Gutierrez: L.A. means less control for Raiders' Davis

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Gutierrez: L.A. means less control for Raiders' Davis

June 10, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVE
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Paul Gutierrez
CSNCalifornia.comAl Davis called Los Angeles home for 13 star-crossed seasons.His Raiders won their last Super Bowl in the Southland.And Davis believes in his heart of hearts that L.A. is still his territory and that anyone who dares even think of moving there should not only ask his permission, but pay him a tribute, of sorts.That's why Anschutz Entertainment Group President Tim Leiweke's very public statement to the Orange County Register that the Raiders were one of five NFL teams AEG had been in contact with about acquiring a majority interest in and moving to a proposed new stadium in downtown L.A. is hard to believe.NEWS: Raiders talking with L.A. stadium planner
Davis is not going to give up controlling interest in his life's work."The team is not for sale," Raiders CEO Amy Trask told me in a statement through team spokesman John Herrera. "It will remain in the Davis family."End of story, right? Well...Davis' obvious dissatisfaction with the Oakland Coliseum since moving back to the East Bay in 1995 is no more a secret than the Raiders owner keeping one eye on the SoCal market.Remember Davis not shutting the door on L.A. in last year's ESPN 30 for 30 documentary "Straight Outta L.A." with Ice Cube?"As L.A. knows, if they can get a stadium, they can knock on the door," Davis said.Throw in the fact that the Raiders' lease in Oakland ends in 2013, around the time the proposed Farmers Field would open next door to Staples Center, and things get sticky intriguing.But Davis willingly giving up control of the Raiders?It makes more sense to look at the ownership situations in San Diego, Minnesota, St. Louis and Jacksonville, the other franchises with which Leiweke said AEG has talked, conversations that have apparently included the conglomerate picking up relocation costs.Personally, if a team is going to move to Los Angeles to fill the No. 2 media market's NFL void that has existed since the end of the 1994 season, I'd like to see the Rams make the jump.Horn helmets and Vince Ferragamo references? Sign me up.

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”