Every since he was the commissioner of the AFL, Al Davis has been at war with the NFL. He was able to sign many top notch collegiate players, forcing the NFL to pay players more to compete with the AFL.
Personnel wise, the NFL at that time was very conservative and had some racist tendencies. Davis and the AFL gave black players more opportunities to flourish, as they were the first to raid the talent pool of black schools.
The NFL was also conservative from a pure football standpoint with three yards and a cloud of dust as the main strategy. Davis and the AFL would bring in a more wide open offense, increasing the excitement and quality of the game.
The NFL had only one camera at the 50 yard line while the AFL brought in multiple cameras and mic'd up players. This made the AFL more marketable and led to the AFL to be the first to share television revenue.
It also threatened the NFL like no other league ever could.
This led to the NFL wanting to merge with the AFL, and then Lamarr Hunt led the other AFL owners to merge behind Davis' back. He then bought a portion of the Raiders, gained managing control, and the war would continue.
In the '80s, Davis moved the Raiders to Los Angeles without the consent of the rest of the league. To this day, I have to wonder if that took years off of then NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle's or Davis' life.
Now we are in the 21st century, and Roger Goodell has since replaced Rozelle. The Attitude of Davis has to be the same thinking, "How are you going to tell me what to do when I can run a league better than you can. I am the one that made the NFL want to merge and step its game up, leading to the NFL we have today."
Now we have the conservative ole owners trying to keep a salary cap and and hold down players' salaries. This whole opt out the owners did was because they didn't like the 60-40 split the players had.
Davis is a players' owner and really doesn't mind the players getting the big piece of the pie because he realizes no one is going to see him play against Jerry Jones. Therefore, he is ready to challenge the rest of the league and bump up the players' salaries some more.
He's already done so with the contracts he's done over the last few years as cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha has been making quarterback money.
So what's he doing now?
Most of the good ole boys that own teams are waiting for the collective bargaining agreement to be reached to sign big contracts. Davis has already made defensive lineman Richard Seymour the highest paid defensive player in the league.
He has also given Kamerion Wimbley a 10 million dollar franchise tag and signed his second best corner to a three year contract for just over 30 million for three years. Asomugha and tight end Zach Miller have yet to be done, and the other owners in the league are already furious over the money Davis has spent.
You know Davis has something in store for the both of them, so don't be surprised if there are two more big contracts signed before the deadline. This means the salary cap has to be increased or can't exist because the contracts are signed.
That foils the attempt of the owners of the league to shrink the salaries of the players. Once again, Davis is at war with the NFL, and the players are sure to benefit from it again.
It looks like he's going to make his mark on the game one more time with his war against the NFL and bring his franchise back to prominence too.