Red Zone

The Chiefs and NFL by beat writer Terez Paylor

Raiders least desirable NFL team to play for, according to player poll

08/25/2014 11:25 AM

08/25/2014 10:11 PM

The thinking of NFL players seems to be in line with what many Kansas Citians think:

The Oakland Raiders are the least desirable team in the NFL.

According to an ESPN poll, of the 82 players who answered the question “The only way I’d play for (team name) is if they doubled my salary,” 23 percent chose the Raiders.

The Buffalo Bills were next at 19 percent, followed by the Cleveland Browns (16 percent), Jacksonville Jaguars (9 percent) and Green Bay Packers (6 percent).

Raiders fullback Marcel Reese took issue with the results.

“The most hated team in the world?” Reese said. “The first thing that comes to mind is the Oakland Raiders. The bad boys. The black sheep of the NFL. And it’s not really a negative thing because we don’t do bad things. We’re not the team that’s having the most arrests in the NFL, or the DUIs or the drug cases or throwing the big parties. But we just have that stigma around us.

“If guys really would be honest with themselves, and think about when they were little kids, or when they wanted to be tough guys, or they wanted to play football, what team did they think about? Or what helmet did they want to put on? What colors did they want to put on? What shield did they want to represent? I can guarantee you that 80 to 90 percent of true lovers of this game — lovers of competition and have passion for this game — would say the Oakland Raiders.”

Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, considering the Raiders have a reputation for overpaying aging veterans. As one opposing player who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “It’s true. They’ve got a bunch of players who got double their salary.”


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