When Al Davis parted with a first round pick for Richard Seymour the Raider hating world laughed. A reinvigorated roster, one Pro Bowl election and a self-organized camp later Davis is the one that’s getting the last laugh.
Turns out giving up a first round pick in a draft doomed by the lockout wasn’t such a bad idea after all. Raider Haters might say Davis got lucky but you’re fooling yourself if you didn’t think every move made by every NFL owner over the last two years didn’t have this summer in mind.
Like many I’ve had my moments when I’ve thought the game has passed Uncle Al. Truth be told he’s still as sharp as ever even if some of his practices are antiquated. Fact of the matter is I’m the one that needs to take a long look in the mirror. I’m not so sure I’d be able to accept public blame, admit mistakes and then make amends in the manner in which Davis has done recently.
Most are quick to point out Al’s porous spending habits but truth be told he seems to have learned his lesson after the debacle that was 2008.
Mr. Davis admits to being an unwise investor on the open market three years ago. So he sought to change his luck. No better place to begin than with a Hall of Fame talent like Seymour.
Since his arrival in Oakland, Seymour has been everything the Raiders have needed.
He’s a veteran presence with true leadership qualities. As much as I admire and respect Nnamdi Asomugha he never took the approach necessary to motivate an entire roster. Much like Ray Lewis, Seymour is a man capable of getting an entire team to stop and listen when he speaks.
Now not everything has been smooth with Seymour in Oakland. But with the business of football nothing is. When he first learned of his shocking trade to the East Bay Seymour drug his feet, waiting until the 11th hour to report. Of course all he did was go out and drop Cry Baby Philip Rivers to the infield in the Coliseum upon his Raider debut.
The next obstacle was hammering out a deal which is always a point of contention for veterans in the NFL. It took two years and one franchise tag but Seymour got his money. Again the Silver and Black caught flack for overpaying an aging player.
But that’s where the Raider Haters show their true colors. It’s not like Davis committed $100-million to an Albert Haynesworth type headache. That is a move Al might have made three years ago. These days Mr. Davis is all about high character to match high talent level.
Instead of sitting on his millions during this lockout Seymour is putting his funds to good use for the benefit of the team. While Jason Campbell is credited as a co-organizer of the team camp currently taking place in Georgia it is Seymour that is funding the entire event.
Now that’s seeing a return on Al’s investment. Seymour is taking his Davis dollars and reinvesting in the Raiders.
During Seymour’s first year in Oakland he proclaimed the team was going to the playoffs. That, of course, didn’t happen. But with the way he’s taking control of this team you can’t help but feel as if the playoffs are a very real possibility in the near future given the near miss that occurred last season. Al Davis is banking on it in fact.