If further proof were needed that the Raiders’ football operations are now run exclusively by G.M. Reggie McKenzie, one of the last links to the football decision-making processes under the late Al Davis has left the organization.
Senior Executive John Herrera has retired after 35 years with the organization. But he has not completely severed ties with the team.
“At this point in my career and after careful thought and consideration, I have decided to take a break,” Herrera said. “I’ve had a great run, 35 years over three tours of duty, and have been privileged to work in every area of the organization. I’ve enjoyed the whole ride and cherish my relationships with the Davis family, players, coaches and front office staff. I have developed lifelong friendships with people that have come through the organization and my time with the Silver and Black has exceeded my wildest expectations.”
He first joined Raiders in 1963, at the age of 16. He then returned in 1985, after working in scouting and player personnel with two other teams and serving as a G.M. in the CFL.
His most notorious moment arguably came in 2008, when Herrera accosted Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News in the press room in an incident caught on video. Herrera at one point made reference, apparently gratuitously, to Kawakami’s “smoke pot . . . smokin’ buddy Mike Silver.”
It’s hard not to wonder whether Herrera was forced out, especially given the theory espoused by the aforementioned Silver that new owner Mark Davis wants to systematically remove (or, as Silver wrote, “kneecap”) from the organization anyone who has first-hand knowledge of the manner in which Al Davis supposedly disrespected his son. Still, the release states that Herrera will remain with the team, working with Mark Davis “on special projects.”
Maybe Herrera will be the “kneecap” guy.