McKenzie: This is my show now so it's going to be fun.

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McKenzie: This is my show now so it's going to be fun.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie engaged in a 16-minute conference call Monday afternoon with Bay Area reporters to talk about Oakland receiving three compensatory picks -- a third, a fourth, and a fifth-rounder -- to go with the fifth and sixth-rounders the team already held. But the conversation also broached several other topics.

RELATED: Raiders receive 3 compensatory picks
From managing the Raiders' salary cap to draft needs to, ahem, welcoming Peyton Manning to the division.Following then, a sampling of the call...On not knowing the formula for comp picks but his thoughts on it after the Raiders were given three: "Let me tell you something -- whatever the formula is, I love this formula. I love it. I thought I would possibly get a three, a high one, for Nnamdi (Asomugha). Now the others, obviously, this was better than what I expected. I'm extremely excited about the compensatory picks that the league has afforded the Raiders. Hopefully we can make due and have some good picks from this."On if he considers a third-round pick a starter: "Yes. No. 3 pick, No. 4 pick. Honestly, guys, when you set the board, you're trying to set it to where you have some possible starters through the fifth round. And then you get lucky with a college free agent, seventh-round, I've been fortunate to have some good fortune with later picks in my 18-year career. I'm not going to just limit it just to the third roundOK, you have a third so you only have one opportunity to get a starter. I don't want to go into this draft like that. I want to get some good players that we can get as many possible starters as possibledon't tie me down just to the third round."On if knowing he'd receive some comp picks change his approach to the offseason: "No, it really didn't. It really did not. I'm trying to build a team so the more the merrier. If I see a possible free agent that we feel like, Man, we can do this, and this feels pretty good, I'm going to do it, in free agency. Regardless of what we have in the draft. But that's not going to minimize what I do in the draft. Even if I sign an unrestricted free agent offensive lineman. That's not going to say, I'm not going to draft one. I don't look at it like that. I'm still looking for great backups who can become starters at every position. So I need a lot more picks than what I have now and some more free agent moves. The only thing I wish I had more of was NFL money and NFL cap. That's what I wish I had more of."On what he can do to address that to add pieces to his puzzle: "Not a whole lot this year. And I think the bulk of it has been done. Now you just try to wait it out and see who's the best fit for these 53 guys in the long run to make this team and then try to figure (it) out. At this point, it's going to be production and talent. It's not about money, money, money, as far as the comings and goings of players. With the goings, mainly."On if he might still trade a player for picks: "That could be possible. You know, I don't close the door on trades. I really don't. That door is always open."On his career leading to this moment: "It's been a process now. I've done this for quite some time but this is my show now so it's going to be, it's going to be fun."On if it's been frustrating dealing with the Raiders' salary cap issues to start his GM career: "It's not frustrating, it really isn't. But you'd always like to have a comfort level. And to me, having cap, having cash, it gives you a comfort so it's teaching me how to manage moneythis is good. This is good for me, learning on the fly how to deal with certain adverse situations. Initially, we are able to handle it so far. What I don't want to do is allow this to get us in the end. But I always want to be in position to, if we need to add a quality playerI want to make a move. That's my whole outlook. When we had to make certain cuts, we do it with a future plan. So far, it's working accordingly."On his priorities in the draft now that he knows how many picks he has at his disposal: "Regardless, I'm going to use the draft to make sure we draft the best available player. And if it's at a position where we're strong at, so be it. If we feel like this is the best guy, it's a difference between adding solid starters and difference makers."On if the players cut thus far were about performance or finances: "A little bit of both. When you talk about production versus a salarylet's face it, guys, contacts and production, all of that goes hand in hand. If something's not matching, or it's kind of out of whack, you don't have to be forced to make the decisionit was not all eitherorIt wasn't, Well, he cost us too much money, he's got to go. No. If the guy was highly productive and we could make it work, we'd try to make it work financially. But if not, we're going to have to make certain decision. Tough decisions. Which we did."On if he envisions the Raiders being stronger this year, or if there is a rebuilding plan in place: "Honestly, I envision it being stronger."On if he's comfortable with the three tight ends already on the roster, of if he wants to add another: "I'm comfortable with it, butI would like to add another guy there to compete, yes."On the linebackers in the draft: "You know, there's some good linebackers. Is it deep? I wouldn't say that. But there are some good linebackers in this draft."On Peyton Manning joining Denver and the AFC West: "I have a great admiration for Peyton. Do we have to put in a different gameplan defending Peyton than (Tim) Tebow? Absolutely. If he's healthy and hitting on all cylinders physically, he's going to be a good football player in our division. We're going to have to find ways to slow him downare we going to be scared of him? Absolutely not."

