It’s a phenomenon so commonly seen, the Raiders wrote a top 10 list about it on their website. Throughout recent history, so many former 49ers have become Raiders that it’s definitely a thing. Michael Crabtree is the latest, and he fits the general pattern.
It doesn’t always go like this, but it’s what we’ve seen with Jerry Rice, Roger Craig, Ronnie Lott, Dana Stubblefield, Tom Rathman, Jeremy Newberry and Riki Ellison: Player drafted by the 49ers spends several years in San Francisco before leaving and ending up in Oakland (or Los Angeles, in some cases).
There are examples of ex-Raiders joining the Niners, usually with middling results (Nnamdi Asomugha, Randy Moss and Barry Sims come to mind), but it’s happened far more frequently the other way around.
So with that in mind, and since the Raiders seem to be in no hurry to stop this trend, I figured it’d be fun to predict which 49ers are most likely to play in Oakland (or wherever the Raiders end up) someday. And as long as we’re embarking on this silly exercise, let’s rank them.
6. Colin Kaepernick: If Al Davis were still alive, he probably would’ve dealt the No. 4 overall pick to the 49ers for Kap a month ago. As it stands now, a lot of bad things would have to happen for Kaepernick to play for the Raiders anytime soon, both to Kaepernick and Derek Carr. But even mediocre quarterbacks can last a long time in the NFL, so one never knows what the future will bring.
5. Anquan Boldin: I’m still not sure how the Raiders never ended up with Terrell Owens, but maybe they’re holding out for former 49ers receivers who aren’t crazy. Boldin may be 34, but his contract is voidable after the 2015 season and he seems like a guy who’ll still have passion for the game and something left in the tank after this season. The 49ers may not want to let him go, but if they do, the Raiders will almost certainly be interested.
4. Bruce Miller: If he gets out of his recent legal situation unscathed (the Raiders seem to be more interested in off-the-field character than the 49ers these days), it’s pretty easy to picture Miller following in Rathman’s footsteps.
3. Antoine Bethea: The Raiders love veteran defensive backs who once wore scarlet and gold — they picked up two a year ago in Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown, and the list also includes safeties like Rod Woodson and Dave Waymer. Bethea is perfect for the Raiders in that he’s over 30, plays in the secondary and will probably be a cap casualty next year.
2. Alex Boone: He just screams “Raider Nation,” as in I can picture him going on with Damon Bruce and spouting a bunch of B.S. about how he’s always wanted to wear the Silver and Black … after the Raiders give him a better deal than he would’ve gotten anywhere else.
1. Vernon Davis: He’s 31, he’s a prominent name who probably doesn’t have much left, and he’s an offensive skill position guy. If there was an offshore betting site that had odds on Davis eventually signing with the Raiders, I’d probably drop at least $1K.
(Bonus) Frank Gore: He’s not on the 49ers’ roster anymore, obviously. However, if things don’t work out as well as the Colts hope in 2015, it wouldn’t be at all surprising to see Gore finish his career in the Bay Area.