Davis: Raiders 'not moving overnight,' will play in Oakland next two seasons

Davis: Raiders 'not moving overnight,' will play in Oakland next two seasons

The Raiders signed a one-year lease to play the 2016 season at Oakland Coliseum, and hold one-year team options for each of the two following years.

Owner Mark Davis plans to exercise them, even if the NFL approves his franchise’s relocation to Las Vegas.

He said so Monday at UNLV, shortly Nevada governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill approving $750 million in public financing for an NFL stadium in Las Vegas. If all goes as planned, the $1.9 billion project reportedly wouldn’t be ready until 2020. The Raiders would need a place to play until then.

“We’ll be in Oakland for the next two seasons,” Davis said told reporters. “So that their families aren’t uprooted. Once we know it’s a certainty that we’re coming here, they’ll have two years to look for homes and schools, and to get our offices and a practice facility built.

“We’re not moving overnight. That’s an important factor in our planning process.”

The Raiders don't have a lease option for the 2019, and would have to resolve that issue either in Oakland or elsewhere while a Las Vegas stadium finished construction. 

Even with stadium financing approved, it remains uncertain whether the Raiders will move at all. Relocation must be approved by 24 of 32 NFL owners after the Silver and Black formally apply to move.

The Raiders will provide an update on their stadium search at this week’s NFL owners meetings in Houston. The Chargers will update the league on their stadium quest in San Diego and the Rams will give a progress report on the construction of a new stadium in Los Angeles.

A formal vote, which would only be requested if the Raiders have numbers on their side, could be called at owners meetings in 2017.

Davis remains steadfast in his quest to move his team to Las Vegas over any other option. The Raiders could stay put, or are in line to for an L.A. move if the Chargers turn down their priority option first.

If Vegas is the team’s ultimate destination, Davis said he would play a preseason game or two at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. That venue is not equipped to be an NFL stadium. The team is also researching a training camp location in Reno.

Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order


Aldon Smith back in custody after police say he violated restraining order

SAN FRANCISCO — Former Oakland Raiders player Aldon Smith surrendered to police Friday on charges he violated a domestic violence restraining order.

San Francisco police said the 28-year-old Smith turned himself and was booked on three misdemeanor charges of violating a court order to stay away from a domestic violence victim.

Earlier this month, Smith pleaded not guilty to domestic violence and other charges and a judge issued a protective order prohibiting him from contacting the victim.

Police said Smith violated the restraining order earlier this week.

Smith’s attorney, Joshua Bentley, did not return a voicemail message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

The Raiders released the linebacker days after his arrest on the domestic violence charges.

He had been on the suspended list since late 2015 for violating the NFL’s policy on substance abuse.

Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster


Raiders retain E.J. Manuel, now have four QBs on the roster

The Raiders have a lot of quarterbacks under contract, certainly more than they’ll have come September.

That means the battle to be Derek Carr’s backup should be fierce. EJ Manuel had that title last year, with a shot to retain it after re-signing with the club on Thursday afternoon.

Veteran Josh Johnson signed up Monday, and those two will join third-year man Connor Cook behind Carr on the depth chart.

New head coach Jon Gruden loved Cook coming out of the draft, but the Michigan State alum failed to earn the backup job last season and must make a move up the depth chart to kickstart his career.

Manuel has a strong arm and starting experience, making him a steady and solid backup option. He completed 24-of-43 passes for 265 yards, a touchdown and an interception in two games when Carr was hurt.

Johnson might be a camp arm at this point, though he’ll be given a chance to compete this spring and summer.

Carr has been hurt for at least a small stretch in each of the last two seasons. Having Manuel in that spot might offer stability.

Gruden addressed last year’s backup quarterbacks last month at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Gruden on Manuel: “I think EJ is a young, talented guy,” Gruden said. “He’s been in the facility working out on his own every day. There is a bright upside to him, too, as a young quarterback to keep working with. He’s a free agent, but the Philadelphia Eagles proved that’s a pretty damn important position, isn’t it? Right? So we have to address that and see where we are.”

Gruden on Cook: “I am kind of surprised Connor hasn’t played in two years, other than the playoff game he got in as a rookie. After Derek got hurt last year, they turned the ball to EJ. I don’t know where Connor Cook is. I am frustrated right now that I can’t spend any time with him, but, April 9th (when the Raiders offeseason program starts) will be an exciting day for me and Connor Cook.”