Mark Davis willing to consider signing Richie Incognito

Richie IncognitoA Richie Incognito to the Oakland Raiders move is not exactly imminent, but Mark Davis says he would consider the possibility.

In comments published last week by NFL.com’s Mike Silver, Incognito expressed interest in playing for the Raiders. He cited his familiarity with some of the team’s coaches and said the team would fit his personality well.

Seemingly in response to Incognito’s interest in the team, Davis was asked whether he would have interest in signing the former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman. Though Davis deflected that question by saying that was something for team GM Reggie McKenzie to answer, ESPN’s Jeff Legwold reports Davis did say “I’d have to think about that,” when asked what he’d say if McKenzie approached him wanting to sign Incognito.

Like I said, it’s not like the Raiders are running out to sign Incognito, but this shows they’re at least open to the possibility.

Incognito may be crazy and trying to clean up his image following the bullying allegations involving Jonathan Martin, but his NFL career is not over. We have a strong feeling that he’ll be playing next season.

Mark Davis reportedly called off Rodger Saffold deal

Rodger SaffoldThe Oakland Raiders have found themselves at the center of the most bizarre story of the NFL offseason, which will not surprise anyone. They agreed to a contract with offensive lineman Rodger Saffold earlier this week only to call the deal off on Wednesday when Saffold failed his physical with the team. What the heck happened?

Saffold, who is now set to re-sign with the St. Louis Rams, suffered a dislocated shoulder in a preseason game on Aug. 8. He sat out the second preseason game but was back in time for the regular season. The 25-year-old has missed 17 games in the past three seasons, but his shoulder was said to be fine. The Raiders and team owner Mark Davis apparently disagreed.

According to NFL Network’s Mike Silver, Davis is the one who pulled the plug on the Saffold deal. Saffold left St. Louis on good terms, so his agents had called Rams executive vice president Kevin Demoff to help clarify the shoulder situation. Demoff assured Saffold’s agent, Kevin Herman, that a specialist had double-checked Saffold’s MRI results and that his shoulder was fine.

“We had him examined prior to the start of the season,” Herman told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “And he was fine. The Rams physicians thought he was fine, and he played and he played great. Rodger told us that the Raiders’ doctor examined him and said, ‘You’re fine.'”

After that, Herman said Saffold was told by the team that he needs immediate surgery to correct his shoulder. As Silver noted, Davis was reportedly told that Saffold could have the surgery and be ready in time for training camp. He still nixed the deal.

Herman said that Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie apologized to him several times after the deal fell through. The Rams are apparently not concerned about a player who spent the entire 2013 season with them, because they are gladly bringing Saffold back. Perhaps Davis got cold feet and realized at the last second that Saffold wasn’t worth the $42.5 million the Raiders had agreed to pay him.

Oakland Raiders fire PR guy Zak Gilbert because of SI article

Mark Davis bowl cutThe apple doesn’t fall very far from the tree in the case of Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis.

Davis, the son of the late Al Davis, decided to fire team PR director Zak Gilbert because he was upset with the way he and his father were portrayed in a recent SI article, according to the San Francisco Chronicle’s Vic Tafur.

Sports Illustrated writer Jim Trotter spent a season with the Raiders and wrote about the team in a feature for the April 22 edition of the magazine, entitled “The New Silver and Black.” The story was mostly about how GM Reggie McKenzie was making over the franchise and bringing the team into the modern era after they fell into the dark ages under an aging and senile Al Davis.

We noted two specific items in the story that stood out and wrote about them here at LBS. One story was that McKenzie was pretty incredulous that the Raiders didn’t have a full-time groundskeeper under Davis. The other was how an agent was able to get an extra $1 million out of Davis in negotiations because his memory was so bad.

The Chronicle’s Tafur reports that Gilbert had been on leave since the article came out, pending Davis’ decision concerning his future. Gilbert worked for the team for a year. He was brought in by McKenzie, a former co-worker with the Green Bay Packers.

Despite being fired, Gilbert had a classy response.

“I’d like to thank Mark Davis for the honor of serving the Raiders, and Reggie McKenzie for hiring me. I leave holding my chin up, knowing I dedicated every waking hour to promoting a positive image for our team. The co-workers in my Raiders family are extraordinary; the camaraderie we built was really special. Talking to Raiders fans on a weekly basis, I learned first-hand that their passion and loyalty is unmatched. I have great respect for the team’s rich history and took seriously the role of preserving it. Although disappointed that I can’t remain on the ride, I wish Reggie and Dennis Allen absolutely nothing but success in a bright future.”

You know the irony in all this? Mark Davis’ decision to fire his PR director brought so much more negative light to the franchise than the article did. What a dumb move.