Statement from Raiders owner Mark Davis

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Statement from Raiders owner Mark Davis

The following statement was delivered by Raiders owner Mark Davis to open Tuesday's press conference introducing Reggie McKenzie as the new general manager of the Oakland Raiders.

Mark Davis
"Three months ago, on Oct. 8, 2011 at 3 a.m. I received a phone call from Dr. General Hilliard that my father had passed away. It was a sad day for the Raider Nation and all the players, coaches and fans that had worn the famed Silver & Black over the past 48 years. I had two immediate goals -- one short term, one long term. My short-term goal was to make sure the season continued with as little disruption as possible and to achieve our goal of reaching the playoffs, and winning the Super Bowl. In that regard I asked John Madden to join me in a meeting with coach Jackson, where we discussed the optimum working relationship between the coach and myself.

"My short-term goal went great for about five days. Then Jason Campbell broke his right clavicle in the game. The following week we lost Darren McFadden to a foot injury, which unknowingly at the time, turned out to be a season-ending injury. At one point in the season we were 7-4 and two games ahead in the division. And then we lost four of the next five games to finish 8-8 and out of the playoffs. To say the least, it was certainly a disappointment. My long-term goal was to research and identify a general manager to lead the Raider organization into the future. I consulted with Ron Wolf to help me identify potential candidates, one of which was Reggie McKenzie.

"Unfortunately, league rules prohibited us from contacting any current employees of any other National Football League teams until the end of the regular season. So for three months I did extensive research into all the potential candidates for the job.But early on I recognized that Reggie McKenzie was the man I was looking for to lead the Raiders into the future.

"On January 1 the shackles were off and we were finally able to ask the Green Bay Packers for permission to interview Reggie McKenzie to become general manager of the Oakland Raiders. On January 2 the Green Bay Packers graciously granted that permission. I called Reggie, we spoke briefly, and made arrangements for him to fly in for an interview. We met with John Madden for about six hours and reached an agreement that Reggie would become the general manager of the Oakland Raiders.

"After the meeting I texted Reggie that my father used to say, "the greatness of the Raiders is in its future." Reggie, the future is now. Ladies and gentlemen, Reggie McKenzie."

Relocation approval 'offers more clarity' when Raiders recruit future free agents

Relocation approval 'offers more clarity' when Raiders recruit future free agents

PHOENIX -- The Raiders are entering a limbo period, with just a few seasons in Oakland before relocating to Las Vegas. NFL owners formally approved a move on Monday, though the Raiders don’t want to leave the East Bay until a new stadium is ready in 2020.

While there are contingencies to leave the market early based upon how fans react to the Raiders remaining in Oakland after committing to Las Vegas, that isn’t what the Raiders want. After years of stadium uncertainty, they leave the NFL owners meetings with clarity regarding their long-term future.

General manager Reggie McKenzie believes that should help free agents considering silver and black. The uncertainty prompted questions in recent years that McKenzie can answer when recruiting veteran talent now that relocation has been approved.

“By Mark saying that the plan is for us to be in Oakland for two more years (at least), but we will be in Vegas, I think it offers more clarity,” McKenzie said. “It lets the players know. It’s better than two months ago, when everyone had questions. When you were talking to a free agent, they know we want to move but weren’t sure if it was going to pass. They didn’t know. Now they know a decision has been made by the league to let us move.”

That will help McKenzie more in the future than present. Roster turnover is high these days, meaning most currently employed by the Raiders won’t play for the home team in Las Vegas. Only David Amerson, Kelechi Osemele and Marquette King are would be under contract when the team wants to move.

The Raiders are working on extensions for Derek Carr, Gabe Jackson and Khalil Mack, with others possibly locked up down the line.

In addition to playing with Carr and Mack and for head coach Jack Del Rio, there’s another attraction to signing with the Raiders. There’s no state income tax in Nevada, meaning a contract there is worth more than the same deal in California. The Golden State generally takes 13.3 percent of significant income earned there.

There will be other issues about playing in Las Vegas, where gambling is legal, a drink can be had 24 hours per day and vices abound in a place called Sin City.

The Raiders will construct a support system to keep players focused, and are ready to handle any questions players and their families may have about an upcoming move.

“Now there are questions from the drafted guys about when they become free agents, because they might be in Vegas. That’s going to be different. There are questions that way, but it’s not going to alter the way we go after players. Some of the guys, parents and agents may have questions, but I don’t think it’s anything out of whack.”

 

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

PHOENIX – Fans won’t see special teams players leaping over the long snapper in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor made some big plays with that technique, but won’t have the chance anymore.

The NFL outlawed that option on Tuesday as one several rule changes enacted at the league meetings.

“There are some safety concerns,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “that are legitimate.”

The NFL also centralized replay reviews, taking that power away from officials on the field. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino and associates at the NFL’s command center will handle reviews in an effort to add consistency to important calls.

Del Rio hoped replay challenges would be expanded further, but a proposal by Seattle and Buffalo allowing coaches to challenge any play save scoring plays and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, did not pass.

“I think there are a number of coaches who feel like, if there’s an obvious error, we should have a mechanism to correct it,” Del Rio said. “We catch most of them, so you’re talking about a small percentage. It’s hard to move the needle for such a small percentage. That’s the problem. The fact is, if it’s important enough that we’re willing to use that challenge, we’d like that right and ability. Things happen, and you don’t want to lose a big game, a game that decides whether you advance in the playoffs or make the playoffs and it’s something you could overturn, that you could challenge or change. Why not?”

Here's a list of new rules and bylaws adopted by the league on Tuesday.