Oakland Coliseum authority open to housing Raiders beyond 2018


Oakland Coliseum authority open to housing Raiders beyond 2018

The Raiders would prefer to delay their move to Las Vegas until a new stadium is complete. That venue’s opening day is currently scheduled for 2020.

They hold a one-year lease option at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in 2018. They’ll exercise that.

The Raiders don’t have a home locked down for 2019 yet, though remaining in the Bay Area is preferred. Right where they’re currently playing, in fact.

It takes two to tango, and the Oakland Coliseum board would have to agree to another lease.

While it wasn’t always the case, Joint Powers Authority chairman Scott McKibben is now open to the idea. That includes 2019 and beyond, should the Las Vegas stadium construction be delayed.

“I believe that given the right set of economics, the potential for a lease extension for the time the Raiders would like to stay in Oakland is an open door,” McKibben told the Las Vegas Sun on Thursday. “I can’t underscore enough the fact of ‘given the appropriate economics.’ It will not be the deal that they currently have.”

The Raiders currently pay $3.5 million in rent, an amount roughly three times higher than the previous lease agreement. McKibben said in March the Oakland Coliseum operates Raiders games at a loss. At that time, he wasn’t interested in another lease extension.

Some things have changed at the Coliseum site since. Major League Baseball’s Athletics, who currently share the Coliseum, are focusing stadium efforts on a site near Laney College. They don’t estimate opening a new venue until 2023 but, at this time, wouldn’t need to build another venue on the Coliseum site.

McKibben told the Las Vegas Sun he’ll have a meaningful negotiation with the Raiders once Las Vegas stadium begins and the NFL’s teams are clear.

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.”