For many years, there has been a vocal contingent of Raiders fans that clamored for recognition that the league was anti-Raiders. If the schedule seemed less favorable, if the league awarded fewer prime time games - whatever the situation - there were individuals that claimed that the league didn't like the Raiders, never had.
I'm not a subscriber to this theory and if the league gifts the Raiders as kindly as it did today, no one in the future will be able to claim the league dislikes the Raiders - or, at least, not claim it and be taken seriously.
The league announced the compensatory picks for the 2012 draft today. The picks, which are derived from a proprietary formula that the league keeps a secret, are designed to compensate teams that suffer a net loss in the number of quality of their free agents.
Therefore, teams that sign a fewer number of player than they lost to free agency, or players that are substantially worse, can expect to be awarded some picks the following year.
Last season, the Raiders lost arguabley the top free agent, CB Nnamdi Asomugha, as well as TE Zach Miller, G Robert Gallery and LB Thomas Howard. The only real gain was TE Kevin Boss.
The league awarded the Raiders 3 compensatory picks which is right in line with what was expected. What was unexpected was the rounds that were awarded.
The team was awarded picks in 3 sequential rounds - a 3rd round (95th overall), a 4th round (129th overall) and a 5th round (168th overall).
When I was doing research it was very rare for teams to get a both a 3rd and a 4th and I'm not aware of any team getting a 3rd, 4th and 5th - it is, to my knowledge - unprecedented.
Even Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie was surprised about it, pleasantly so. In a conference call with Bay Area media organizations today, he said, "Let me tell you something. Whatever the formula is, I love this formula. I love it. I thought I would possibly get a three, a high one for Nnamdi, and the others, obviously, this is better than what I expected. So I’m extremely excited about the compensatory picks that the league has afforded the Raiders. Hopefully we can make due and have some good picks from this."
McKenzie went on to talk about how he thinks they can find good players with all three of the compensatory picks.
Furthermore, he cleared up some questions about how the Raiders are likely to operate. The Raiders will, he said, pick the highest rated player on their board regardless of what position that player plays or how many players the Raiders already have at the position.
McKenzie also spoke about his experience at Green Bay, stating he was heavily involved with both free agency and the draft during his years there. It was unknown what his specific duties were because he worked under GMs Ron Wolf and Ted Thompson during his time in Wisconsin.
Don't expect another windfall of compensatory picks at this time next season. Under the known rules, compensatory picks are not awarded for players that are cut by the team, only by players whose contracts expire and choose to sign elsewhere. That means that most of the Raiders free agents this year, and vitually all of the big names, will not be count in the formula.
The players that the team cut and are, therefore, not included for compensatory picks next year include Kamerion Wimbley, Kevin Boss, Stanford Routt, Chris Johnson, John Henderson and Hiram Eugene.
Players that were free agents and have signed with other teams include Jason Campbell, Michael Bush and Samson Satele.
It is possible that those three and any others that sign will offset what looks to be a relatively meager class that Oakland will bring in and could still allow the team some sort of compenation next year.
Whatever next year brings, McKenzie is focused on this year, now, and will take any assitance he can get. Prior to today, Oakland had only two picks - a 5th and a 6th rounder. Now, he has five picks, total.
For Raiders news and analysis throughout the day, or to ask me questions or tell me what you think by following me on Twitter @AsherMathews
Quite frankly Asher we Raider fans couldn't care less what the league thinks of our team or whether we're liked by other teams and their fans because the only thing that matters to Raider Nation is that we remain strong and loyal to our team. Just Win Baby!
Don't forget we lost Chaz Shilens in Free Agency too.
I'm very happy with the Comp Picks (as posted in the previous article). I was surprised by it too, I was thinking if we got 3, it would be in the 3rd, 4th, and 7th. We can get a good OLB and a good O-Lineman with the picks that we got. I'm very excited!
I wish the season were under way right now, because I am expecting to win. I like where we are headed as a football team and organization. JUST WIN, BABY!
