As a devoted member of the Raider Nation, I, like many of you, have a love-hate relationship with the owner of the Oakland Raiders.
Let me start by saying I have always had an incredible amount of respect for Al Davis. He created the Raiders as we know them today and played a major role in making the game of football what it is today.
That being said, in recent years, many in the Nation have become frustrated by many of the moves Davis has made in an attempt to get this team back to the top of the NFL. Whether it was overpaying players like Javon Walker, drafting guys way too early like Darrius Heyward-Bey or going through head coaches quicker than JaMarcus Russell goes through doughnuts, Al Davis has caused the Nation to question whether or not he should still be running the team.
All you need to do is look at my article history and you will be able to pick out a number of articles which call into question the decisions being made by Al Davis.
I, like many of those in the Nation, was convinced that I knew better than Davis. I was convinced that, given the chance, I would be able to bring the Raiders back to prominence much quicker than he has.
Well, I am here today to say I was wrong. Al Davis is smarter than me.
I came to this realization just the other day as I was combing the Internet for any news that might mean there will be a season next year. As I desperately searched for this elusive good news, I came across a story that noted the likelihood of next year being uncapped (assuming the season actually happens).
The first thing that came to mind was, "Wow, maybe Al Davis knew what he was doing."
Amongst the articles where I sit on my thrown and judge Al Davis, the most recent ones call into question the re-signings the Raiders have made this offseason. It's not that I disagreed with the idea of signing these guys, but rather the prices that they were signed for.
After having their best season in over seven years, it was incredibly important that the Raiders re-signed the core of players that got them there. However, since the Raiders have so many free agents, there was a large concern that Davis was spending so much, so early that he would not be able to afford to re-sign the remainder and still find new players to upgrade other positions.
However, given the news that the 2011 season would likely be uncapped, suddenly, Davis seems like a genius.
This, however, is not the only reason that I have come to believe that Al Davis is in fact smarter than me.
When Davis traded for Richard Seymour, giving up the Raiders' first round pick in 2011, I was livid. I loved the idea of getting a guy like Seymour, but he was older and I felt like we, once again, were on the losing side of a trade with the Patriots.
Fast forward two years, and I couldn't be happier with the trade.
I personally believe that Seymour is one of the biggest reasons that the Raiders have improved as much as they have, from acts of leadership like being the only veteran to ride the rookie bus to training camp to helping our young defensive linemen learn the trade to bringing back the Raider attitude by doing things like knocking Big Ben Roethlisberger on his butt.
The point of my article is this: It's very easy to sit back as a fan and judge the moves made by Al Davis, especially with the 20/20 vision that comes with hindsight. However, Davis has been doing this a very long time, and though he may allow his ego to get in the way and makes poor choices at times, he still knows far more than the majority of fans and has a lot left to offer the Raiders.
With all of that being said, I'd still like to see the Raiders hire a GM, but I no longer think I should be a front-runner for the position.
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