The AFL’s hot stove league was in full swing. Yesterday, it was Hugh McElhenny, today it was Joe Kapp. The ex-Cal standout was a big hit in his second season as quarterback for Calgary in the Canadian leagues but was quoted as wanting to return to the States where his exploits would be seen by a wider audience. Like McElhenny, Kapp was considering playing out his option in 1961 to get free agent status the following season. Naturally, the Raiders came up as a possible destination and one that Kapp seemed amenable to. The Raiders response was necessarily noncommittal.
“We could only negotiate a contract with Kapp if he were a free agent,” said acting general manager Bud Hastings.
San Francisco Examiner
The word made the rounds today that ex-49er halfback Hugh McElhenny could be in a Raider uniform for the 1962 season. One of the NFL’s top breakaway threats during his nine-year tenure in San Francisco, he had slowed down the last couple of years and was traded to the expansion Minnesota Vikings last week. Now, with the change, he was taking stock of his football future, considering whether it was time to play out his option this season or quit altogether. If he played out his option, he would be free to sign with anyone in 1962 and that’s where the Raiders came in.
When asked about the possibility, he said it “would really be a great idea if it could be worked out, but the chances seem remote.”
Raider officials were quick to point out they had nothing to do with the rumors.
“We haven’t talked to him,” said acting general manager Bud Hastings. “We can’t under league rules against tampering with players in the other two leagues. It carries a $5,000 fine. We can only negotiate with free agents.”
Player personnel director Wes Fry echoed his boss’s thoughts. “It’s against the AFL constitution,” he said, “and we simply don’t tamper. Of course, if McElhenny did play out his option and then came around, we wouldn’t drive him from the door.”
San Francisco Chronicle