The Raiders getting (3) compensatory picks was a true blessing from above....This will obviously help the team greatly, as McKenzie's actions so far this year has made it very clear that the draft is going to be a significant part of rebuilding this team. The next question for me is, will the Raiders trade one of their stars to get into the 2nd or late 1st??? My money says yes, but this remains to be seen........
@AsherMathews it almost makes the Palmer trade worth it.....in my opinion the trade was well worth it but some people beg to differ.
Compensatory picks is not the way to determine whether or not the league is anti-Raiders. As you note yourself - picks are awarded based on a set formula. So the league was not "kind" to the team today - they gave us the picks we deserve under the standard formula used to award picks. Obviously the league can not alter the formula to the detriment of the Raiders without opening themselves up to a(nother) lawsuit by the team.
That same logic applies to the schedules. The league doesn't pull the schedules out of their asses anymore - a formula is used based on the divisions and season record for each team. The prime time games might be a little trickier since the networks have a say in that as well as the league because they're the ones shelling out billions of dollars for the broadcast rights.
That said, however - the league does have a grudge against Oakland (which is easily traceable back to it's roots). But not just the league - the other teams and the average folks on the street as well. One way this manifests itself (and confuses some Raider fans) is the Hall of Fame. Let's face it - you know something is totally out of whack when Floyd 6000-frackin'-yards-in-his-career Little is in the Hall and Jim Super-Bowl-MVP Plunkett is not. However - that's not the league, that's the sportswriters around America who refuse to give Oakland (and thereby Plunkett) their due. The league's grudge manifests itself in crappy calls on the field (for instance) - even Al Davis said the players we signed would come to him after a few games in the Silver and Black and tell him we were getting hosed by the refs. They had experienced the difference from the way their original team was flagged to the way the Raiders are flagged - they saw a difference. So if Al and the Raiders thought something is wrong - we're not talking paranoia and/or hallucinations - something is wrong.
#Raiders already got best award I've ever seen, so seems fair enough RT @aimonas1 I know that, I was thinking 1 for miller and 1 for Nnamdi
#Raiders sacrificed their orig 3rd round pick selecting Terrelle Pryor in supplemental draft RT @aimonas1 I think we should have 2 3rds
Palmer trade win/loss still up in air. Big risk but could be big reward. RT @R8R_fan it almost makes the Palmer trade worth it.
@Indy! I'm not going to get into whether the league had a grudge many years ago - it's certainly possible. I've been following the Raiders since 2002, so 10 years now. In that time, I've seen no indication that there is any bias against the Raiders. The HOF selection isn't run by the league, so that isn't a valid argument. The selection is sportswriters so you'll have to blame them for Plunkett.
Al Davis was a big part of the problem, too. His refusal to change things that needed to be changed - like his defensive philosophy - put players in almost impossible situations. He also refused to allow coaches to bench players he liked, which hurt the teams penalty situation increasingly, every year, until the league record was set last season. The team had changed almost entirely since 2002, but the penalties were a problem every year and most of them were deserved. Much of that blame goes on Al, since he was the only common factor in those years.
I think that is much more likely than there being a conspiracy theory. I'm sure if the Raiders had been given very poor compensation, people would have felt that the league's "secret formula" was skewed to hurt the Raiders but because they were given very good compensation, it's written off as just fair.
To me, the compensation was fantastic - as I said the best I've ever seen - and the league is fairly good about treating teams equally and trying to create an even playing field.
I never bought into this idea of a conspiracy, but it is obvious that there is a prevalent attitude about our team, and it manifests itself in questionable calls, such as the snow job, or that Louis Murphyy touchdown catch that was called an incomplete pass a couple of years ago. But on top of it, the totality of the penalties against us. It ends up leading to more penalties that would have been overlooked if it was another team. And then there are the penalties against us that don't get called that surely would have been if it was one of our guys doing it.
Quite simply, it is just not fair. Is a fairly called game to much to ask for?
Maybe some of this will change under McKenzies watch. We'll see.
