Hellish week behind him, Allen focuses on football

allen_dennis_raiders_lookingup.jpg

Hellish week behind him, Allen focuses on football

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OAKLAND -- His eyes reddened and became moist.

His voice nearly cracked and, really, you could not have blamed him if it did.

Dennis Allen, the Raiders' rookie head coach, had just endured his sixth straight defeat on the football field. But it paled in comparison to what he lost on Monday night. Yeah, it's been a tough week for the 40-year-old, first-time coach.

"You know," Allen said, firmly, "I went home on Sunday and took my father off life support and that's not easy to do. So was it hard? Yeah, it was hard. But I know my father would want me to be here with this football team.

"And I wanted to be here with this football team. I'm sure you guys can imagine that it wasn't an easy situation."

Easy? Not even close. More like hard to fathom.

Yes, we know that the bottom line in the NFL is about wins and losses, and Allen would be the first to tell you that. Especially after Thursday night's maddening 26-13 loss to Denver. Thing is, Allen would be the last person to play the woe-is-me card.

Not even with the week he's just endured.

His father Grady, who played linebacker in the NFL for the Atlanta Falcons from 1968 through 1972, was just 66 years of age and the seeming picture of health back home in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area. But last Wednesday, he was felled by a heart attack and fell into a coma.

The younger Allen knew of his father's ailment and plowed forward at 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway, enduring the Rolando McClain situation and ensuing suspension before the Raiders' lackluster 20-17 loss to Cleveland on Sunday.

It was after that game that a Raiders official announced that Allen would be leaving the team to be by his father's side and return in time to coach the team Thursday night.

Then came the ridiculous and irresponsible rumors that somehow turned into full-fledged stories about Jon Gruden coming back to the Raiders.

Allen returned to practice Wednesday morning.

"You can't even imagine what he's going through," Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer said of Allen. "And then he's got to go back, after that game? Your heart just goes out to him. You never expect anything like that.

"I can't imagine how helpless it feels, being on the other end of the country when that's happening over there. I can't imagine what he's going through."

It has been a surreal season for the Raiders off the field. Defensive line coach Terrell Williams and his wife Tifini lost their four-year-old son Tyson to a sudden illness two days before the Baltimore game.

Allen will return to Texas Friday night and return to the Raiders in time to Wednesday's practice to prepare for the home finale against Kansas City on Dec. 16. I asked Allen about the support shown him this week.

"A ton," he said. "A ton. I received a lot of support from a lot of different people. This organization has been outstanding to me as far as that's concerned. The players, the coaches, as well as countless friends, family, even people around the league, have been very supportive in this situation."

And with that, Allen's eyes dried. After all, there was football to talk about and plans to be made. He’s a football man, like his father before him.

Raiders head to NFL owners meetings looking for Las Vegas approval

Raiders head to NFL owners meetings looking for Las Vegas approval

PHOENIX -- All signs point to the Raiders being approved for relocation to Las Vegas. It could happen as early as Monday, when the topic will be discussed at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. It could be Tuesday. Or in May. Or at any point in a conference call.

The timing is less important than the ultimate outcome. The when is uncertain. The what seems likely, though not guaranteed, at this stage.

The Raiders need 24 of 32 approval votes to relocate and start construction on new digs.

The Raiders have presented a solid application to the NFL, centered on a stadium proposal in Las Vegas that includes $750 million in public funds for stadium construction. Bank of America, who is financing the project, is expected to loan the Raiders money to complete a financing plan that includes the public contribution and $500 million from the team and the NFL.

The Sports Business Journal reported on Sunday that the estimated stadium cost has dropped to $1.7 billion, and will receive $200 million in infrastructure improvements not included in their construction contribution.

League sources continue to say approval is expected. There is great confidence within the Raiders organization a vote will go their way.

Some issues remain, though none are significant roadblocks. A stadium lease hasn’t been finalized and a site hasn’t been formally announced – it’s reportedly set for a spot just off the Las Vegas Strip near Russell Road – so approval would likely come with conditions that could be met in time.

The Raiders worked a sweetheart deal that mines significant money from the public. They don’t have investors with direct ties to gambling. And, as important as anything else, the NFL doesn’t believe Oakland has a viable plan to keep the Raiders in an otherwise attractive, booming market.

That includes the latest proposal from the Oakland and financial partner Fortress Investments announced on Friday that makes certain concessions aimed at getting the Raiders back to the table.

The Silver and Black haven’t worked with East Bay officials in more than as year, as they’ve shifted complete focus to their Las Vegas quest.

The revised Oakland plan didn’t move the needle, a league executive said. That point was made crystal clear in a letter NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent to Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.

“The material that we reviewed earlier today confirms certain information that had previously been communicated orally, such as a willingness to bring bank financing to a stadium project, and a proposed valuation of the land at the Coliseum site,” Goodell wrote in a letter obtained by Bay Area News Group. “It also confirms that key issues that we have identified as threshold considerations are simply not resolvable in a reasonable time. In that respect, the information sent today does not present a proposal that is clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable timeframe, and free of major contingencies.”

That virtually eliminates the prospect of Oakland planting doubt in NFL owners’ minds heading into a pivotal discussion on the topic Monday at the Arizona Biltmore hotel.

It’s possible the stadium and finance committee will make a formal recommendation on the Raiders application to relocate. That could precede a vote, and generally holds significant weight among undecided owners.

A league source said the new Oakland plan will be a talking point, though it may not be viewed in a flattering light. That’s especially true in light of Goodell’s letter.

“At this date, there remains no certainty regarding how the site will be fully developed, or the specific and contractually-defined nature of the participation by Fortress or other parties,” Goodell wrote. “In addition, the long-term nature of the commitment to the A’s remains a significant complication and the resolution of that issue remains unknown. Other significant uncertainties, which we have previously identified, remain unaddressed. We had hoped that the past two years would have allowed both of us to develop a viable project.”

Peterson blasts report over salary demands, outlines main objectives

Peterson blasts report over salary demands, outlines main objectives

Adrian Peterson played defense on Friday night.

Hours after a report suggesting that the four-time All-Pro running back was still a free agent due to salary demands, the former Viking posted a lengthy statement on Instagram along with a video of his running an agility drill.

"YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD"

Early in the free agency period, the Raiders were linked to Peterson, but nothing came of those rumors.

The Raiders, in need of a feature back after Latavius Murray signed with the Vikings, are reportedly pursuing the possibility of luring Oakland-native Marshawn Lynch out of retirement.

Peterson was scheduled to make $18 million in 2017, but the Vikings declined to exercise his contract, making him a free agent. The 2012 NFL MVP turned 32 on March 21 and played in just three games in 2016 due to a major knee injury.

According to the ESPN report, Peterson was looking for a contract that paid him over $8 million in the first year of the deal.

YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD

A post shared by Adrian L Peterson (@adrianpeterson) on