The Raiders are morons. It is known. I don’t need to rattle off a lengthy list of bad moves for you to understand that is a factual statement (as Vince Marrow reminded us, they did draft Clelin Ferrell over Josh Allen just a year ago).
When you are a part of a professional sports franchise that is notoriously stupid, you do everything you can to distance yourself from stupid acts. Sometimes, that backfires, like when the family that currently owns the New York Mets, the Wilpons, released two separate statements condemning the hot mic comments regarding player protests from their GM, spelled Brodie Van Wagenen’s name differently in each statement.
The Mets, Redskins, Raiders, Knicks — all are cut from the same cloth. You can smell the stink on them and the Raiders decision to move Lynn Bowden before the rookie ever competed a down stinks.
You’re probably familiar with what happened on Kentucky Derby day. As NFL teams made their final cuts to a 53-man roster, Ian Rapoport reported stunning news that Bowden had been traded, along with a six-round pick, to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a fourth round pick. Huh? Trades happen all the time, but not a week before the rookie is expected to play in his first game makes. It makes absolutely no sense.
Raiders reporter Vic Tafur immediately got to the bottom of it. Before the day was done, the following story made headlines in The Athletic: “Even at a loss, Raiders happy to find a trade partner for Lynn Bowden Jr.”
The article led with a dramatic retelling of the house Bowden was visiting in Youngstown that was raided earlier this summer by federal agents. For seemingly 90 percent of this 1,000-word piece of prose, the article did its best to smear Bowden’s character. The overall theme of the article — the Raiders are definitely the losers in this deal, but it was inevitably going to get worse if Bowden stayed on the roster.
Before you get mad at Mr. Tafur and yell “FAKE NEWS!” this is not Tafur’s opinion. This is the information folks in the Raiders’ front office are feeding the reporter, a man whose job it is to share that information. In the midst of this typhoon of trash thrown on top Lynn Bowden, there’s one piece of information that jumps off the page:
“… on the field Bowden looked measured and not explosive. On top of a lack of breakaway speed, he was always getting blasted when it was his turn to pass block.
Uhhhhh ya think?
We know the Raiders are morons. That is factual. Let me state a few other facts.
1. Every athlete that plays running back in the NFL can run the football. The ones that play are the ones that can protect the quarterback.
2. Lynn Bowden Jr. has no business pass blocking. He’s a pass-catcher that does things like this:
The Raiders thought they could turn a receiver into a running back. He had the athleticism, the stats and the football IQ to transition to the position, but they failed in one crucial part of the pre-draft process — they did not get to know Lynn Bowden.
Any person that’s watched him closely over the last three years could quickly tell you that he’s a playmaker who’s at his best with the ball in his hands. He’ll make some sacrifices, but pass-pro? You’re making him worse by asking him to pass block instead of run routes.
The Raiders missed. Instead of putting their hands up and saying, “We messed this one up,” someone in the organization fed a bunch of bullcrap to the media to cover their tails.
Luckily, Lynn Bowden has found a team in the Miami Dolphins that desperately needs playmakers in the slot. He’ll be put in a much better position to succeed as he learns another new offense alongside quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. It may have been ugly, but the split will ultimately benefit Bowden in the long term. Meanwhile, the Raiders are still morons.