Jason Campbell: From D.C. Nightmare to Raider Majesty

Yusuf HassanCorrespondent IAugust 10, 2010

NAPA, CA - AUGUST 01:  Jason Campbell #8 of the Oakland Raiders works out during the Raiders training camp at their Napa Valley Training Complex on August 1, 2010 in Napa, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

It was Monday night at Fed-Ex Field in 2009, the Redskins versus the Eagles, and fans waved anti-Snyder signs. The banners read “Fire Cerrato!” and “End Snyder’s Napoleon Rule,” led by repeated chants of “Sell the team!” which rang throughout Fed-Ex Field. All the while, irate fans tossed boxes of popcorn, hot dogs, and sodas at Dan Snyder’s corporate box.

A day later, Snyder banned all anti-Snyder signs from Fed-Ex Field—freedom of expression? Not in Danny’s house.

Months before, Snyder courted Jay Cutler in an attempt to woo him to Washington. Then Snyder laminated Mark Sanchez with food and wine—and later, rumors surfaced that the Redskins were looking at Matt Cassel. The Redskins, however, lost out on all three quarterbacks, so they had a closed door meeting with Jason Campbell to put their young quarterback’s mind at ease.

Campbell responded, "It was like having your manhood questioned, like they were saying I was not a good quarterback while I was still on the team.”

Then Campbell went on to have a better season, statistically, than Cutler, Cassel, and Sanchez.

Later in 2009, on the radio, Clinton Portis ranted, “It's no disrespect to Jason, but everybody in that locker room will tell you—you will never see Jason mad, you will never see Jason's tempo change.

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"[He's] going to give you everything [he's] got. But as a leader...it was always, 'Jason couldn't take control of the huddle' or 'He didn't do this' or 'He didn't do that.' That wasn't Jason's character...

"I think Jason, you can't place so much on somebody who's not ready for that situation. I think Jason has enough trouble in getting the plays in and worrying about this, compared to controlling the huddle."

All that from a man who refused to practice, ran to Snyder and complained about his coach, attempted to get his starting fullback benched, and rushed for a team-high 494 yards in '09.

And when Portis wasn’t sucking up to Snyder, he routinely dressed in gaudy, stereotypical attire, called himself “Southeast Jerome,” an inflammatory rhetorical gesture towards his impoverished, predominately minority fanbase who reside in the “southeast” section of Washington, D.C..

Campbell responded, "A leader is not someone who leads by the wrong example. A leader is someone who is trying to do the right thing and trying to lead by example, and not just [being] about themselves.

"There's a reason guys get selected as captains, and there's a reason guys don't get selected as captains. Obviously, he doesn't have the respect of the locker room to be a captain. For someone to try to take a shot at me at the end of the season, after they haven't even been around, only speaks about their character anyways."

The Washington Post reported, “Veteran leaders Rock Cartwright, Phillip Daniels, and Renaldo Wynn spoke of the team's discipline problems, and Portis's seemingly cozy relationship with Snyder has stirred resentment in the locker room because he rarely practices.”

In the pleasant, green pasture of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Jason Campbell fished alongside his father, when Brett Favre arrived. A southern gentleman, Campbell greeted Favre, but refrained from inquiring about the future Hall of Famer's plans. Nevertheless, Favre offered encouragement to Campbell.

"Brett told me he knew how hard it was to change systems all the time," Campbell said.

"He said it was important to play my game and not to forget what it was that got me to this point."

Then on April 4, 2010, John Keim, a reporter for the Washington Examiner, called Campbell:

John: Did you hear about what happened?

Jason: What?

John: The Redskins traded for Donovan.

Jason: Really? Ummm...I didn't know that, man.

John: I'm sorry I had to be the one who told you. I can't believe they didn't tell you.

Months later, the Oakland Raiders made a trade for Campbell and the nightmare was over, at least for Campbell, who said, “Coming here is kind of like being drafted all over again.

"It's a new start, you know. Oakland is trying to turn it around. They're trying to become a new team. They made a lot of changes, and I think they're trying to do things the right way and get it going in the right direction."

Rock Cartwright, who is now a member of the Raiders, commented, "I am so excited for Jason…The best thing for him was to get a fresh start and have a chance to run the offense here. We all like playing football, but you can tell Jason is really, really enjoying it again."

Raiders Nation is now prepared for launch! Your thoughts?

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