@AsherMathews Want some nocturnal cash? We need u 2 work for us tonite! Click our profile link and use invite code: 2493
@AsherMathews Dude - no offense, but 10 years is nothing. The team celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2011 - so you've missed 80% of the history. You have a lot of catching up to do. You can go back to the AFL days and what Al did to the NFL when they were on opposite sides - lots of bad blood there. But more importantly - look into the move to LA. As a Raider fan, you should understand that when Al sued the league - he fundamentally changed the power structure of the NFL forever. If there is one thing we should point to as the reason why the league always screws Oakland - THAT'S it.
As a sidebar, you might also learn how important Al Davis was to the NFL and start giving him some of the respect he deserves as the most important player in the modern era. While you're whining about him making a couple of minor personnel changes in some inconsequential games where we were never competing anyway - he was giving the league a total facelift.
And btw - we set the league record for penalties many times - even a couple years where we won the Super Bowl if I remember right. That kind of nonsense is only important to the "experts" on ESPN.
You have some good points, but at the same time, it is clear that there has been a history of the Raiders getting hosed by the officials. Again, I don't think it a conspiracy. More likely an atttitude manifesting itself.
Yes, there are a lot of calls we should get. But there are also a lot that to say the least, are very quesitonable. And when you see the other team doing the same things, only worse, and not getting the call, you got to think that the refs are not scrutinizing other teams the same way.
If you have been watching the Raiders since 2002, then you have to be familiar with the snow job, and the touchdown pass caught by Murphy in the end zone a couple of years ago ruled incomplete after he turned around to get up and let go of the ball while doing so.
I am not saying no other team has ever gotten a bad call like this, but I can find an example of such a flagrant bad call happening to the Raiders in at least one game every year going back into the 80's.
@AsherMathews @Indy! not sure about the other stuff but the penalties stand out to me. Even players speak up and say they get called for stuff they normally wouldnt get called for when they're not playing any different. Other teams seem to get away with the same calls. I would agree it had to do with Al for being the Maverick that he was but still seemed unfair to the fans, like Jososi said, just a fair called game please.
would be fantastic. Be happy w/what they got, will really help. RT @aimonas1 if they had 95& 96 would be great, just want to improve my team
@AsherMathews There's a difference between the Seahawks or Calvin Johnson getting a couple bad calls in a game and the Raiders getting hosed for 40+ years (especially when the Seahawks get acknowledgement of the mistake and an apology afterwards). But you're right on at least one thing - we can agree to disagree.
@Indy! @Jososi What, exactly, do you think I need to educate myself on? I'm telling you that I'm familiar with what Al has done for the league and also the conflicts between Al and the league. Nothing will allow me to experience them because I didn't. I can only learn about it through reading. I have done that. Just because I don't agree with you doesn't mean I'm not familiar with what happened.
If what you're saying is that some HOF voters don't like the Raiders, I'd say that's probably true. It's not Raiders specific, though, and there are other teams players that don't make it in the HOF because of stupid, petty reasons. So, no, I don't see that as an anti-Raiders sentiment, just a HOF voter who doesn't understand what should or should not go into the Hall.
To address the ref situation: I'm sure refs bring in their own baggage. I don't think the Raiders get any worse calls than other teams, in general. I think that they do get a lot of penalties because they play undisciplined and once the officials start throwing flags they keep throwing flags. If the Raiders can stop with the stupid stuff - the offsides, the false starts, the unnecessary roughness stuff, some of the ticky-tack PI calls will go away.
Look the Tuck Rule could have been Walt Coleman screwing the Raiders. We'll never know. There are very reasonable people who have no stake in the question that believe it was a correct application of a bad rule.
The Louis Murphy call is technically the correct call on a bad rule and there are lots of examples of the same situation - he was just one of the first. Google Calvin Johnson Rule and you'll see basically the same situation the next season. It got much more press when it happened to him because he's the bigger name.
Basically, I think blaming the refs, who probably have no particular feelings about the Raiders or Al Davis of intentionally screwing the team for their own sordid schemes is ignoring that the Raiders put themselves in most of these situations with sloppy play, some bad schemes and some over-zealous hits.
