Look, I get it if Khalil Mack wants to stick it to the Raiders for not offering what he believed was fair market value for being the league’s top pass-rusher.
And while you better believe no one loves the Mack Revenge Factor storyline more than yours truly, let’s remember Mack isn’t the only ex-Raider out for revenge on Sunday.
Did everyone forget Eddy Piñeiro cut his teeth with the Raiders, too?
"No revenge. Just going to kick and get off the field like I usually do and help my team out."
— Zack Pearson (@Zack_Pearson) September 30, 2019
Long before he emerged as the last-man standing in the ultimate kicking competition, Piñeiro was an undrafted free agent who signed with the Raiders and had his eyes set on taking over their place-kicking position. And he probably would’ve snagged it, too. Unfortunately, Piñeiro suffered an injury, was placed on injured reserve after starting 3-for-3 in preseason kicks, then watched Daniel Carlson take the reins and never let go. Now, Piñeiro will get a chance to show his old bosses what he can do. It’s just like the Mack situation … but without the buzz that surrounds a future Hall of Fame player, a celebrity head coach, and a much-ballyhooed trade that will be talked about for ages. Even Piñeiro acknowledges the Raiders gave him away for pennies.
So, while people might not remember where they were when they heard about the Piñeiro trade as they do with the Mack deal, that story is still worth re-telling. Even if it is from the kicker’s perspective.
“I remember having a really good practice,” Piñeiro said via SI.com’s Bear Maven, as he recalled what happened on the day he was traded from the Raiders to the Bears for a conditional seventh-round pick. “I didn’t miss that practice, and I was doing really good and then the GM (Mike Mayock) called me and said ‘Hey, we have a good opportunity for you to be the Bears kicker.'”
And just like that, Piñeiro was on a Chicago-bound plane set to embark on the kicking competition of a lifetime.
It didn’t take long for Piñeiro to endear himself to Bears fans. He already has one buzzer-beating game-winner under his belt and has missed just one kick, and it’s hard to get upset about that when we saw him limping on and off the field as he favored an injured right knee. Between nailing a game-winner that started the winning streak the Bears are currently riding and kicking through pain, the Bears might have found something nice with Piñeiro. At minimum, maybe the Bears and Raiders will consider themselves even after making two trades that helped out both franchises.