Updated July 10, 2020 - 5:46 pm
Former Raiders running back Napoleon Kaufman told Randall Cunningham about year ago that he wanted to pass the torch to him as team chaplain when the franchise relocated to Las Vegas.
Cunningham, who had a standout 16-year NFL career at quarterback and is the pastor at Remnant Ministries, knew he had to clear it with two others — God and coach Jon Gruden.
“So I started praying back then,” Cunningham said Friday. “When Gruden acknowledged it, I was like, ‘Oh yeah, of course.’ We’ve had some meetings and things like that on Zoom. The landscape is laid out. I’m here to shepherd and to take care of the families spiritually.”
Cunningham and Gruden have a prior working relationship. They overlapped for a year in 1995 when Gruden was the Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive coordinator.
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Cunningham, generally considered the greatest player in UNLV history, said he has officially been the Raiders’ chaplain for about two months and has ministered to several players and coaches. He saw backup quarterback Marcus Mariota a few days ago, and wide receiver Nelson Agholor has been attending Remnant.
Cunningham’s focus with the Raiders is in ministry, but no question Cunningham could offer words of advice to Mariota and starting quarterback Derek Carr.
“That’s not my assignment,” Cunningham said laughing. “I’m the spiritual guy. I’m going to stay in my lane. Of course, if they ask me anything about the past and how my career was, I’ll share with them. But I’m not going to get into the plays or anything like that.”