Al Davis still has an effect on the NFL by the way he handles the Raiders' business.
Davis has always had a reputation for constructing huge contracts and paying his top players whatever he wants. In the past two offseasons, Davis has doled out three record contracts. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, punter Shane Lechler and kicker Sebastian Janikowski all received new deals that make them the highest paid players in the history of the league at their position. Each player received a staggering amount of money relative to the position they play.
The rest of the league quality cringed because it upped the ante for everyone.
We’re now seeing the ripple effect. New York Jets star cornerback Darrelle Revis is holding out because he wants to be paid more than Asomugha. He is in the second year of a three-year deal that is paying him $45 million.
The Jets don’t want to get anywhere near that type of deal even though Revis is a vital part of their Super Bowl aspirations. But that’s the market Davis set. And the league is gong to have to live with it.
Does Davis care? I’m sure he doesn’t. And he shouldn’t. The way the Raiders choose to do business is their prerogative. They don’t have to care what it means to the rest of the league. The only thing the Raiders need to worry about is getting enough bang for the buck. So far, the records deals have not resulted in victory. But it has created chaos elsewhere.
Perhaps in Davis’ ultra-competitive world, that is a victory in itself.