If your team gave up on you during the 2014 offseason, then you were probably signed by the Oakland Raiders.
After being selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns decided to recently cut ties with wide receiver Greg Little. The 24-year-old receiver was never able to make the impact that Cleveland was hoping for, as dropped passes and concentration issues plagued Little throughout his time with the Browns. He only scored eight touchdowns in three seasons, and his highest receiving totals came in his rookie year with 709 yards.
To be fair to Little, he often found himself with different starting quarterbacks from game to game for three-straight years. When you have Colt McCoy, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell as your field general, it may be difficult to find consistency and success. As the wide receiver depth is a bit shallow in Oakland with James Jones, Rod Streater and Denarius Moore leading the attack, the Raiders were smart to take a chance on Little.
It may not take the offense long to bond, as the starters are mainly comprised of players who were no longer wanted. New starting quarterback Matt Schaub was traded for a sixth-round draft pick, running back Maurice Jones-Drew was allowed to test the market during his free agency and veteran wide receiver Jones found himself in silver and black after playing for the Green Bay Packers since 2007.
While these players have all had periods of success in the NFL, their prospective teams made the decision that they were not worth keeping around. Schaub was booed out of Houston, and he will look to lead the Raiders’ passing attack that ranked 25th in passing yards in 2013. Jones-Drew rushed for 1,606 in 2011, but injuries have plagued him the last two seasons. He will look to prove his worth with back Darren McFadden, who must have a huge chip on his shoulder after being re-signed to a one-year deal when he has been with Oakland since 2008. After hauling in 14 touchdown catches in 2012, Jones is looking to prove that the Packers made a big mistake letting the 30-year-old receiver go.
It will be interesting to see how this team can come together in the 2014 season, but there is no doubt that the offense will be filled with motivated players. With only a four-win season in 2013, things can only get better for the Raiders, and this motley crew has a chance to make some noise.
If I was in the movie business, I would be very interested to see how this story of redemption for Little and his new teammates plays out.