Dolphins owner explains why he voted against Raiders' move to Vegas

Dolphins owner explains why he voted against Raiders' move to Vegas

PHOENIX – An overwhelming majority approved the Raiders’ relocation application Monday morning. They were given permission to move from Oakland to Las Vegas by a 31-1 vote at the league owners meetings, a massive show of support for the Silver and Black.

While the stadium and finance committees recommended Raiders relocation and the final meeting went smooth leading up to a vote, there was one voice of dissent.

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross didn’t let his vote do the talking. He explained his rationale to reporters on Monday afternoon.

“I just don’t think everything was done to try and stay in Oakland,” Ross told reporters, via a video posted on San Diego-based 1090-AM’s website. “I was more or less interested in the thought that Oakland deserved…that a deal could’ve been done there.”

Ross said Raiders owner Mark Davis should’ve engaged with Oakland more in trying to find a long-term stadium solution in the East Bay.

“You can only make a deal when the owner wants to make a deal,” Ross said. “Who are you going to negotiate with? How’s it going to happen? The owner has to be a driving force.”

After some difficult negotiations with Oakland, Davis focused his efforts on Las Vegas, where he received $750 million in public funds for stadium construction, with an additional chunk earmarked for infrastructure improvements around a stadium site just off the Las Vegas Strip.

While Ross spent roughly $500 million in private funds to renovate Hard Rock Stadium, his dissent was rooted in part on ideological grounds. He believes stadiums should be largely financed privately.

“I think so,” Ross said. “You get a look around, and there’s very little public money available for teams today. I think owners have to have, when you own a team, you should have the deep pockets to deliver. Now, you need some public money for infrastructure and things like that but, with the cost of stadiums today, our country can’t afford to put all that money in that kind of place.”

Ross said he didn’t vote no to grandstand.

“That doesn’t do me any good. I didn’t do it for that,” Ross said. “I voted how I voted and I voted what I believed. You talk about the fans, and that’s what the National Football League is all about.”

 

Raiders to Vegas: So much disingenuous, silly or just plain idiotic rhetoric

Raiders to Vegas: So much disingenuous, silly or just plain idiotic rhetoric

The torrential nonsense that was emitted with the announcement of the NFL owners’ vote on the fate of the Mark Davis Raiders was as embarrassing as it was predictable. It’s as though everyone involved and watching had forgotten what this was about from the start, and became a chase for rabbits that didn’t exist.

But that’s what you get when the National Football League and politics commingle – a cavalcade of lies, half-truths, shaded half-facts and nitwit hysteria that . . . well, that explains everything we need to know about what passes for entertainment in America in 2017.

So let’s do a random tour on everything that was said Monday, so that we can see that nobody cornered the market in disingenuous, silly or just plain idiotic.

[RATTO: Raiders fans got remarkably little bang for their bucks, or for their hearts]

- Mark Davis, thanking Sheldon Adelson for his “vision.” What he meant to do was thank Adelson for shaking down three quarters of a billion dollars from the State of Nevada. Adelson didn’t thank him back for finding out that his power play to get a potentially controlling chunk of the franchise was dead on arrival in the league offices after he’d gotten the money committed, and that he’d been used, no doubt the way he’s used plenty of others.

- Roger Goodell: “We’re all disappointed for Oakland and their fans.” No he isn’t. He’s mad that they elected someone who wouldn’t cave in to the league the way those good citizens in other cities and states do. 

- City councilman Larry Reid, in full snittery, said he not only would never wear any form of Raider gear again (and who cares?) but would talk to the Oakland city attorney about forcing the Raiders out of their two years of lease options and make them play in Santa Clara. Fine, except that any lawyer will tell him that would probably die in court for 2017 and 2018, and would be at best a coin flip to 2019, and not only that, the 49ers don’t want the Raiders any more than the Raiders have wanted them. Dead issue, Lar’. Political posturing. Don’t bring it up again.

