Raiders Vote to Decertify Union, NFL Battle Looms

Raiders Vote to Decertify Union, NFL Battle Looms


ALAMEDA -- The Raiders have joined some 20 other teams and voted Thursday night to give the NFL Players Association the right to decertify as a union if there is an owners lockout next year in the absence of a new collective bargaining agreement.

Raiders players met with NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith at the team's compound and tight end Zach Miller, Oaklands new union rep, confirmed the vote.

"Keep negotiations going," Miller said of the plans and hopes. "I know everybody wants to avoid a lockout and the players definitely want to get something done, and as early as possible. We'd like to have some certainty for next year."

Allowing the union to decertify would give the players not only the right to sue the NFL if there is a lockout, but essentially gives them a right to work without a CBA since antitrust laws do not allow for unions negotiating for a new CBA to sue its employers.

"Decertification, we don't want it to end up there," Miller added. "We would rather have our CBA done before then. It's our answer if the owners prove to lock us out. That's our answer for them if they want to take that step. But we want to keep working on the CBA and get something done before it comes to that."

Raiders special teams standout Rock Cartwright took to Twitter Thursday night, writing, "Why are ESPN, NBC, CBS, funding the lockout of NFL for nxt year..? Why are they taking Our health care in march!!? All players.. No healthcare.. We lay it on the line every Sunday.. They are trying to cut salaries 18 and add 2 more games to the schedule.. Really?"

Cartwright later added: "Dear NFL fans.. As of right now there will be a lockout next year" There not only locking out players.. It's the people that work at the stadiums who this hurts more.. Those people do so much for the game, I just want people to know.. If we play no football nxt yr.. The owners still get the from the TV contracts.. Billions!!"

Before jumping on the team charter to Pittsburgh, Cartwright stood behind his posts.

"Talking with DeMaurice Smith, it's basically like, they're not even close on the collective bargaining agreement," Cartwright said. "They're still a lot of money away. Like he said, it's basically just been a stall.

"A lot of people don't really know what's going on, the whole situation so I told people to go to to find a little bit more about what's going on. It's tough, man. It's just tough. Maybe I was a little bit, I'm an emotional person so I kind of let my emotions get the best of me (but) I want to get it out there to let people know what's going on."

Smith visited the 49ers Wednesday night and they also voted to decertify.

Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant


Trump targets Raiders RB Marshawn Lynch in Twitter rant

MEXICO CITY – The President of the United States Donald Trump has taken several shots at players who choose to sit during the national anthem.

Raiders running back was in his crosshairs early Monday morning.

Trump was bothered by Lynch’s actions before Sunday’s 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots at Estadio Azteca.

Lynch sat for the United States’ national anthem, as he has in every game this season. Then he stood for Mexico’s anthem, though he spent most of that song getting his equipment adjusted.

The President took exception in a Twitter rant that has become a staple of his presidency.

It is believed that Lynch is sitting in protest of racial inequality, a movement popularized by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, though he has never declared that publicly. He refused to answer questions on that topic this summer.

That hasn’t stopped Trump from demanding he be suspended the rest of the season for his actions. The league won’t do that.

Trump won’t get his way, but with a quick Tweet he brought the issue to the Raiders’ doorstep in what will become a topic in Alameda all week.

Lynch was probably asleep when Trump’s tweet went public at 5:25 a.m. ET, and therefore hasn’t responded in any way.

Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots


Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the Patriots

MEXICO CITY – Three things you need to know after the Raiders’ 33-8 loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City:

1. So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders aren’t stacking wins as they’d like. Nobody in the AFC West is, either. The Chiefs lost another one, meaning the AFC West crown remains within reach. They’re two games back in the division and one back in the wild card race.

That, above all else, will keep the Raiders motivated after a disastrous loss to New England.

“We're professionals and to me, so long as you have hope, you keep your hope, you keep hope alive,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “So, we'll continue to scratch and claw and fight for everything we can.”

The Raiders can harken Lloyd Christmas from “Dumb and Dumber.” So you’re saying there’s a chance?

The Raiders will only stay in it if they start a prolonged winning streak. There’s a chance do that on an upcoming two-game home stand. They play Denver and the New York Giants, respectively, in Oakland over the next fortnight. Those teams have five wins between them.

Wins can’t be assumed with the Raiders. With their inconsistency and mistake-prone play, they can lose to anyone.

Fight remains in this group. They’ll continue to push, especially with a 9-7 record being a legitimate playoff contender. They haven’t played worthy of such consideration, but remain hopeful a switch gets flipped.

“We are who we are, we're not going to turn on each other, we're not going to turn on anything about what we do,” quarterback Derek Carr said. “Obviously, we know that our culture and everything that we do works, because we have seen it work.”

2. Receiver corps becoming a weak spot

The Raiders have a talented group of receivers lacking consistency and production. That was the case on Sunday, when pass catchers hindered offensive flow and scoring opportunities.

Seth Roberts was the biggest offender. He had a drop, a false start and lost a fumble near the goal line with the Patriots up 14-0 late in the first half. Roberts had 12 yards in his pocket but held the ball one-handed, away from his body fighting for more. Marquis Flowers knocked it free and Patrick Chung recovered.

That was the turning point, a true 10-point swing. The Raiders lost a chance to reach the end zone, and allowed New England to get a field goal as the half expired.

“That was a major turn of events,” Del Rio said.

The slot receiver wasn’t the only receiver who stalled the Raiders offense. That group had five drops, according to Pro Football Focus, including two from Michael Crabtree. Johnny Holton wasn’t credited with a drop, but he had a perfectly thrown deep ball clang off his helmet and shoulder pads.

It’s a bad night in a bad year for the Raiders receivers, who haven’t been producing.

3. Lopsided score keeps Marshawn from going Beast Mode

Running back Marshawn Lynch was the only player who had a good Sunday. The bruising back ran roughshod over New England’s front seven, right from the start. He totaled 67 yards on 11 carries, and seemed primed for a big day and a higher-than-usual carry volume.

He and the Raiders run blocking was consistent, allowing him to reach the second level on several occasions.

The lopsided score, however, meant the Raiders had to abandon the ground game.

“I thought we ran the ball well early,” Del Rio said. “I would like to have ended up with 30-plus rush attempts in the ball game, but you got to stay within reasonable amount of the score in order to stick with the run.”

The Raiders were down two touchdowns in a flash, and were three scores behind at the half. That forced Derek Carr to chuck it towards an unreliable receiver corps. That method proved inefficient and never created the big moments.

Lynch has run well since returning from a one-game suspension. He has 25 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in his last two games. If there’s a positive to take from Sunday’s beat down, Lynch’s efficiency might be it.