On Saturday morning when Oakland Raiders Owner Al Davis passed away, I wrote about his eccentric life in football. After writing the article I started to think about what was going to happen to the Oakland Raiders administrative structure now that Davis was gone. Davis was the Raiders’ majority owner, but he was also the team’s general manager and hand-picked much of the administrative team.
It’s hard to predict what the Raiders will look like and how they will operate without Mr. Davis in control anymore; there was certainly a Raiders way of doing things with the NFL icon at the helm. There are some things we know. The team will remain in the Davis family with Al’s wife, Carol, being the majority owner and his son, Mark who is in his 50’s, expected to have a hand in running the franchise.
It’s been widely reported that CEO Amy Trask will continue in her position and play a major role in the upcoming transition. We’ve all seen the pictures of Mark Davis, Al’s son, at the game in Houston this past Sunday. In the past few years Mark notably provided a more visible presence around the team. In most recent years Mark could be found not only going to games but often attending practices as well. Mark has spent a considerable amount of his time attempting to get the Raiders a new stadium and has even discussed sharing a stadium with the San Francisco 49ers, much like the Jets and Giants do in New Jersey. He does, however, lack the prowess and football acumen of his Hall of Fame father and is not expected to take part in football decisions.
So who will the Raiders hire as GM? When Al Davis was alive he had talked about bringing back Raiders Super Bowl XI winning coach John Madden to help Mark, but Madden is 75-years old and that wouldn’t help with running the day-to-day football operations. Hue Jackson and the personnel department will hold the fort down for the moment but a long term permanent solution is needed.
Enter Robert London
A source close to the situation has told me that Robert London, Vice President at Dow Lohnes Sports & Entertainment, has been contacted as a potential candidate for the Oakland Raiders general manager position. Never heard of him? Perhaps you should have.
On July 25th I interviewed Mr. London, whose firm represents notable NFL players such as Maurice Jones-Drew, Matt Forte, Antoine Bethea, Kendall Hunter, and Tyrod Taylor among others. The topic of the interview was his client Matt Forte and the fact that he was severely underpaid compared to his peers. During the interview London compared Forte’s on-field production to elite running backs Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson, who were also looking for new contracts before the season started. The facts London presented with regard to Forte’s value to his team and comparison to the elite backs in the game were hard to dispute.
On the eve of the season starting, Johnson and Peterson both worked things out with their teams. After holding out during training camp, Johnson signed a four year $53.5 million extension with $30 million guaranteed and Peterson, who’s contract talks were not adversarial, one upped Johnson by signing a seven year deal worth $100 million with $36 million guaranteed. Despite the fact that Chester Taylor, Forte’s backup signed a $12.5 million deal, with $7 million guaranteed in the first year of his deal last season and the Chicago Bears refused to rework Forte’s deal. Interestingly, despite the consensus opinion that Forte was being wronged, the Chicago running back did not apply any leverage and hold out. Forte is currently still playing on the last year of his first NFL contract, a four-year deal worth $3,781,000, one that only pays him $550,000 this year. For a person whose employment resides in an occupation where potential prime income earning years is so limited, the fact that Forte was advised not to hold out was curious to me at the time, but it’s now starting to make sense.
Apparently the Oakland Raiders have realized two things about Mr. London; his competency as a talent evaluator as he’s handpicked successful to-be NFL players as clients, and also his understanding in harmony, structure and organization within the composition of a football team. London gambled that Forte will make more money by not holding out, but instead performing, something that will work out in the best interests of both Forte and the Bears.
It will be interesting to follow the Oakland Raiders GM developments and see who, if any, other possible candidates are contacted. It does not appear that there is an emergent time table to fill the position and all options are currently being explored.
- 37-years old
- Vice President at Dow Lohnes Law Firm (Washington, DC)
- Grew up in Elizabeth, NJ
- Played football (running back) at Delaware State University
- Coached in college by Nick Polk (Falcons front office), and TJ McCreight (Cardinals front office)
- Degree in Business Administration
- Also worked in the financial sector as an Analyst
The founder and former owner of MC3 Sports Media, Mike Cardano is the Sr. Business Administrator for RotoExperts and the Executive Director here at TheXLog.com. You may email Mike @ [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @MikeCardano. Listen to Mike on Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio with Scott Engel and the morning crew Tuesday mornings at 10am ET.