- Davis, saying his father would be proud of him for taking the team to “the entertainment capital of the world.” He would have been much prouder of the fact that his son showed a single-minded devotion to getting out of Oakland to the point of being embarrassed several times before he got what he wanted. The old man almost surely didn’t think the boy had it in him.  

- Miami Dolphins owner Steve Ross, the only dissenting vote, saying “My position today was that we as owners and as a League owe it to fans to do everything we can to stay in the communities that have supported us until all options have been exhausted. I want to wish Mark Davis and the Raiders organization the best in Las Vegas.” Ross voted for the Rams’ move to Los Angeles a year earlier, and he couldn’t be less interested in “the best” for Davis or the Raiders.

- Everyone who mentioned how Oakland would never help Davis build a stadium. Oakland didn’t have a spare $750M, then or now, and neither did Davis, which is why other people scared up almost all the money for the Vegas project for him. Plus, it isn’t a city’s job to help a private company scare up financing, it’s the guy who runs the private company. Davis’ problem was that getting money costs money, and the only thing he had was the team, with which he didn’t want to part. 

[RELATED: Schaaf proud Oakland did not capitulate to Raiders' unreasonable demand]

- Schaaf: “I am glad we stood firm in refusing to use public money to subsidize stadium construction and that we did not capitulate to their unreasonable and unwarranted demand that we choose between our baseball and football franchises.” The first part is what she can proud of. The second is a red herring, a merely ancillary part of what the league actually wanted – control of the stadium and land surrounding it. Schaaf decided not to do business with people she didn’t trust and came to loathe, and the league decided not to do business with a city that didn’t have money and wouldn’t knuckle under to any and all extortionate demands. 

- Schaaf continually describing the Oakland plan as “viable,” when viability depends in considerable part on another party being interested in what your definition of “viable” is. Neither the team nor the league wanted any part of the “viable” plan because they defined “viable” as “give us everything you have, and we’ll work out the rest of your stuff later.” The plan was affordable, but it was never actually viable. 

- Schaaf saying (“Our fans) deserved better.” In the world of cutthroat money-hunting, nobody “deserves” anything. It’s what you can carve from the flesh of your opponent. Oakland didn’t own the Raiders and neither did their fans. When you call a team “we,” you really mean “they,” and let this be the reminder your parents should have provided for you 35 years ago. 

- A’s president Dave Kaval saying how disappointed the baseball team was to learn that the Raiders were leaving. A baldfaced lie, this. The A’s are absolutely giddy about the prospect, and have been waiting for it to happen for nearly a decade. If they could get the permits, they’d have a parade down Broadway tomorrow.

- The NFL moving three franchises in 15 months as some sort of horrifying development that will destroy the traditions that made the league powerful. Please. These guys had no problem with moving the Rams or the Raiders, and only objected to the Chargers leaving for L.A. because they’d done their good pal Dean Spanos a favor by giving him an option to move and were floored when he took them up on it. No good deed goes without a knife in the ribs, and all that -- especially after the Rams killed L.A.’s buzz for football in less than a year. The league goes where they think money is, and woe betide the team that is looking to relocate if the league every finds out there is money on the sun.

- Vegas as the massive vice farm that will lead players down a path of perdition, but nobody mentions that a player can get into trouble in new York or Chicago or Los Angeles or San Francisco or Boston or Indianapolis. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweeted, “Coaches are already discussing how they'll handle their travel when they're on the road in Las Vegas. Likely staying away from The Strip.” How far away? Laughlin? Henderson? Bisbee? El Paso? By that logic, coaches facing a road game in Miami ought to house their teams in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

- 49ers’ general manager John Lynch getting his swing at the piñata by saying Monday, “Raider fans, we're open for business. “Come and jump on our train.” Whispering in a graveyard is always a bad look, especially so soon after reminding us all that the Raider fan base is “too special” to ever feel comfortable tailgating at The Louvre . . . err, Levi’s Stadium. The 49ers no more want the Raiders than the Raiders want them, which is part of how this escalated even before Al Davis died.

- And finally, anyone who used the word “bittersweet” about any step in the process of taking a rich legacy’s property and taking it somewhere else. If you’re a player, you know the business requires accepting movement. If you’re a fan, you know the business requires understanding that your team is never actually yours. And if you are a media member, you got to spend a whole day passing on myths and nonsense and calling it wisdom . . . and that’s nice work if you stomach it.