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When Al Davis trusted almost nobody in the world -- and when the rest of the NFL didn't trust him -- Amy Trask was the executive who (barely) kept the two sides working together.

That's a singular achievement and Trask had a few of them during her long, trailblazing tenure with the Raiders, which ended Saturday with her resignation as CEO.

The departure is not a surprise: Trask was an essential part of the former regime, but Mark Davis, Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen have moved the franchise on.

I doubt Amy was pushed out, but I'm sure it was made clear that her role would be far less than it used to be, that she was more a part of the past than she'd ever be part of the future, and she has enough options that she didn't need to stay for that.

In this Nov. 27, 2011, photo, Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask stands on the sideline before the Raiders’ NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in
In this Nov. 27, 2011, photo, Oakland Raiders CEO Amy Trask stands on the sideline before the Raiders' NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Oakland, Calif. Trask has resigned from the team. Trask says she told owner Mark Davis of her decision to leave the franchise on Saturday, May 11, 2013. Trask had been with the Raiders for 25 seasons and was one of the highest-ranking women in American professional sports. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma) ( Paul Sakuma )

Mostly, Trask was a steward of Al's legacy while he was still running the franchise, but far, far diminished, disjointed, disconnected and increasingly alone.

Steward-with-the-legend-still-there could not have been an easy role for anybody. And Trask, a woman in the NFL world, performed it as deftly as anybody could.

To have Al's trust meant you couldn't embrace any outside ideas, but to run the team, she had to convince Al to compromise occasionally and let her make financial decisions when he wasn't able to.

Just to keep the franchise running. The football wasn't good, but at least the lights were still on.

That's her legacy: In an enormously difficult time, as the standard-bearer faltered, she kept the franchise from crashing ... and directed the transfer (financial and spiritual) to Mark Davis.

Then when Mark took over, he eventually decided to run it differently.

It's natural. Mark Davis will pick his own CEO and obviously has taken a look at several options already. But Trask was the crisis manager CEO, the steward, and Al's last trusted aide.

Amy occasionally took heat inside the organization for a lot of things because she got involved in a lot of things, amid the general rudderlessness of the last decade or so.

Some blamed her for the Jon Gruden stalled negotiations, the departure of several top execs, and the stadium stalemate (she strongly and logically favored a deal to share the Santa Clara stadium with the 49ers), among many troubled issues.

But if anything, she was the one stuck in the muck when Al avoided or didn't make a clear decision. He didn't have middle-managers. He had her.

Trask usually stepped in to try to help the decisions along, trying to read Al's intentions and best interests, and often she got some of the blame when things went wrong

A few times I think Trask muddied up things even more; sometimes Trask helped enormously; mostly she just tried her best.

Raider CEO Amy Trask (left) and Mark Davis, son of owner Al Davis, watch practice during training camp in Napa, Calif., on Thursday, July 24, 2008. (Dean
Raider CEO Amy Trask (left) and Mark Davis, son of owner Al Davis, watch practice during training camp in Napa, Calif., on Thursday, July 24, 2008. (Dean Coppola/Contra Costa Times) ( Dean Coppola )

In a lot of ways, she's like Al, too: Amy is absolutely not a shrinking violet and she isn't afraid to try to push people around just a little bit to cut a better deal for the Raiders. Or push people around a lot.

And I'm sure that's why Al respected her.

I think Amy would be the last person who'd want her tenure graded only by her status as the NFL's only woman CEO, but she was the NFL's only woman CEO, and she will be remembered for paving the way and Al will be remembered for promoting her.

She was sly, and she was an Al Davis Mood Barometer, too.

Basically, if Amy was visible at an Al Davis presser, you knew Al wasn't likely to do something too nutty.

And if Amy wasn't around... watch out. Over-head projector time!

I always figured that Amy picked up Al's vibe before the presser, and that guided her decision whether she should be present or not—whether things would go relatively normally or wander into Enraged Al Theater.

More often than not at the end, Amy would not be there.

That was very smart of her. But Al should've wanted her there, and should've known what it meant when she disappeared for those events.

I had my battles with Amy, some of them quite loud—as I did with all Al D. officials and Al himself. But Trask never shut down communication, and in that regime that counted as a separate sort of glasnost.

The franchise is different now. We'll see how much better the team gets, but the Raiders are different. And now the steward has moved on, too.