every NFL site has broken that story."
Well, there is another part of the statement that not many are reporting on—one that only Al Davis could pull off.
Also in the statement was that the Raiders want to couple the McNabb trade with the signing of Terrell Owens and reunite a once successful tandem that took the Eagles to the Super Bowl.
Now that's news!
The McNabb to T.O. duo amassed 1,200 yards and 17 touchdowns. McNabb threw for over 3,800 yards, 31 touchdowns, and only eight interceptions that year, by far the best year of his career.
However, in the following year a contract dispute between Owens and the Eagles quickly became a feud between Owens and McNabb that ended ugly when the Eagles cut ties with the disgruntled receiver. Since then the two have made amends and are once again friends.
Now, both players have landed on hard times. The Eagles apparently are ready to move on from the McNabb era and are listening to trade offers, and Owens is sitting on his couch without a team.
For any other NFL team, signing both McNabb and Owens would be nothing more than a fantasy, but we are talking Al Davis here. This is the owner that is the master of making the improbable possible. This is where Davis lives and breathes.
The immediate upside would be that it takes the heat off Russell being a starter this year. He could continue his development under McNabb, which could be the Raiders' only saving grace of the total embarrassment if Russell loses the job to Bruce Gradkowski or does not show improvement.
Russell would fade into the background the same way that Vince Young did when proven veteran Kerry Collins revived the Tennessee Titans' offense. Young eventually won back his starting job, but only after he matured and took the position seriously.
Adding Owens would provide a much-needed veteran to the Raiders' young receiving corps. Owens would play opposite sure-handed receiver Chaz Schilens. This would also help Heyward-Bey develop into the receiver that he has the potential to be. Owens has a reputation for an immaculate work ethic that he learned from the great Jerry Rice.
The thought of this scenario playing out certainly has the rest of the AFC West shaking in their boots because they know only Davis can pull off this coup. It would instantly make the Raiders a contender, and Al Davis would be a rock star once again.
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