As much as it is hard to see these three players in particular leave Oakland, GM Reggie McKenzie is cleaning house and it is well overdue. Unfortunately this is the business side to professional football, but as a fan, sometimes you get attached to players – especially ones who have been around 6+ years like Michael Huff.
Michael Huff and Darrius Heyward-Bey both started their careers with the Raiders, being drafted in 2006 and 2009 respectively. Although their production has not matched their first-round labels, and they have come under media scutiny for years because of it, these two players are two of the hardest working in the bunch. Not once did they complain, and they kept their noses to the grindstone at all times. If there’s one thing you can’t say about either player, it’s that they don’t have a work ethic.
Philip Wheeler, however, was only with us one season, but boy did he shine! You couldn’t miss those long dreadlocks whipping around on the field. The man has heart, drive and determination – it’s no surprise to any Raiders fan that he was snatched up as quickly as he was by the Miami Dolphins on Tuesday.
It was exceptionally classy of Heyward-Bey to thank, above all, the late Al Davis – without Al, I’m not sure where Heyward-Bey would be today. He came out of the woodwork and surprised everyone by being drafted so high in 2009. Let’s just say that ESPN didn’t know what to make of it either, haha.
On behalf of The Silver Lining, I am wishing happy trails to all three of these guys. Best of luck in the future to each of you (just not as much luck as the Oakland Raiders need).