NFL fans who despise the Oakland Raiders are going to breathe a brief sigh of relief when they find out select players who participated in an anonymous poll held by ESPN voted the Raiders as the least desirable team in league.
Of the 82 players who answered, 23 percent named the Raiders, followed by the Buffalo Bills (19 percent), Cleveland Browns (16 percent), Jacksonville Jaguars (9 percent) and Green Bay Packers (6 percent).
One player took things a step further, stating he’d need his salary to be doubled to play of the Raiders.
“The only way I’d play for [team name] is if they doubled my salary.”
When it comes to NFL history, the Raiders are one of the more storied franchises in the league but since their early run in the 2000s that was topped off with a Super Bowl appearance in 2002, the Raiders have been at the bottom of the barrel. Since the Super Bowl appearance, the Raiders have missed the playoffs in every season, have posted a positive point differential once in 11 seasons (2010), have won 8 or more games 12 in 11 seasons (2010, 2011), and have been in led in passing yards by seven different quarterbacks.
Often, Oakland is labeled as the team where players go to die by fans. Most notably was superstar wide receiver Randy Moss whose Hall of Fame career came to a halt once traded to the Raiders in 2005–he eventually returned to form with the New England Patriots.
There’s a bit of optimism in Raider land, though it may take a few years to come into fruition. With Derek Carr being groomed as the quarterback of the future, fans see a light and the end of a tunnel that’s smothered this team in the last throughout the last decade.
It’s going to take some serious winning to alter this perception. It may not begin now, but if the franchise can gradually grow toward the future, avoiding the many mistakes that made them into the least desirable team in the league, they could, at least, surpass the Buffalo Bills.
That couldn’t be too hard.