By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, February 16th, 2012 at 5:34 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders and senior executive John Herrera, who has served the organization as a spokesman and in a front office capacity for the better part of his adult life, have parted ways.
According to someone familiar with the situation, the decision was made on the business side of the Oakland operation, and not by general manager Reggie McKenzie or coach Dennis Allen.
Herrera could not be reached for comment, and Raiders officials had no comment.
The first clue Herrera’s role had changed came Wednesday, when McKenzie held an off-the-record meeting with an informal lunch with Bay Area beat writers, and Herrera was not in attendance.
Herrera joined the Raiders out of high school, hired to run errands by owner Al Davis, and eventually moved up in the operations, leaving for stints with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and as a general manager in the Canadian Football League but eventually returning in 1985.
He was known as a fierce defender of Davis, which prompted the occasional run-inwith writers covering the team, most notably a confrontation with San Jose Mercury-News columnist Tim Kawakami that was caught on film and became a popular YouTube stop.
Since Davis died on Oct. 8, and the transfer of power with to son Mark Davis and McKenzie has general manager, Herrera’s departure is likely to be only one of several moves as the organization is restructured.
A source familiar with the situation said Hall of Fame cornerback Willie Brown, a longtime Raiders employee who has been in charge of “squad development’’ and has assisted coaches, will remain with the team, but his role is being “redefined.’In other news, the Raiders have signed Brandon Underwood, a defensive back who last played for the Green Bay Packers. He was a sixth-round draft pick by Green Bay in 2009, where McKenzie worked in the personnel department.
Underwood’s time with the Packers was marred by off-the-field issues, with two arrests in domestic disputes. He played in 23 games in two years, mostly on special teams.