The Team That Hates Its Fans

Today was a bad day in the Nation. In case you haven't noticed, we got worse this day. Unfortunately, that's not the worst part.

See, I can handle getting worse. We got worse the first two offseasons that Reggie held the ropes. I was okay with those. The Raiders had been so poorly managed in the preceding years, that "blowing it up" was really the only option if we wanted to field a competitive team within the next five years.

Unfortunately, today's dose of "getting worse" wasn't necessary. The Raiders have been blown up - or deconstructed as Mark Davis kindly words it - and the reconstruction was supposed to begin today. Today's dose of shitifying came as a result of legitimately poor decision making, and as a result, I have finally switched from a staunch defender of Reggie's camp to being one of his biggest detractors.

The Details - Those We Have Lost

1.) Jared Veldheer signed to the Arizona Cardinals for 35m/5yrs; average of 7/yr

2.) Lamarr Houston signed to the Chicago Bears for 35m/5yrs; average of 7/yr

3.) Rashad Jennings planning to sign for Giants; contract details not yet revealed

The Details - What We Have Gained

1.) Rodger Saffold 42.5m/5yrs; average of 8.5/yr

2.) DMAC signed for 4m/1yr

Just look at those contracts. Take a moment to really look at them, the players, the numbers.

We got worse today. Today was a disaster.

Let's start with LT. I know there are some rumors that Saffold was signed to play G, and some rumors that those rumors are BS. Since we don't know what's real, we're going to assume he's going to play LT... because that's LT money, and if RM paid him that to play G then I'm surprised RM hasn't already been fired.

Jared Veldheer is a top 10 LT in the NFL. He is towards 10 (probably between 8 and 10) by most fair estimations. I think the Cardinals got him at pretty fair value at 7/yr. By contrast, Saffold is an LT who was switched to RT because his play was not good enough, then ultimately moved to guard where finally he was considered as having "arrived." He has missed 17 games in the last 3 years. Conveniently, that's pretty close to DMAC's total, so if you need to quantify that concept to yourself, just think about how fucking frustrating it has been not having DMAC when we need him. We have CLEARLY paid more to downgrade at a key position, as Veldheer was a better player and ultimately signed for less.

Let's take this analysis a step further and just view Saffold's contract in isolation, not including the fact that we lost Veldheer for less money. It was STILL an overpayment. Saffold's services are simply not worth 8.5/yr. For comparison Eugene Monroe, an upgrade over Veldheer and clear upgrade over Saffold, is rumored to be close to signing for 37.5m/5yrs. That comes out to 7.5/yr. Not only that, but Saffold gets 21m guaranteed. This is for a player who has missed 17 games in the last three years and has been bumped from BOTH LT and RT. This contract, even in isolation, without everything else there to take in, is a DISASTER.

On the flip side, we will be paying Saffold roughly 1m MORE per year than EUGENE MONROE.

Some Raiders fans have astutely pointed out that it's possible that Veldheer wanted to leave. This is a fair point, but I would suggest based on the available information that is likely not the case. First, Veldheer - unlike Houston - came out from day 1 talking about wanting to stay. Halfway to free agency he went on the radio to express stress about the delay in contract talks and lack of urgency.

The reason I believe him? Scott Bair. On his twitter he reported that the highest offer we ever sent Veldheer was 30m/5yrs for 6m/yr, a full 1m/yr less than the Cardinals signed him for, and a full TWO AND A HALF MILLION less than we signed Saffold for. Of course he signed with the Cardinals.

Last point on this contract: Saffold's contract carries 21m in guaranteed money. Veldheer's had 17.

I'm not sure how many different ways we can analyze this. I'm sure someone in Raider Nation will post a comment defending Reggie's position... people's capacity for denial will always astound me. It is clear from analyzing this situation that we got worse today, and the decision making that lead to it was hopelessly flawed.

Bonuses are that we lost Rashad Jennings, our most important offensive skill player, Lamarr Houston, likely our best defensive player, and we re-signed McFadden, our most valuable medically injured player.

All in all, I have staunchly supported Reggie. Many of his decisions have been obviously and flagrantly questionable, but I could rationalize them and find reasons to buy in. Hiring a first time head coach? Okay, well he knew we would suck for a few years. Best case you get a Harbaugh; worst case you fire your lame duck. DJ Hayden? Sure I thought the pick over Star and given health concerns was questionable, but it makes sense to get your D-minded new head coach with a DB specialty the best available DB. Etc. I could find reasons to defend them.

But I can't anymore, because it's no longer a few questionable decisions. It's a lot of them. And they aren't looking "questionable" anymore. They're looking bad. They're looking like we're dealing with a GM who gets locked in on a guy (Saffold, Hayden, etc) and must have HIS guy (Saffold>Veld, etc).

Well barring some magic over the next few weeks, he is no longer MY guy.

I read a post on here a year or two ago that was really funny. I don't remember who wrote it or the details, but I've always remembered the gist of one sentence. Something like: No team has been so singularly creative in finding new and diverse ways to punish its fan base as the Raiders have.

That's where I am now.

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