NAPA -- So how did Dennis Allen's first training camp as a head coach go for the Raiders' rookie head man?"I thought it was good work," Allen said after breaking camp with Thursday's practice. "I thought it was good work. I thought we had a chance to get better. Our guys worked extremely hard. We still have a long way to go and a lot of things we have to continue to improve on, but I thought it was a good foundation to build on."Mere coach-speak? Maybe, but what would you expect Allen to say?After all, incomingreturning offensive coordinator Greg Knaap compared the task at hand to a "start-up" company. And, with a new coach, new general manager, new schemes on both offense and defense and, well, a fresh philosophy trickling throughout the organization, you could make a good argument that the Raiders are the equivalent of an expansion franchise...with quality front-line players.And besides, the Raiders had a fairly uneventful camp in Wine Country -- transactions-wise, they only waived nose tackle Travis Ivey, signed linebacker Korey Bosworth and placed linebacker Mario Kurn and receiver Duke Calhoun on injured reserve. And the depth chart chart essentially stayed the same.Of course, there was the scary sight of Mike Goodson being strapped to a gurney, his facemask removed, and being loaded into an ambulance, but in 19 practices the Raiders simply worked. And worked some more."Grueling but fair," defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said of Allen's first camp. "It's been tough, probably the hardest camp I ever did, but I'm in good shape so I don't have no complaints."Especially not with the new Collective Bargaining Agreement, which did away with two-a-day practices. Allen and his staff still maximized the time available."He found time to make us bust the whole time," Kelly said."It is different. Everything is detailed. Everything's got a plan to it. It ain't just, wait a minute and we'll find out. You know everything. You know what you've got to do, down to the second."And for a team known as being as undisciplined as the Raiders were last year in setting league records for penalties (163) and penalty yards (1,358), accountability in camp is huge."If you want to be a good football team, theres got to be attention to detail," said 12th-year veteran defensive tackle Richard Seymour. "The coaching staff, theyve made it fun, but I...kind of relay it back to the safety belt. Its one of the things that you need (even if) you might not always want to do it. But its one of the things that you have to do if you want to be safe in a car, or take care of business and at the end of the day, winning football games."Seymour said Wednesday night's rookie talent show was the best he's seen since arriving in Oakland in 2009, "which isn't saying a whole lot," he said with a laugh.Details are sparse, though video cameras and a yellow security jacket were utilized...with smiles, of course."I'm excited about where we're headed as a team," Seymour said. "We had some good work, we bonded well."I look at training camp as one of the necessary evils. It's one of those things you have to go through, but at the end of the day, you'll be better for it."Now, we'll see if Oakland can carry that forward as the Raiders prepare for Saturday's preseason gameregular season dress rehearsal against Detroit."I enjoyed it," Allen said. "I think we have a great situation here in Napa. This is, as far as the setup, is the best training camp Ive ever been a part of from that standpoint. The weathers been great, the hotel has been outstanding. Thats been good. I think our work has been good. I was pleased with what we did here in training camp."
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.”
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