Raiders

Raiders leaving Oakland because not enough interest in them staying

Raiders leaving Oakland because not enough interest in them staying

The Oakland Raiders are down to their final week of existence, and you can tell it’s going to end because the leaks from owners who usually stay buttoned-up on NFL owner business are whispering to their approved receptacles.

They have essentially said that the 24 votes are pretty much there for Mark Davis to take the team to Las Vegas, and harp on the fact that Oakland offered them no alternative to voting for relocation.

And what they are saying here is that Oakland would not cheerfully play ball in the NFL’s most popular form of extortion – the city-pays-for-the-stadium-and-the-team-takes-the-money dodge.

This is important to note, because when the vote is finally held, there will be attempts to explain the Raiders in Las Vegas as Oakland’s failure, when in fact the actual shorthand history is this:

1. Years of sales, marketing and on-field neglect made the Raiders a poor revenue generator by changing NFL standards. The Raiders had been making money but they were also accepting supplemental revenue sharing from the league which was about to dry up.

2. Oakland and Alameda County chose not to bail out the Raiders A SECOND TIME after getting royally screwed the first time. Mount Davis is among the greatest architectural mistakes of the last three centuries, and it still isn’t close to being paid off, so the city and county made the utterly defensible stand of getting out of the stadium game entirely by making a deal with the Fortress corporation that gave the NFL no leverage – and the NFL loves leverage the way you love puppies.

3. Mark Davis has been eager to show how desperate he is to leave but has been remarkably silent on casting blame toward Oakland (and to that point, nobody in Alameda County government has called Davis any names either). The normal owner tack is to deflect blame by savaging the government that wouldn’t build them palaces, and yet the quiet here would deafen crickets.

4. There has been remarkably little outrage in town over the proposed move, far less than San Diego or St. Louis. This has been considered a fait accompli for awhile now, and even those good souls who desperately wanted to keep the Raiders have been relying on the kindnesses of contrarian owners to save them because it worked as recently as a year ago.

In short, the Raiders are leaving because there isn’t enough interest in them staying.

Alternately:

1. The NFL wants access to the hot international cash that flows freely in Las Vegas.

2. Nevada got hoodwinked by casino owner/king of Las Vegas Sheldon Adelson into pledging $750 million in stadium funds, and though the NFL spurned about half that figure to leave St. Louis a year ago, $750M free and clear would get Warren Buffett’s attention.

3. The NFL owners have always been frustrated by not getting their own way in California, and having managed to screw up Los Angeles twice and then doubled down by screwing up San Diego a year later, their attachment to Oakland has waned. One suspects that if the owners could come up with a good reason to move the 49ers to Beijing, they’d take it.

4. The league is not terribly troubled by the loss of market size (Oakland is half of the sixth-largest TV market, Las Vegas is 40th) because the changing face of sports consumption makes television market size less important with an easily identifiable brand like the Swords Through The Head Guy. As for attendance and local media revenues, the assumption the owners are making is that it can be made up by redefining the fan base as more regional (L.A. and the Bay Area as well as gamblers in general) than local.

5. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, makes big cash by running stadiums through his company Legends, of which he owns a third. He is also a great vote-whipper among his fellow owners. Legends will run the Vegas stadium. Do the math.

So the Raiders move because there is literally no compelling reason to keep them in Oakland save tradition, and nobody cares about tradition any more.

Hell, not even the Raiders care about tradition – they were born to be put in Minnesota, got thrown into Oakland when the NFL beat the AFL into Minneapolis, moved to Los Angeles, and then moved back, and then investigated San Antonio before re-investigating Los Angeles.

But when the story about how this happened is told – by the winners, of course – just remember that this wasn’t Oakland’s failure. It was Al Davis’ failure, and Mark Davis’ failure, and the NFL’s failure – and Las Vegas’ victory, until it becomes a failure too.

After all, three franchise moves in two years means the league is trying to transcend geography, west to east. Seattle, your ass is next.

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.