Only factor forcing Mark Davis out of Oakland is his own desires

Only factor forcing Mark Davis out of Oakland is his own desires

So now that Mark Davis will formally apply to move the Raiders twice in two years, the second time with the news coming this morning under cover of hangover, maybe this was to convince the last few stragglers that Davis really wants to keep the team in Oakland.
This is not to say that if he actually gets approval to move his team to Las Vegas that he’s the only one you may be want to be angry at. Hell, be angry at whomever you want. We are an angry country right now, and there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get your piece of the bilious action.
But do not be fooled into thinking that Davis is being forced to leave by mean old Libby Schaaf and the Oakland political structure, or action malaprop Roger Goodell, who is already being blamed enough by his employers for turning Southern California into a hot mess with a side of tubercular phlegm, or Jed York, who benefits from the Raiders’ departure but otherwise is up to eyelids in his own problems, or that amorphous blob of media whose typing and speaking is singlehandedly responsible for all evil in the world, including this.
Mark Davis has craved escape from Oakland for years – some people within the NFL diaspora even suspect that he has wanted to go back to Los Angeles since the team left Los Angeles to go back to Oakland. The stadium debate, the lack of fear among the political class when confronted by moving threats, the lack of glamor, the absence of celebrities among which to frolic . . . it all allegedly added up to dissatisfaction

That has led not just to his totally expected filing but his eagerness to join Dean Spanos in the ill-fated Carson venture that ended a year ago but had already been more than a year in the forging.
The only real difference this time is that he has what most people think is an excellent chance to pull it off – as opposed to last time, when he was regarded as a hopeless and helpless tool of forces beyond his control.
The nettlesome piece of Sands Casino owner/stadium investor/putative-partner-bait Sheldon Adelson has not yet been solved, but Davis’ minions claim he can do the Vegas stadium deal (listed at $1.9 billion, though many people think it is considerably less) with or without Adelson. It is not yet clear what Adelson could do if he is cut out of the deal, since he has unimaginable throw-weight in town, but for the moment he is not a declared obstacle.
The next matter, the local political structure’s steadfast refusal to knuckle under to the NFL’s standard extortions, is a huge prod for his departure. The city didn’t really bother to do anything as regards the Coliseum, and when it belatedly and quarter-heartedly offered the Fortress Group as its agent for stadium construction, the league dismissed it out of hand because – well, because it wasn’t theirs, either by deed or by wink-and-nod.
This tends to fly in the face of the last-ditch Oakland-only supporters theory that Davis’ fellow owners are just setting him up for another massive humiliation. That possibility cannot yet be ascertained, and nobody has even lost money wagering on the NFL owners’ collective mendacity, but there is a sense among NFL observers (who in fairness also thought the Carson deal would happen) that Davis was told to cut his own deal, has cut his own deal, and should not now be punished for having done so.
But that’s still for the owners meetings March 26-29 in Phoenix. What we know is simply that Mark Davis has wanted to leave Oakland for at least two years and quite likely more, and he will now make it official a second time.
So if he ever dares to say he wanted to keep the team in Oakland but just couldn’t, you may rest assured that if he ever felt that way, it is now ancient history.

Raiders sign linebacker with Paul Guenther connection


Raiders sign linebacker with Paul Guenther connection

The Raiders entered this free agency period needing defensive help throughout the depth chart. They signed presumptive starters earlier in this veteran acquisition process, but didn’t stop there.

The Silver and Black have added depth this week especially, signing a key cog in linebacker Emmanuel Lamur on Wednesday afternoon.

Lamur spent the last two years in Minnesota and the previous four in Cincinnati with new Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Guenther was his position coach from 2012-13 and his DC from 2014-15. He also knows Raiders linebackers coach David Lippincott from the Bengals days

Lamur has primarily been a reserve, but Guenther gave him an opportunity to start in 2014. He had 59 tackles and two interceptions in 13 starts that year as a strongside linebacker.

The Raiders have options at that spot, but no firm starter at this stage if Bruce Irvin plays defensive end full time.

Lamur hasn’t played much defense the last two years, but is known as a quality special teams contributor. The Raiders have signed several of those players in an attempt to improve coverage and returns.

All told, the Raiders have signed 14 unrestricted free agents with a shot to make the 53-man roster since last week began. The roster will turnover significantly in Jon Gruden’s return to the Raiders, and it’s possible he signs more players in coming days.

The Raiders are still looking for upgrades at receiver, and might add another bargain defensive lineman.

Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders


Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders

Ndamukong Suh won’t meet with the Raiders, after all. The star defensive tackle cut Alameda out of his free-agent tour, according to NFL Network, choosing instead to head home after stops in New Orleans, Tennessee and the L.A. Rams.

NFLN reports that Suh had dinner with Rams coach Sean McVay on Tuesday night, and was due in Oakland the following day. The Rams made a solid impression

Suh is reportedly mulling options from all three aforementioned playoff teams, all of which have more working salary-cap space and other stalwarts along the defensive line.

That’s surely a disappointment for the Raiders, who have had interest in Suh dating back to his last free-agent experience in 2015. The Silver and Black couldn’t afford him then. It seems unlikely they can afford him now, with precious little salary-cap space remaining after being active in free agency’s second wave.

The Raiders also hope to lock Khalil Mack up long-term with a massive extension this offseason.

It’s uncertain at this stage whether player or team cancelled the meeting, or exactly why it was called off. The Raiders could still sign a veteran defensive tackle, and/or acquire one early in the NFL Draft.