On Monday, offensive tackle Paul Gruber was a holdout.
On Tuesday, Gruber agreed to become a Raider, at what he thought was going to be the right price.
By Wednesday, Gruber had agreed to remain with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, this time at the right price.
In a bizarre flurry of wheeling and dealing, Gruber, who has yet to play a down this season, signed two contracts within 24 hours, winding up right back where he had started after negotiations to bring him to the Raiders collapsed.
Gruber finally signed a four-year contract with the Buccaneers on Wednesday for a reported $2.4 million per season.
Had the deal with the Raiders gone through, they would have given the Buccaneers their No. 1 draft choice in 1994, their No. 2 in '95 and a fifth-round choice in either '94 or '95.
But none of that happened when Gruber and the Raiders couldn't agree on a four-year figure.
According to Ralph Cindrich, Gruber's agent, the Raiders' final offer averaged out to $1.675 million per season over the four seasons.
"It's safe to say a $1.9(-million) deal would have gotten it done," Cindrich said. "There's no question at the time that he wanted to play out there. He likes the organization."
Gruber refused to report to Tampa Bay this season after the club had designated him its franchise player, preventing him from becoming a free agent even though his contract had expired.
The club's initial offer was just under $1.2 million per season. The Buccaneers later increased that to $2 million, but Gruber wouldn't budge.
According to Cindrich, talks with the Raiders heated up only half an hour before Tuesday's 1 p.m. (PDT) trading deadline.
Gruber, however, couldn't be traded unless he had signed a Tampa Bay contract.
With the clock ticking away, there was no time to formalize a deal. So Gruber was asked to sign for a minimum amount just to get his name on a contract to satisfy league trading requirements. That contract called for an annual salary of about $1.1 million.
But Cindrich was concerned.
"It was your classic squeeze," he said. "The Raiders would have the leverage. If he didn't reach a deal, his rights would revert back to Tampa Bay."
So before Gruber signed the "temporary" contract, Cindrich drafted a letter, stipulating that the $1.1-million deal was "null and void" after the trade was either made or not made.
"Our position was, this wasn't going to be a bargain sale," Cindrich said.
Although the Raiders deny it, Cindrich said that negotiations were deliberately begun under the gun.
"It was designed, calculated to have someone panic and make a faulty move," he said.
Steve Ortmayer, the Raiders' director of football operations, rejected that idea.
"We took a shot at it," he said. "But the amount of money they wanted was not something we were willing to bend on. We felt a strong responsibility to our people here. . . . That prevented it from being done."
Translation: With a salary cap expected to kick in next season, the Raiders weren't about to add a big salary to their payroll and be mobbed by other players demanding similar compensation.
Coach Art Shell said, "We won't go overboard and give a whole lot of money to somebody and not take care of the players that are here. We have certain guidelines we have to live by."
So, once the Raider deal fell through, Gruber met with Buccaneer owner Hugh Culverhouse for an hour and decided to sign again with Tampa.
Had the trade been made, where would the Raiders have played Gruber, a left tackle? Gerald Perry is so strong at left tackle that the Raiders moved Bruce Wilkerson to the right side after signing Perry as a free agent in the off-season.
Gruber or Perry would probably have been moved to the right side, with Wilkerson going to the bench.
"That's hindsight," Shell said. "(Gruber) is not a member of our football team."
But as Wednesday dawned, Gruber still figured he was going to be.
"I woke up this morning and I told my wife, 'Let's go for it.' " he said. "It's been a crazy 24 hours."