April 01, 2010
Remember when Javon Walker(notes) signed that huge six-year, $55 million deal with the Raiders? And then, immediately afterward, he sort of disappeared and the Raiders got almost no return on their investment?
Well, that wasn't lost on Javon Walker. In an interview with TheFootballGirl.com, Walker said he offered the Raiders a full refund on the money they gave him. Quoth Javon:
"Everybody knows how Al Davis is. What people and fans don't realize is when I did sign that contract, I offered to give it back. So that's the thing people need to realize and need to hear is that I don't take money just to take it. [...] When I was in Oakland, I offered to give that money back, and they said 'no.' "
That's a bold gesture from Javon, if indeed it did happen. As far as the Raiders turning it down, of course they would — as would any other NFL team. No one wants to admit they made a huge mistake like that, and then draw attention to it by accepting charity from a failed player.
And besides, if everyone the Raiders have ever overpaid offered to give the money back, Al Davis himself would immediately become the world's biggest economy, and our entire financial system would be thrown into chaos.
So, Javon, what went wrong in Oakland?
"It just wasn't the right situation for me. I'm thinking I'll be able to come in, play the game, help the organization win, but it's an organization that's going through some rebuilding and some trials and tribulations. When I was in Denver, I performed, When I was in Green Bay, I performed. So now that I'm in Oakland, I can't perform? Like all the sudden, my talents were just taken away from me? [...] I never really got an opportunity. I never got a fair chance. [...] I'm not the first athlete who went into Oakland, and all of the sudden, it looked like his talent had disappeared."
I guess he's got a point there.
Walker then goes on to say he'll play for the league minimum in 2010, and that he's going to give some lucky team a very productive year. I admire his optimism.
But at the same time, it seems a little too convenient to blame everything on the Raiders. How often does a wide receiver have three non-productive years in a row, then come back and set the league on fire? That's just not something that happens. I'd love to be wrong, and for Walker to come out in 2010 and have a huge year, but that it's not something I'd bet on.
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