In the time before free agency, contracts were either take-it-or-leave-it if you wanted to play. Allen was a league MVP who felt that he should be paid as such. Al Davis paid him well, but not equal to his stature and abilities. With no other option than to sign, Allen held out until the last minute a few years in a row. This angered Davis to the point that he ordered him benched by Shell. The irony is that by not playing Allen, he was able to play longer, going to KC and playing well.
Note to 22Steve... Sadly, I agree that the Raider situation is doomed as long as Big Al is around. They can't succeed with all that's going on. What if, by some miracle, they were to win big? Then Al would be upset that Kiffen might get too much credit ( a la Gruden), and he would have to go. It's a no win scenario.