Home » Raiders » Ghost of the Past: Blame Al Davis for the Oakland Raiders’ Woes
Ghost of the Past: Blame Al Davis for the Oakland Raiders’ Woes
Al Davis (Oakland Raiders Facebook Page)

Ghost of the Past: Blame Al Davis for the Oakland Raiders’ Woes

There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of weeks that Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie are to blame for the Oakland Raiders abysmal play over the last two seasons. However, we must not forget that this team is still in disarray because of the salary cap hell that Al Davis put the franchise in. Mark Davis and company brought in Reggie McKenzie because they knew he would be able to cut all the bad contracts without hesitation. McKenzie’s first move was to replace the brash Hue Jackson with Denver Broncos defensive coordinator Dennis Allen. There is no question that the Raiders have regressed under Allen, but that is because he has had to coach a team that has been put together with Band-Aids. We are all tired of losing but we are still living under the mistakes of Al Davis.

Give Dennis Allen Credit for coaching a team that is paying over 40% of its salary to players that are not even on the team. Al Davis duds: Richard Seymour ($13.714 million), Carson Palmer (Hue Jackson to blame for the $9.34 million), Rolando McClain ($7.26 million),Tommy Kelly ($6.324 million), Darrius Heyward-Bey ($5.26 million) and Michael Huff ($3,288,750) are all getting paid like starters on this seasons salary cap. I hate to say it but you can add Darren McFadden’s $9,685,084 million dollars to that list of dead money this season also.

Dennis Allen-Kyle Terada

The Raiders were forced to start undrafted free agents at all their skill positions against the New York Jets on Sunday. Unfortunately, it looks like the Raiders still don’t have a real identity on the offensive side of the ball. Running back Rashad Jennings looks like he could be a decent option at running back but he has dealt with injuries throughout his career, which makes him an unreliable starter going forward. Sixth round pick Latavius Murray looks like he could be a steal but he barely saw the field during training camp and preseason. The only real running back option the Raiders have on their team going forward is Marcel Reece but he is best suited as a fullback.

Over the last few seasons, the Raiders have always seemed to find young explosive wide receivers. With a capable quarterback, I think Rod Streater, Andre Holmes, Denarius Moore, and Mychal Rivera can all be explosive playmakers in the future. However, no one on the Raiders roster is capable of being a true number one receiving option. The Raiders lack of offensive fire powers boils down to the fact that they have an atrocious offensive line and no real quarterback option. Both Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor have shown flashes of being capable NFL quarterbacks but they are both too raw to be winners right now.


The Raider Nation should be sick of watching a subpar product over the last eleven years. But we must realize that we are still healing from an Al Davis induced hangover that started when he traded Jon Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The next three games will only be good for evaluating the players that deserve a roster spot next season. The Raiders will finally have the chance to bring in good players through the draft and free agency this off-season. While I am not completely sold on McKenzie’s drafting ability because of his two seasons of draft picks, we should see what he can do with 60 million dollars and all of his top draft picks during the off-season.

There is no coach in the history of the NFL that would have turned this Raiders roster into a winning team. If Dennis Allen fails to lead the Raiders back to respectability with a revamped roster next season, I will be the first one to tell you that the Raiders need to find someone else. But we must let Allen get a chance to coach an NFL team that has a real chance of competing in the AFC West. It’s understandable that the Raider Nation is pointing fingers at Allen and McKenzie but we must realize that we are still haunted by the final years of Al Davis.

There has been a lot of talk over the last couple of weeks that Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie are to blame for the Oakland Raiders abysmal play over the last two seasons. However, we must not forget that this team is still in disarray because of the salary cap hell that Al Davis put …

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About Jorge Contreras

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Jorge is the co-founder of footballandfutbol.com and baysportsreport.com. Jorge is a native of San Jose and recently crossed something off his bucket-list by having season tickets to all three of his favorite teams; the A's, Raiders, and Warriors.


  1. Seymour’s 13,714 million was not created by Al Davis. It was Mckenzie who restructured Seymour’s deal, saving money in 2012 and pushing huge dollars back to 2014 and 2015. Carson Palmer signed with the Raiders in 2010 half way through the the season. His original contract expired after the 2012 season. It was Mckenzie the created Carsons 9,34 million in dead money by giving him an extension last year. In other words, they both should have been axed last year and owed nothing. You better do your research.

  2. Excuse me, Carson signed in 2011.

  3. Profile photo of Blitz Chick

    Gruden was traded to Tampa because Gruden wanted to go to Tampa to be closer to family and to work with long time family friend Monte Kiffin. The Raiders offered him a shorter contract, but price difference was only a million or so less. Gruden WANTED out. Facts : Glazers called Mr. Davis to talk about Gruden. Mr. Davis called Gruden who said he wanted to go. (No big shock, every year he was HC with the Raiders his name was linked to some OTHER dream job of his – Ohio, Notre Dame…) Mr. Davis made a great deal for that trade. So much so, the NFL prohibits trade deals like that now. Gruden would have been a lame duck HC, as he was in his last season and knew he wouldn’t re-sign with the Raiders. He wanted more control . Never mind Al gave him every aging vet with back loaded contracts he asked for. Problem here? Guden never has been able to develop young talent. Name ONE young player Gruden groomed. There are none. For an alleged QB guru , he had more starting QBs in Tampa than he did years at HC. Oh, one last comment about Gruden: after the SB run – the remaining years at Tampa he had a losing record. Please tell me you aren’t one of those that wants Gruden back. He couldn’t do anything with this young roster.

  4. I am sick and tired of still hearing trash about the greatest legend in Pro Football, Al Davis. His legacy is not tarnished, there were a number of reasons the team has not faired too well since the Gruden era. Injuries for one have had a lot to do with that. Check it out. What Mr. Davis brought Raider nation are 3 Super Bowls, plus the most exciting football in the league during that time. In addition look at all the key games we got screwed in, due to lousy calls and controversy. You can’t blame those on Mr. Davis.
    Finally, the team is in great hands, his son Mark is very very smart and has been involved with the team since he was a very young man. The legacy and the torch will be carried with Pride, no worries at all.

  5. yes, Al was way past his time. He built teams when salaries were low, and hardly any rules existed. He hired FA’s who would kill the other opponents. He hire coaches to have no opinion, and if they did he’d fire them. His game plan was from the old days[before computers], and very predictable. Dought other teams had to watch game films. His drafting skills were arrogant, and irresponsible. He would over pay players, with no thought to salary cap, to build other positions. He did his share for football in the begging, but it past him by along time ago. What he did to Marcus Allen, was damaging and unfair to both Allen and the team…..and most of all to the fan.McKensie ‘s skills are yet to be seen, but he had a mess to clean up. Due to his moves we will have 70 million dollars to work with this, and some draft picks. Lets see what he does with them.

  6. Al Davis’s biggest mistake was he had n real young talent behind Gannon,Brown ,Rice,Graner. That team showed it’s age in the super bowl. Plus the rumors of sabotage.Plus players changed,used to be aging vets loved the fact someone was giving them a chance and they showed it on the field.To many Warren Sapps ans Randy Moss’ just wanted a check.And tALKING ABOUT RM’s draft picks they’re hit or miss right now.Sio is looking good,Hayden just missed to much time.As for DA I’m still out on him.What I have seen is a team that has fought hard most of the season and had chances to win several games.As far as QB goes I think McGloin may be the real deal.The offense has played better with him.You also got to remember he didn’t get first team reps till about 5 weeks ago.

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