You have to give it to Al Davis; he is consistent.
No one screws Al over. If you try and take his money without giving good value, then you can bet that Al will try and take it back off you.
JaMarcus Russell found that out today when the Raiders filed a grievance against him with the league, the point of the grievance being that Russell should return a portion of the money already paid to him by Oakland.
I think we all should have seen it coming, because no one holds a grudge quite like Al (except maybe my ex-wife?), and once you are on Al's bad side, you have to know he is coming after you with a vengeance.
He did it with Lane Kiffin, firing him "for cause," then refusing to pay him. After falling out with Marcus Allen, he kept Allen on the bench despite the fact that he was the best back on the field.
Oh yes, Al holds a grudge alright. I don't say that like it's a bad thing necessarily.
So what has Russell done to tick Davis off so badly that he is now being targeted financially by the NFL's own "Prince of Darkness?"
Two things really spring to mind. First, after being paid a huge amount of money, he didn't put in the effort required to make it as an NFL quarterback, and had people believing that "lethargy addiction" was actually real.
Like Mo Collins, he basically ate himself out of a starting job. At least Collins gave some years of good service first.
Secondly, and most importantly, he made Al look dumb for drafting him. That is something Al will never forgive.
Tom Cable might say that the Raiders wish Russell well, but the truth is that Al wants his pound of flesh, and will haunt Russell until his dying day (and maybe after) to get it.
Eric Metz, Russell’s agent stated, “The money in question was fully guaranteed. That is why JaMarcus was forced to hold out and miss all of training camp as a rookie, the Raiders know that and this is our only comment.”
The Raiders contend that part of the $32 million Russell has been paid was a salary advance for this and the following two seasons.
True or not, it won't stop Al from coming after Russell, and when it comes to litigation, Al is the best in the business. He isn't someone who I would want coming after me.
But whether Russell should return part of his paid salary, even on moral grounds (because he was just s**t) or not, I don't think extending the debacle in court will bring credit on anyone, and it would maybe just be best to let this one lie.
Somehow, I don't see Al doing that.