Former Vikings QB Leaves Raiders: ‘It Is Time for Me to Move On’

Randall Cunningham

Getty Former Vikings quarterback Randall Cunningham left his job with the Raiders in July.

Last month, former Minnesota Vikings star quarterback Randall Cunningham left his role as the Las Vegas Raiders‘ team chaplain.

His departure was quiet, much like the silent treatment the Raiders gave him amid a culture change in Las Vegas.

However, Cunningham broke his silence on the matter last week with the Vikings’ preseason opener with the Raiders on the horizon.

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‘I Don’t Think I’m Needed Here’

In an August 10 Pioneer Press article, Cunningham, who played for the Vikings from 1997 to 1999, detailed his departure from Las Vegas.

He stepped down from his position as team chaplain because he felt unwanted by the organization under new head coach Josh McDaniels.

“I kept calling and calling and calling, trying to contact the right officials to get the OK on what the direction was with Coach McDaniels, but it just went by, and finally I said, ‘I don’t think I’m needed here anymore,’” Cunningham told Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press.

Cunningham, a former UNLV star, is also a pastor, opening Remnant Ministries church in 2006. He was brought in as team chaplain in 2020 by Jon Gruden, who resigned last October after old emails revealed the longtime NFL head coach using racist and homophobic slurs surfaced during the NFL’s investigation into the workplace culture of the Washington Commanders.

Cunningham told Tomasson he tried to reach out to Raiders owner Mark Davis after McDaniels was hired in January but didn’t get a response. Cunningham said he left about three messages for McDaniels after he was hired and did finally get a text from him about two months later.

“He texted me one time and he said, ‘I’m looking forward to you and your involvement here.’ And I said, ‘Feel free to call anytime.’ And I never received a call back,” Cunningham said, per Tomasson. “And I just figured that was kind of like a sign for me it is time for me to move on.”

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Cunningham Says Players Need a ‘Brother, a Father Figure’


Randall Cunningham A Football LifeI do not own the rights to this content. Like and Subscribe2017-11-25T00:59:29Z

Drawing back to his playing days in Minnesota, Cunningham spoke about the importance of having a team chaplain within an NFL organization.

From Tomasson:

When Cunningham played for the Vikings, he said team chaplain Keith Johnson was very close to the players, and Cunningham had hoped to establish a similar structure with the Raiders. He said that wasn’t initially possible the last two seasons when he only could do Zoom calls with players due to the coronavirus pandemic.

‘The players really need someone who is going to be like a brother, a father figure — someone they can lean on and talk to outside of the organization — and that’s what we had in Minnesota,’ Cunningham said.

While the Vikings only enjoyed a few years of Cunningham in the twilight of his career, the 1998 season could go down as one of his bests. He completed a career-high 34 touchdown passes and led the Vikings to a 13-1 regular-season record and an appearance in the NFC Conference title game.

It was his only first-team All-Pro season, while he also garnered four Pro Bowl nods.

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