John Herrera, Raiders not parting ways after all

The Raiders revealed today that Senior Executive John Herrera has retired. However, they announced that he will not be leaving the organization entirely. Though he will no longer hold the title of Senior Executive, he will remain involved closely with the Raiders in, what the Raiders are describing as "special projects"

Herrera served the organization in numerous capacities for over three decades, holding the position of Senior Executive for the past 27.

"At this point in my career and after careful thought and consideration, I have decided to take a break," said Herrera. "I've had a great run, 35 years over three tours of duty, and have been privileged to work in every area of the organization. I've enjoyed the whole ride and cherish my relationships with the Davis family, players, coaches and front office staff. I have developed lifelong friendships with people that have come through the organization and my time with the Silver and Black has exceeded my wildest expectations."

Herrera first joining the organization in 1963 at the age of 16. He has gone on to work in every corner of the team's operation including player personnel, scouting, media relations, training camp operations, team travel, stadium negotiations, community relations, security and even one season as a member of the coaching staff.

In between, Herrera has served stints in scouting and player personnel with two other NFL teams and as a General Manager and Director of Player Personnel in the Canadian Football League, rejoining the organization as Senior Executive in 1985.

As part of his duties, Herrera was given complete authority to locate sites and execute training camp operations on two different occasions. He coordinated Raiders training camp efforts in Oxnard, Calif. for 11 years and in Napa for the past 16 years. He also headed up a staff dedicated to identifying and exploring new stadium locations and building projects for the organization.

Multiple times throughout his tenure, Herrera was called upon to participate in player drafts and evaluate talent. He was also intimately involved with alumni events including reunions and recent memorials for Raider Legends Gene Upshaw, George Blanda and Jack Tatum.

But what Herrera eventually became most well-known for was his fierce defending of Al Davis and all things Raiders. Most notably erupting in a dispute with sportswriter Tim Kawakami during a press conference which was caught on tape and made the internet rounds.

This move is yet another major indication of the new direction of the Raiders under General Manager Reggie McKenzie and owner Mark Davis.

Follow me on Twitter @LeviDamien or befriend me on facebook.

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