Louis Murphy, Brandon Myers and Kevin Boothe at home with Giants after being rejected by Raiders
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Louis Murphy Jr. thought he was going to be in the long-term plans of the Raiders. He was a fourth-round pick of the team in 2009, started 19 games for them in three years and seemed to be the kind of fast, productive wide receiver that franchise has always valued.
So what happened?
"Al Davis died," he said. "And I'm here."
It wasn't that direct. Murphy was traded to the Panthers at the start of training camp in 2012 and spent the season in Carolina before signing with the Giants as a free agent this offseason. But he is one of several current Giants who began their careers with the Raiders, only to be unceremoniously jettisoned.
For one of those Giants, Sunday's rare meeting between two franchises that seem to have little in common -- other than a tradition of success that includes seven Super Bowl titles between them -- and have clashed only 11 times since their first game in 1973 represents an opportunity to show that mistakes were made.
Tight end Brandon Myers was a primary target for the Raiders last year, catching 79 passes, but when free agency rolled around, they didn't even throw him an offer. "I think anybody would take it personally," he said.
Which is why Myers admitted what few players in his situation do, even if he did so reluctantly.
"It's just another game," he said, "but this one is maybe a little bigger than the other ones."
Not so for Kevin Boothe who, like Myers and Murphy, was drafted by the Raiders. But that was way back in 2006. He started 14 games for that team but was waived at the start of the following season. A day later he was on a plane to Newark, having been claimed by the Giants.
Two Super Bowl rings later, it's easy to see why Boothe doesn't exactly hold a grudge.
"It was a roller coaster of emotions," he said, "but it worked out quite well."
At the time of the transaction, the Raiders actually were closer to their last Super Bowl appearance than the Giants were, only four years removed from losing to the Buccaneers. They haven't been back to the playoffs since.
Boothe struggled to describe the difference between the Raiders' way of doing business and the Giants' way.
"It's two different households," he said. "It's hard to explain. It's just a different place [in Oakland]."
In fact, he said there probably are more similarities than differences. He talked about how both franchises routinely have former greats who come through the locker room and how both have passionate fan bases (although he mentioned that the fans in Oakland dress with a little more flair).
Boothe even noted the parallel between two men who, on the surface, would seem to have nothing in common: the renegade Davis and his current boss, John Mara, who personifies old-school NFL ownership.
"I look at those two gentlemen as what the NFL is all about, two men who are passionate about their teams and wanting greatness," Boothe said. "I think there are obvious differences between the two in terms of personalities in the public, but they have a lot of similarities as well."
Myers said he knows a lot of people on the Raiders after spending the first four years of his career there. Boothe, though, looked down the roster when he received this week's scouting report and saw that only two players remain from his brief tenure there: kicker Sebastian Janikowski and long-snapper Jon Condo.
"Obviously, things have changed, especially in the last couple of years over there," Boothe said. "It's different. It's a different organization compared to over here. But I'll always think about, when I'm done, that it was pretty cool to have been drafted by the Raiders and to have been able to play for two of the most storied franchises in the NFL."
In fact, there's a part of Boothe that still is a bit of a swashbuckler despite nearly a decade with the Giants. He said he kept his helmet and even one of his jerseys from his year in Oakland as a souvenir.
Duh! He was a Raider!
"Black," he said. "Gotta keep the black."