All NFL destinations are not created equal, and according to players, Oakland is less equal than anywhere else.
An ESPN/NFL Nation Confidential poll surveyed 100-plus players to find the least desirable location to play in the NFL. The question was this: "The only way I'd play for [team name] is if they doubled my salary."
The "winner"? Oakland, with 23 percent of the 82 respondents. Following Oakland were:
Good news, Jets and Redskins fans! You're not the worst!
You can probably extrapolate why these teams are on this list: incompetent ownership, poor winning tradition, cold weather, harsh fans. Still, Raiders players both past and present were not exactly thrilled with the poll's results.
"I've never heard anybody that said they didn't want to play for the Raiders, so that's pretty shocking," Oakland DB Charles Woodson said. "Over the years, I've known and talked to countless players that said, 'Man, I would love to come play in the Silver and Black.' So I think that poll might be kind of skewed."
"I would play for this team if they paid me half of what they pay me, and I have taken pay cuts to stay," said Jets WR Jacoby Ford, who played for Oakland from 2010 to 2013. "I guarantee you, if half those guys would have the opportunity to come play for this franchise, they'd be on board."
Certainly, this is a dispiriting poll for the Raiders, Bills, and other teams. But it's also a fire lit under the teams' collective tail: if a guy refused to play for you for double what he's making, perhaps the problem isn't the player.