Amongst the news that DeAngelo Hall is coming to Oakland is a realization. Davis is in complete control. Although I am not sure about the Hall signing, I may warm up to it. Routt did decently at CB, but not great and Washington has completely lost his confidence.
Maybe the fact Davis is complete control was obvious before, but I am now convinced I know what has happened in the Raiders front office. I don’t think Davis was in complete control and I think he has tried for quite a while to relinquish SOME power.
Just a side note: the Raiders got the cash to sign these free agents this past season with the sale of 20 of the 31 percent of team that Al Davis got from the McGah family settlement giving Davis the necessary cash flow to front the guaranteed coin.
That said, Davis decided after many years of attempting to relinquish pieces of control (not all) that his teams always did better when he was the PRIME personnel man.
This is what started the tension between Kiffin and Al Davis.
I am now firmly convinced Al Davis stripped Kiffin of all his personnel decision power and decided to call the shots himself. After all, Kiffin’s personnel power was only verbal in nature.
Here is how I came to this decision:
Reports surface that Kiffin is upset with the roster at the beginning of the season after Moses is cut, etc. I never believed it before, but I now believe this to be true, and that Moses was a Kiffin pick and not a Davis pick. Knowing which picks Al Davis overruled Kiffin on is tough to know, but given that Kiffin called Bush and Kiffin touted Moses is a strong indicator. Given that Higgins and Bowie both seem like Davis picks, it is still tough to know for sure. It was also rumored that Kiffin favored Quinn over Russell, so that one would seem to be a Davis pick and Miller seems like Kiffin pick. Who knows really.
In any event, Kiffin’s lack of performance in talent evaluation ultimately forced Al’s hand. Davis disagreed with some of Kiffin’s moves, but went along with them to see how good Kiffin was. When most of Kiffin’s picks backfired…Davis pulled the plug.
However, Davis didn’t dislike the job Kiffin did on the football field and most likely gave Kiffin the resignation option if he was unhappy that Davis was going to be shaping the team. That is the right thing and good thing for Davis to do is allow his coach out if he is unhappy. That is also why the offer was never rescinded.
Davis most likely made it clear to Kiffin that he liked him as a coach and that is why Kiffin is still hanging around.
Kiffin is unhappy that he isn’t as involved in the shaping of the team as he would like, but it appears he is going to stick around and be the coach.
Davis would have fired Kiffin already if he wanted him gone (remember the reasons for hiring Kiffin so early last year, Davis doesn’t want to go late into the offseason without his head coach) and I see no reason why Kiffin wouldn’t have resigned by now if he didn’t want or have to be here.
What this likely means is that Kiffin will leave when he can, but Davis holds all the cards. Kiffin does well and is a commodity and Davis holds two option years. Kiffin does poorly and isn’t a commodity and Davis can let him go scott free.
Kiffin is sulking right now because Al Davis has his nuts in a vice. Kiffin is unhappy, but Davis has the leverage.
There is literally nothing Kiffin can do. He must let Davis shape the team and he must try to coach them well so he can be marketable when he finally is able to hit the market.
Davis is controlling Kiffin’s move in very much the same way a chess master would control my moves in a chess game. The difference is Davis is actually trying to set Kiffin up to win.
That said, all is not fine in Raiderland, but certainly this could be a successful business relationship if Kiffin can continue to coach well and Davis can give him the right weapons to succeed.
I am fairly certain there is no personal tension, but rather business tension.
Take my opinion for what it is worth, but it all seems to make too much sense to me.