New Market Value on Fat
Found in the wreckage of a day wasted watching tweets roll by without an insightful headline to inspire (they say the NFL doesn’t have an offseason… it sure as hell has down time), we learned Oakland Raiders owner Al Davis has filed grievance against recently-released quarterback JaMarcus Russell with hopes of getting $9.55 million returned to the team’s coffers.
In drafting Russell with the first overall selection in 2007 the Raiders signed on to a ridiculous contract that supposedly put $31.5 million in guaranteed compensation in the kid’s pocket. Three seasons later the Raiders cut him loose and Davis contends the $9.6 mil he wants back was in fact an advance on future earnings through 2012. Now that Davis and his minions are moving on without him, the team is ready to contend that money needs to be reimbursed.
“The money in question is guaranteed,” according to Eric Metz, Russell’s agent. “That is why JaMarcus was forced to hold out and miss all of training camp as a rookie. The Raiders know that and this is our only comment.”
Allow me to translate, putting Russell’s stance into layman’s terms… “You drafted me, you signed on the dotted line, you put those duckets in my wallet. If you think you’re gonna be gettin’ ‘em back you can roll your ass on home, grandpa. It’s your own damn fault anyway… if you would have just paid me I wouldn’t have missed all that time as a rookie and both of our futures would have been different. Slow your roll, get your books ready for public consumption, and we’ll see you in court.”
If you want to waste time debating how Russell could suggest he is owed anything, have a ball… this isn’t a narrative about JaMarcus the football player. That’s books been written (Cliff Notes: he sucks ass).
This is the story of a man time left behind.
It wasn’t that long ago Al Davis was respected as one of the innovative and influential voices of the NFL. His name is tied to more mythical tales of this league’s history than any other left at the helm… but the Al Davis of modern NFL era is known more for his business model (or lack thereof).
Russell isn’t the first target of grievance filed by Davis. In fact, the list of players and coaches alienated and attacked in public view by Davis has grown with each passing season, starting in the early 1980’s. Back then Davis feuded with rusher Marcus Allen over his contract and eventual trade demands. That led to an alleged relationship of turmoil with receiver Tim Brown (supposedly fueled by Davis’ hatred of black receivers from Notre Dame).
Then came the Mike Shanahan era and all of the public and private issues Davis endured with the coach throughout (Davis still contends Shanahan owes him a substantial chunk of change, very similar to the complaints filed against JaMarcus today).That led to an embattled affiliation with coach Jon Gruden and the quick-and-predictable decay of their relationship. That led to Bill Callahan, which led to Norv Turner, which led to Art Shell, which led to Lane Kiffin, which brings us to Tom Cable and today… and that’s just the coaches. The list of players (and the money) that has come and gone from Oakland during that time is just as impressive. That’s a portfolio that speaks for itself.
So blame who ya’ like ‘cause there is plenty to go around… when JaMarcus came into the league as a fat, unmotivated, unproven kid with a shallow resume in 2007, Al Davis was happy to give the kid $68 million and Fat Albert was happy to take it. Now that Chunk is three years older, just as fat, just as unmotivated, and just as unproven, the Grim Reaper wants to cash a mail-in rebate.
How do you agree with either one of ‘em?