Last-gasp effort to keep Raiders has an unlikely champion


Last-gasp effort to keep Raiders has an unlikely champion

You’re not going to believe this – well, wait, it’s 2017 in America, so of course you’re going to believe it – but the last-gasp effort to keep the Raiders in Oakland is being championed by . . .

. . . wait for it . . .

Donald Trump.

And now we will wait while Bay Area Raider fans decide whether to dance or throw up. Or throw up while dancing.

The new Republican budget that the President says he wants passed by the end of November includes a provision that would remove the tax-exempt status from bonds used to pay for stadiums for professional sports teams.

And in a neat bit of politicking by the President in his continued attempt to stick a finger in the NFL’s eye up to the third knuckle, the date listed on the legislation for removal of tax-exempt status on bonds issued is November 2, which neatly prevented Nevada politicians (or politicians from other states beholden to the NFL or its constituent owners) from forestalling the process entirely. The Las Vegas bonds have been approved but not yet issued, and ground is expected to be broken later this week.

As it is, the Nevada pols who want the stadium plan to go through have options that include amendments to the tax bill that would remove the stadium bond provision entirely, or grandfather in stadium bonds already approved (like the Raider deal). Given the complexities of budget work in Washington, and the President’s sub-dismal legislative record, the chances of the Raiders actually being forced to stay in Oakland remain less than 50 percent.

That said, the tax exemptions for stadiums have always been a particularly nauseating part of the marriage between sports and the politics that separate cities and citizens from their hard-earned money. There is plenty of perfectly logical reasons why this particular chunk of legislation ought to be approved.

The question remains, though, whether it will survive as is, be eliminated as part of normal budget negotiations, or be amended so that the Raiders can beat feet out of town before the door shuts on this particular dodge.

So there you go, Raider fans. Your path to retaining what you always thought was yours is manned by the one person you never thought you could trust to do anyone below millionaire status a solid.

We now return you to your bye week activities. Including, if need be, finding a heavy-duty bucket.


Raiders remain on a receiver hunt as their top target signs elsewhere


Raiders remain on a receiver hunt as their top target signs elsewhere

The Raiders missed out on signing Ryan Grant. The former Washington receiver visited the team’s Alameda training complex, but left without a contract and ultimately chose to sign a one-year, $5 million deal with Indianapolis.

The lost that one, but are undeterred in their quest to upgrade the receiver corps.

They already signed Jordy Nelson and let Michael Crabtree walk, hoping for steady production and quality locker room leadership in the exchange.

Cordarrelle Patterson was traded to New England on Sunday, creating a spot in the position group.

The Raiders tried to fill it with Grant. No go, no matter.

They hosted veteran Eric Decker on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. They also declared interest in Allen Hurns, a player the Jaguars released Tuesday morning.

Hurns listed the Raiders among interested teams – he said there were 10 in total – in an interview with KFNZ radio in Charlotte, N.C.

Hurns has a 1,000-yard season to his credit – his biggest year came with now-Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson as Jacksonville's O.C. -- and two relative down years since. Injuries have also played a part in that.

Decker had a stellar four-year run with Denver and the New York Jets, but was less effective during two seasons in Tennessee. The 31-year old has experience in the slot, and could be a productive No. 3 option in Jon Gruden’s offense.

Gruden doesn't mind working with veteran receivers, something clear from his past and willingness to add Nelson as a major contributor. 

Even if the Raiders don't land a veteran receiver, they could also look for a receiver in the NFL draft.

Amari Cooper will remain the No. 1 option. Seth Roberts has $4.45 million guaranteed in 2018. Johnny Holton, Isaac Whitney and Keon Hatcher are also on the roster.

Report: Ndamukong Suh set to meet with Raiders


Report: Ndamukong Suh set to meet with Raiders

After visiting the Titans, Saints and Rams, free agent defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh will make a stop in the East Bay.

Recently released by the Dolphins, Suh will visit with the Raiders on Wednesday, according to ESPN.

The former No. 2 overall pick made it through just three seasons of a six-year, $114 million deal he signed with Miami prior to the 2015 season.

The 31-year-old Portland, Oregon native last made the Pro Bowl in 2016 and was last earned First-Team All Pro honors in 2014.

In 16 games with the Dolphins last season, Suh recorded 4.5 sacks and 48 combined tackles.