Where Exactly Did It Go Wrong for the Oakland Raiders?

The Oakland Raiders won four games in 2012 after winning twice that many in 2011. There was still widespread hope that the Raiders could improve on that record by getting Carson Palmer and Darren McFadden on the field at the same time in 2012.

Playoffs were in the conversation before the season, but any hope of being a playoff team quickly evaporated along with the production of the offense. The offense carried the defense in 2011, but both sides were equally to blame for a poor 2012.

Head coach Dennis Allen has talked on multiple occasions about players not making repeat mistakes. Allen and McKenzie will be trying to avoid making repeat mistakes of their own. Great players, coaches and executives learn from their mistakes.

Where did the Raiders go wrong? How much did they go wrong? Where do the Raiders go from here?


A Bad Situation

The Oakland Raiders were in a terrible salary cap situation headed into 2012 and were without their top three draft picks in the 2012 NFL draft. The failures of 2012 were rooted in decisions made in 2011 by the late Al Davis and then-head coach Hue Jackson. Some of the decisions go even further back.

Many people have said that the salary cap was not a problem for Davis because he always managed to get under, but that’s missing the point. Davis would pay a handful of players handsomely and that left the team without much depth. Davis would also mortgage the future to win now, leaving the Raiders with aging stars that were past their prime.

Perhaps the best example of Davis’ mismanagement started in 2009. The Raiders traded a 2011 first-round pick for Richard Seymour just prior to the start of the 2009 season. The Raiders were mortgaging the future for an aging star that had only one year left on his contract.

The Raiders had to give Seymour the franchise tag in 2010 to retain him at the cost of $12...

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