The 'Raiders stadium deal' that isn't a stadium deal at all

The 'Raiders stadium deal' that isn't a stadium deal at all

Here are the key details to remember about the new Raiders stadium deal in Oakland.

There is no deal.

There is no stadium.

There are no Raiders.

Oakland? Yeah. Oakland, you got.

But that’s it. Just Oakland. What was announced Tuesday was “the framework” of a deal to allow a group fronted by former 49er and Raider Ronnie Lott to negotiate a land use deal for the Coliseum parcel that currently holds the homes of the Athletics, Raiders and Warriors, in alphabetical order.

Not an actual deal, mind you, with paperwork and numbers and addenda and legal arglebargle, but merely a basis for negotiations in which the details by which the city of Oakland and Alameda County turn over the grounds to what we will call The Lott Group for simplicity’s sake. The real dealmakers here are Wes Edens and Randy Nardone of Fortress Investment, in case this ever comes to something you need to care about, okay?

So that’s your deal – a promise to talk about a deal.

The Raiders? Not involved. As in, not even talking to city or Fortress officials. Mark Davis is so focused on Las Vegas as his team’s future home that he went out of his way to call Nevada governor Brian Sandoval to reassure him that he still wants the Vegas deal.

And without the Raiders, there is no reason to build a stadium . . . unless the Athletics, the fourth stick in this unicycle's spokes, suddenly fall out of love with the Howard Terminal site they overthrew their front office structure to promote and decide they’ll stay put at the Coliseum as long as the Raiders leave.

In other words, your Raiders stadium deal, which militantly underinformed media members will breathlessly tell is in fact a Raiders stadium deal, is no such thing, and won’t be until the conditions that we have always told you needed to be met were met.

And those are, you of short attention spans ask?

One, the Raiders have to fail on Vegas. This can happen one of two ways. Either eight or more of the remaining 31 NFL owners can withhold approval for Davis to move, or his stadium financing plan ($750 million from the state, already earmarked, $650 million from casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who is sounding hinky about the deal, and $500 million from Davis, the NFL and other sources) collapses.

Two, having failed in Nevada, the Raiders either watch the San Diego Chargers exercise their option on the Inglewood deal currently being run by Stan Kroenke and the Los Angeles Rams, or the Chargers pass on the option and leave it for Davis to exercise instead.

Or three, Davis pulls out of both on his own, fearing that he will be forced to give up operational control of the team in Las Vegas and be fearful of being fiendishly squeezed by Landlord Kroenke until his eyes shoot across the convention center.

At that point, if Oakland and the Lott/Fortress people can come to an agreement, you might have a deal that involves a stadium and the Raiders.

That stadium is considered by most experts, including Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf, to run in the neighborhood of $1 billion, with the city and county’s contribution limited to infrastructure improvements that are loosely estimated now at around $190 million, to be generated by some new tax or taxes as opposed to access to the general fund.

The $1B would be well within Fortress’ pain threshold, if you buy their $70.2 billion portfolio as gospel. But rumors that Fortress would want a piece of the Raiders would probably produce an issue with Davis that would likely wreck the deal before it became a deal. Sources say the Fortress people know that this problem exists, but the matter of how they resolve it is yet one more gear that needs to be oiled.

But that’s still months away – four, if you assume a March meeting by the NFL owners to tackle the Raiders issue, and maybe more if they choose, as they often do, to kick the can down the road to await more political intrigue.

Today, though, the Raiders stadium deal in Oakland looks sweet – as long as you don’t mind three of the four components being totally absent.

Source: Raiders trading veteran WR Patterson to Patriots


Source: Raiders trading veteran WR Patterson to Patriots

The Raiders are trading receiver/kickoff returner Cordarrelle Patterson to the New England Patriots, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday afternoon.

The Raiders will receive a fifth-round pick, while sending a sixth-round pick back to New England, according to the NFL Network. Patterson must pass a physical to complete the transaction, NFL Network is also reporting.

