Editor's Note: The above video is from Oct. 17, 2016
The Raiders are pushing hard for a move to Las Vegas. That movement has gained serious momentum in recent months, especially after the Nevada state legislature approved roughly $750 million in public financing for a $1.9 billion stadium project.
The Raiders could leave Oakland for a second time – they left the East Bay for L.A. in 1982 – and head to Sin City.
Jon Gruden doesn’t want that. The former Raiders head coach said doesn’t like the sound of “Las Vegas Raiders.”
“I don’t like to hear that. I like the Oakland Raiders,” Gruden said in a conference call. “I’m a big believer in tradition, and I know there are issues that have to be resolved and I wish them the best, but I like hearing Oakland Raiders, personally.”
Gruden coached the Oakland Raiders from 1998-2001, ushering in a quality period for the franchise. The Raiders traded him to Tampa Bay in 2002, but Gruden has always maintained a strong bond with Raiders fans. He had a 40-28 record as Raiders coach.
Gruden is a color analysts for ESPN's "Monday Night Football" broadcasts, and will be on the call next week when the Raiders play the Houston Texans in Mexico City.
As the Raiders overhaul their receiving corps, they are meeting with a versatile veteran on Tuesday.
Eric Decker, who spent the 2017 season with the Titans, is visiting the Raiders, according to The Athletic and ESPN.
A third-round pick out of Minnesota in 2010, the 31-year-old Decker spent the first four seasons of his career with the Broncos. He put up huge numbers in 2012 and 2013 with 2,352 receiving yards and 24 total touchdowns over those two seasons.
He turned his success with the Broncos into a five-year, $36 million contract with the Jets. He lived up to the contract the first two seasons, but after playing in just three games in 2016, the Jets released him.
So far this offseason, the Raiders have added veteran Jordy Nelson and Griff Whalen while releasing Michael Crabtree and trading Cordarrelle Patterson to New England.
The Raiders lured fullback Keith Smith away from Dallas in free agency. The Cowboys suddenly had a need at the position, and called a Raiders team with a surplus.
They wanted Jamize Olawale, a tough, faster-than-you-think blocking back with receiving skill.
A draft pick swap got it done.
The Raiders traded Olawale and the No. 192 overall pick to Dallas for the No. 173 overall selection. NFL Network first reported the news. The Dallas Morning News revealed trade details.
The Raiders didn’t have a fifth-round pick this year, but now have two after trading Olawale and WR Cordarrelle Patterson in combination with a glut of sixth-round selections. They still have four remaining.
Smith is more of a true blocking fullback Gruden sought. Olawale doesn’t fit that old school mold, but is a versatile player who can produce if used correctly. He has dealt with injuries in the recent past, which also may have been a knock against him.
This thins the running back room a bit, but more ball carriers will be jettisoned before the season starts.
The trade also saved $1.6 million in salary cap space, important for a team where every little bit counts this offseason.
Olawale returns to the team that originally signed him as an 2012 undrafted free agent. He was cut at preseason’s end, and picked up by Oakland. He enjoyed a productive tenure in silver and black, though he wasn’t used much by 2016 offensive coordinator Todd Downing.
The Raiders aren’t necessarily done in free agency. They have a little cap space left, and could look for another receiver or defensive lineman. Middle linebacker NaVorro Bowman remains on the open market, and the Raiders hope to have him back.