I think that by and large, every team has it's issues throughout the years. Seattle had the 2006 Super Bowl in which the ref admitted he made mistakes: http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/news/story?id=5444048
The Raiders are never going to get out of their penalty funk until they admit that they are bringing it on themselves and start playing better football. If they start playing well and disciplined, the refs will be less likely to flag them for questionable penalties - that's not a conspiracy that's just human nature.
@Jososi On a certain level - I agree with you. The term "conspiracy" however - gets a bad shake in today's world. If you'll excuse the pun - there has been a conspiracy to discredit the term "conspiracy". A conspiracy - by definition - is TWO people conspiring to do something (could be good, bad, whatever). Now, to apply that to the Raiders and the league - do I think people in the league have gotten together at some level and decided "Hey - let's screw the Raiders on calls"? No - I do not believe that is what is happening. What I believe is the Raiders (and more specificially Al Davis) have been such a total pain in the league's ass that the refs and league officials who make the ARBITRARY decisions (not schedules, or Hall of Fame or compensatory picks) give the Raiders the short end out of habit and/or spite for what's been done in the past.
Now - does that rise to the level of a conspiracy? Perhaps. I can see a couple refs laughing about "screwing the Raiders in Sunday's game" or something - which would technically be a "conspiracy". I do not however believe there is a league wide PLAN to screw the team. More likely it is simply habit and the personal tastes of the decision makers - they don't like what Al has done - they don't see any reason to do him any favors. That is the same mindset that the reporters use to determine that Floyd Little goes to the HoF and Jim Plunkett (or Jack Tatum or Cliff Branch or Ken Stabler) do not. If you watch the NFL Network, when they did the "Top 10 Players not in the HoF" show - one sportswriter said straight up he would never vote for Stabler because of his OFF the field actions - chasing women, drinking, etc... One has nothing to do with the other. Stabler was the Peyton Manning of his time - he belongs in the HoF - certainly more than Little who was an average back on a team that never went to the playoffs.
Asher: Sorry dude - you need to educate yourself on the team and Al.
Do I see evidence of a conspiracy in the last 10 years. No. In fact, I see no evidence of a conspiracy ever. I wish that word would go away, because it makes what I consider to be a very legitimate gripe against the refs look silly.
Now, have I seen a consistent level of questionable calls against the Raiders that equate to standards that other teams are not held to over the last 10 years? Absolutely YES, YES, YES!!!
Again, not a conspiracy, but an attitude that manifests itself as an unfair standard for officiating this team, verus how they officate other teams. It is unfair, and the Raiders are constantly on the bad end of bad calls. Again, I am not going to say that no other team never got a bad call, but no other team has gotten them so consistently the way the Raiders have.
If you want examples over the last 10 years, I start with the snow job. I would also mention agin the reversal of the Louis Murphy touchdown pass. The game last year when Hue Jackson finally had enough and called out the officials. I remember Tom Cable had a game like that the year before. And on and on.
@Indy! I just wanted to address this to clarify my position. I am aware of his significance to the league in terms of history but only as history, I didn't follow the team during that time. Having said that, I think that is all irrelevant to the discussion at hand, unless your argument is that the league used to conspire against the Raiders but no longer do.
What I'm addressing in the article is that don't believe that the league is currently doing so and I specifically mentioned the last 10 years because I have not seen anything in the last 10 years that indicates the league has a conspiracy against the Raiders. Have you?
Outside of the last 10 years, what I'm saying, is I don't know because I didn't experience it personally. Does that make more sense?
I also don't want to give the impression that Al Davis was always a poor manager - he won 3 Super Bowls for the team. However, to think that because he did some great things at one point in his career means that he make poor decisions. I believe that, towards the end of his life, he made some very questionable decisions and resisted making necessary changes in the organization.
I believe he can both have made questionable decisions and be a great man and have influenced the creation of the NFL as it is today. The two are not mutually exclusive.