The moved frees $3.25 million in salary cap space for a Raiders team that was up against the NFL spending threshold. Former Washington receiver Ryan Grant is reportedly visiting the Raiders’ Alameda complex soon. Grant is available after a failed physical voided his free-agent deal with Baltimore. He passed a physical in Indianapolis, NFL Network reported, but left the Colts without a contract. Grant is a surehanded target who averaged 12.7 yards per receptions and had just three drops in 63 targets. 

The Raiders will likely add another receiver if Grant doesn't come aboard. One of head coach Jon Gruden's preference could be found in the NFL draft if Grant goes elsewhere.

The Raiders also added receiver Griff Whalen, a Stanford alum who has some returning experience, before free agency began. 

Patterson proved a productive, explosive member of last year’s offense, primarily as a gadget player. Patterson finished the season with 31 catches for 309 yards, and had 13 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

He never became a steady, standard receiving option, and wasn’t able to shed his reputation as a relatively poor route runner. That likely made him expendable in  Gruden’s eye. He needs quality routes and steady hands from his wideouts.

That outweighs Patterson’s prowess returning kickoffs. The two-time All-Pro averages 30.2 yards per kickoff return over five seasons, with five return touchdowns to his credit.

The Patriots are well known for excellent special teams play, and needed a returner with Dion Lewis leaving for Tennessee in free agent. The Super Bowl runners up now have a dynamic returner and gunner to pair with solid coverage and return units.

This is a developing story. Check back for further details.

Raiders 2018 offseason scorecard


Raiders 2018 offseason scorecard


Veteran additions
WR Jordy Nelson (cut by Green Bay): 2 years/$15 million, $13 million guaranteed
CB Rashaan Melvin (UFA; Indianapolis): 1 year/$6.5 million
LB Tahir Whitehead (UFA; Detroit): 3 years/$18 million, $9 million guaranteed)
S Marcus Gilchrist (UFA; Houston): 1 year
RB Doug Martin (cut by Tampa Bay): 1 year
FB Keith Smith (UFA; Dallas): 2 years/$4.2 million
TE Derek Carrier (UFA; L.A. Rams): 3 years/$7 million
DE Tank Carradine (UFA; San Francisco): 1 year
LB Kyle Wilbur (UFA; Dallas): 2 years/$3.25 million
LS Andrew DePaola (UFA; Chicago): 4 years/$4.27 million
WR Griff Whalen (but by Baltimore)

Re-signed/extensions/contract tenders offered
DT Justin Ellis (UFA): 3 years/$15 million; $6 million guaranteed)
TE Lee Smith (UFA): 3 years
K Giorgio Tavecchio (ERFA): 1 year/$555,000
DE/LB Shilique Calhoun (ERFA): 1 year/$630,000
S Erik Harris (ERFA)
DE James Cowser (ERFA)
OL Denver Krikland (ERFA)

CB Sean Smith (released)
CB David Amerson (released; Kansas City)
RT Marshall Newhouse (released)
LB Aldon Smith (released)
WR Michael Crabtree (released; Baltimore)
DL Denico Autry (UFA; Indianapolis)
CB TJ Carrie (UFA; Cleveland)
WR Cordarrelle Patterson (traded, along with a sixth-round pick, to New England for fifth-round pick)  

S Reggie Nelson (UFA)
K Sebastian Janikowski (UFA)
LB NaVorro Bowman (UFA)
LS Jon Condo (UFA)
QB EJ Manuel (UFA)
S Keith McGill (UFA)

UFA-Unrestricted free agent: Free to sign with any team
ERFA-Exclusive rights free agent: Player has no outside negotiating power

NOTE: Contract figures obtained by, league sources, NFLPA sources or

* * *

1. First round:
No. 10 overall
2. Second round:No. 41 overall
3. Third round: No. 75 overall
4. Fourth round: No. 110 overall
5. Sixth round: No. 185 overall
6. Sixth round: No. 192 overall
7. Sixth round: No. 210 overall*
8. Sixth round: No. 212 overall*
9. Sixth round: No. 216 overall*
10. Sixth round: No. 217 overall*
11. Seventh round: No. 228 overall
* compensatory pick