Raiders

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.”

Source: Raiders complete draft class, agree to terms with first-round pick

Source: Raiders complete draft class, agree to terms with first-round pick

Update (8:39 p.m.): The Raiders announced they have officially signed first-round draft pick Gareon Conley.

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NAPA – The Raiders first full squad practice starts Saturday morning. Gareon Conley will be available to participate. The first-round cornerback agreed on terms of his rookie contract on Friday afternoon, a league source confirmed to , allowing him to report without missing anything major.

Conley is in the Bay Area and expected to sign the contract Friday night at the Napa Valley Marriott.

According to this years rookie wage scale, as published by overthecap.com, the No. 24 overall pick is slotted to make $10.467 million over the life of a four-year contract. The Raiders also hold a fifth-year option to extend the deal. Conley’s contract includes a $5.752 million signing bonus and a $1.9 million base salary in 2017.

Conley missed four days of pre-camp instruction designed for rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans, but shouldn’t be considered a setback. Conley should be able to hit the ground running when he takes the field.

That’s a good thing considering they’ll need him to make an instant impact as a slot cornerback at least.

Conley’s situation could have been complicated by an ongoing investigation into a sexual assault allegation stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland. Conley has staunchly maintained his innocence in regard to the allegation, and has not been arrested or charged with a crime. The Raiders remain confident in their selection and the pre-draft research that went into it. It's uncertain at this time whether or how much Conley's legal situation played into contract talks. 

CBS Sports was first to report the news of Conley and the Raiders agreeing to terms.

Report: Unhappy with contract, Penn not reporting to training camp

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USATSI

Report: Unhappy with contract, Penn not reporting to training camp

Donald Penn is set to earn over $7 million this season in the second of a two-year, $11.9 million deal with Oakland. But the 34-year-old veteran wants more.

Penn, who has started all 16 games in each of the last nine NFL seasons, is not reporting to training camp because he is unhappy with his contract situation, according to Ian Rapoport. 

Penn reportedly wants to be paid like a Top 10 left tackle. He played like one last year. He allowed just 28 quarterback pressures in 676 pass-blocking snaps and gave up just one sack, though it was the takedown where Derek Carr broke his fibula. 

Penn stands 6-foot-5, weighs 305 pounds, and -- at left tackle -- occupies a crucial position of the offensive line that protects prized quarterback Derek Carr.

The Raiders don't have another solid option at left tackle, unless they disrupt the line and move left guard Kelechi Osemele over.

Penn has seen the Raiders invest heavily in offensive linemen since he signed on, with massive contract given to Osemele and Rodney Hudson in recent seasons. The Raiders just gave right guard Gabe Jackson a five-year, $56 million contract extension. 

The Raiders should have $14.825 million in salary cap space remaining this season after the release of Austin Howard and Taiwan Jones.