Remember when the Raiders weren’t a total joke?
Tony Soprano once said “remember when” is the lowest form of conversation. But the head of the Jersey crime family, remember when the Raiders weren’t the absolute laughingstock of the NFL?
The Raiders are a full-blown soap opera, so I suppose it’s great they are the subject of the new season of Hard Knocks on HBO. But being a soap opera is the worst possible thing you would want from an NFL franchise.
Remember when the Raiders didn’t back up the Brinks truck to get Jon Gruden back as their head coach?
Remember when the Raiders had future Hall of Famer Khalil Mack as the face of their defense? It sure would be nice to have him coming off the edge when you’re playing against Patrick Mahomes twice a year for the next decade.
Remember when the Raiders had Amari Cooper — Mr. No Drama — as the team’s top receiver? Remember when he barely made a peep during his time in Oakland? How refreshing would that be now compared to the circus that Antonio Brown brought to town?
Think Oakland would like to do a do-over on both of those deals? Think they’d rather have Mack rather than Josh Jacobs and Cooper than Johnathan Abram?
Turns out bringing in Mike Mayock, who is fantastic on NFL Draft coverage for NFL Network, to restore the pride in the Raiders organization isn’t a stroke of genius.
Trading for Brown restored some hope and optimism that the Raiders wouldn’t look like a high school football team. It’s fair to say after Brown suffered frostbite on his feet from a cryotherapy accident and has gone AWOL after having to wear a new helmet. The team has no idea where he is, what he’s doing or if/when he’ll be back, that the honeymoon period is officially over.
But forget about the honeymoon period being over. Is it time to start wondering if it’s time to think about separation or even mentioning the D-word and thinking about a divorce.
Yes, Brown signed a three-year extension for $50 million with $30 million in guarantees so for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, the two are stuck with each other for at least the short-term. They may have to be miserable and stay together for the kids (Derek Carr) but this is going to end as well as the final season of Game of Thrones.
Remember when the Raiders were committed to excellence?
Now they just need to be committed.