The Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers made their second trade involving controversial figures yesterday as the National Football League draft wound down.
The Raiders dealt defensive back Jack Tatum and two draft choices for second-year running back Kenny King of the Oilers.
Tatum has been a thorn in the NFL's side since he wrote a book entitled, "They Call Me Assassin," in which he told how violence was encouraged during his college and professional careers.
Previously, the Raiders traded quarterback Ken Stabler to the Oilers. Stabler publicly criticized Al Davix, managing general partner of the Raiders, for saying he was to blame for the team's decline. In the straight-up deal, Dan Pastorini went to the Raiders. Pastorini was regarded by the Oilers as a playboy and last season had an altercation with a Houston sportswriter.
Tatum, a hard-hitting tackler, had figured in prior controversies with the Raiders. Two years ago, New England wide receiver Darryl Stingley was left paralyzed after being struck by a forearm blow from Tatum on an incomplete pass.
In his book, Tatum related how he and former Oakland defensive backfield mate George Atkinson competed in going for "limpoffs" and "knockouts" on hits to intimidate opposing receivers. Atkinson in 1977 took Chuck Noll to court after the Pittsburgh coach publicly criticized him for his tackle knocking Steeler receiver Lynn Swann unconscious. Noll was absolved.
Tatum, 31, a veteran of nine seasons, was a No. 1 draft pick from Ohio State. He became expendable when the Raiders obtained safety Burgess Owens, another former No.1 draft choice, from the New York Jets yesterday for a sixth-round draft choice.
The Cleveland Browns traded first-rond draft choices with the Los Angeles Rams, getting a lower choice but additonal picks in lower rounds, and grabbed off Heisman Trophy winner Charles White of Southern California to compete with halfback Gregg Pruitt alongside fullback Mike Pruitt and then drafted left-handed quarterback Paul McDonald of Southern California, regarded by some experts as the best quarterback of the collegians.
The Cincinnati Bengals chose the best lineman in the draft in 6-foot-6, 292-pound tackle Anthony Munoz of Southern California, after landing quarterback Jack Thompsdon, running back Charles Alexander, and tight end Dan Ross in 1979. They may have the new coach to capitalize on the last several good drafts in Forrest Gregg.
The Steelers picked up highly rated defensive end John Goodman of Oklahoma in the draft and the third-ranked quarterback in Mark Malone of Arizona State.
The New England Patriots already had dealt for running back Chuck Foreman of Minnesota to go with Sam Cunningham and Horace Ivory. In the draft they plucked Vagas Ferguson of Notre Dame, defensive back Roland James of Tennessee and defensive tackle Steve McMichael of Texas.
The Baltimore Colts picked world-class sprinter Curtis Dickey of Texas A&M to be in their backfield with Joe Washington, offensive tackle Tim Foley of Notre Dame and defensive back Derrick Hatchett of Texas.
The New York Jets had an excellent draft in 1979, headed by defensive ends Marty Lyons and Mark Gastineau, then did some slick dealing this year. e
They got a No. 1 draft choice from Denver for quarterback Matt Robinson, then traded their two first round choices for 1980 to San Francisco for the 49ers' No.2 pick in the first round, which they used to tap wide receiver Johnny (Lam) Jones of Texas.
Then in the second round they used a No.2 pick from the deal with Denver to take Ralph Clayton of Michigan, a highly-rated wide receiver.Besides landing those receivers for Richard Todd, the Jets got a backup quarterback from the Broncos, Craig Penrose.
Buffalo, which had a good draft in 1979, picked running back Joe Cribbs of Auburn and second-rated tight end Mark Brammer of Michigan State.