Raiders

Davis explains why talks between Raiders, Oakland went south

Davis explains why talks between Raiders, Oakland went south

PHOENIX – Raiders owner Mark Davis has given Oakland and Alameda County officials the silent treatment over the past year.

He has ignored attempts to keep his Raiders in the East Bay, choosing instead to focus on a stadium proposal in Las Vegas. Relocation was a goal achieved on Monday morning, when NFL owners approved a move by a 31-1 vote.

Oakland mayor made several last-second attempts to sway ownership, hoping they would help bring him back to the negotiating table.

Davis never thawed his cold shoulder. He explained why after Las Vegas approval was secure.

While the Raiders and Oakland officials clashed over land use and control of the Coliseum site, a schism occurred roughly a year ago. The Raiders and Chargers were angling to share a stadium in Carson, while the Rams wanted to build a facility in Inglewood. The Raiders were still open an Oakland return at that point, but official’s actions changed his outlook.

“I think it turned during the L.A. (relocation attempt),” Davis said. “Before the vote for Los Angeles, Oakland had an opportunity to come in and make a presentation to the league. They came in with a five-page (submission) that had nothing to do with anything. They claimed that they would wait for us to lose the L.A. vote, and then come back with all the leverage.”

Davis didn’t view that as good-faith negotiations, and still went back to Oakland after losing the L.A. battle to the Rams, and the first option to join them to the Chargers.

“We came back to Oakland and negotiated a one-year lease with two years of options and talked about getting together to discuss a long-term future together,” Davis said. “A week later, I got a call from one of the (Alameda County) supervisors and told me, ‘Mark, the lease you just negotiated and the options are not going to be valid.’

At that point, we ended up signing that lease anyway, but decided we had to start looking elsewhere to find a long-term solution.

He found a willing partner in Las Vegas and Nevada. That state’s legislature approved $750 million in public funds for stadium construction, and will contribute even more to infrastructure improvements.

That’s a sweetheart deal Oakland couldn’t match. The city ultimately presented a plan NFL owners didn’t consider actionable, which wasn’t a deterrent to a positive relocation vote.

Not that it mattered much. Davis committed to Las Vegas, and remained focused on that.

“The commitment made by the legislature and the governor was very strong,” Davis said. “I think my commitment was strong as well, and we worked out a deal.”

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.

The charge is for assault of his sister's boyfriend in Smith's hometown of Pasadena. Smith allegedly beat and stomped the boyfriend's head on the morning of July 4, 2017 in Old Town Pasadena, the district attorney said.

Smith faces formal felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury to the victim.

The 30-year old plans to fight the charges levied against him. 

"Sean maintains his innocence at this time," Smith's attorney, Daniel Rosenberg told NBC Sports Califorinia on Thursday evening. "We are going to be entering a plea of not guilty and fighting these charges."

A warrant was filed on Aug. 16. Smith's arriagnment is scheduled for Sept. 29. 

Smith was not present at Thursday's Raiders practice, the last session of training camp. He surrendered to Los Angeles County authorities, posted an $80,000 bond and has been released from custody.

If convicted as charged, Smith could face a maximum sentence of seven years in California prison. 

A Raiders spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The case is still under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department. 

This is another blow in a rough summer for Smith. He has struggled on the practice field during training camp and faces an off-field legal issue. Smith is guaranteed $9.5 million for the 2017 season. 

More to come...

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

NAPA – Marshawn Lynch spoke with the media Thursday for the second time as a Raider. He was quick-witted, disarming and, as always, not suitable for work.

It was five minutes of peak Marshawn, where he brought light to his charitable endeavors, called himself the “daddy” of his position group and cleverly sidestepped all things nation anthem.

He was asked four questions on other topics before elephant in the room was mentioned. It didn’t stick around long.

“I think the elephant left the room because a little mouse ran in here,” Lynch deadpanned. “Didn’t they say elephants are scared of mice or something? That [expletive] left the room, cousin.”

[RATTO: Lynch reminds media how much control he exerts over any interaction]

Two more related questions came down the pike. The first was about Del Rio letting players be themselves. He answered a different question instead.

“Yeah, because on ‘doctor-24,’ it’s a designed way that you’re supposed to run it but I have all freedom to go any way that I choose to run it,” Lynch said. “I would say, yes.”

The final anthem-esque query was deflected in a similar fashion.

“When we run ‘74’ or something like that, where I have to scan and read on both sides, that is pretty difficult. For the most part, I’m a veteran so I can make it work.”

Two things were crystal clear after speaking with Lynch.

He didn’t miss football one bit during his year in retirement. Lynch said this spring he decided to return after the Raiders were approved to relocate away from his native Oakland. He wants to represent his hometown well and give them something to cheer before the team leaves for Las Vegas.

That’s why he’s fired up even for Saturday’s exhibition against the Rams – he’s expected to make a cameo in that game – his first in Oakland wearing silver and black.

“It’s truly a blessing and just to have the opportunity to go and do that is a good [expletive] feeling,” Lynch said. “It’s a good [expletive] feeling.”

Lynch has always been active in the community, and hopes him playing here will bring more visibility to what’s being done to help kids in Oakland.

“I plan on continuing to do what I do in the community,” Lynch said. “It’ll probably be that now that I’m here, more people that are in the community might actually come out and support what it is that we’ve got going on.”