Things might get awkward in April between the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum's two most recent tenants, at least if a pair of online sportsbooks are to be believed.
Online sportsbooks BetOnline and BetDSI list the Oakland Raiders as the odds-on favorites to pick Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Kyler Murray in the 2019 NFL Draft. The former lists the Raiders as a +325 favorite, while the latter gives the Silver and Black +250 odds.
Murray, of course, was the first-round pick of the Oakland A's in June's MLB draft. But, Raiders might or might not be neighbors with the A's again in 2019. Their lease with the Coliseum expired after the 2018 season, and the City of Oakland is currently suing the team and the NFL. The Silver and Black will complete their move to Las Vegas ahead of the 2020 season.
Uncomfortable interactions in the Coliseum hallways aside, Murray to the Raiders would be a pretty fascinating scenario. That's especially so when you remember that two-sport star Bo Jackson spent the entirety of his NFL career with the Raiders, albeit in Los Angeles.
But would drafting Murray actually make any sense for the Raiders? Oakland does have three first-round picks in the upcoming draft. Plus, coach Jon Gruden would get to put his stamp under center in his Raiders return, drafting "his guy" to potentially lead the team into Las Vegas.
Although Carr is entering the third year of a massive five-year contract extension with the Raiders, but his 2019 salary does not become fully guaranteed until March 16. The Raiders would save $15 million against the salary cap in 2019 if Carr is released or traded before June 1, and $20 million if they partways afterward, according to Spotrac.
Yet Gruden has been fairly effusive in his praise of Carr, even after the two argued on the sideline during a November win over the Arizona Cardinals. Carr also was markedly better after the Raiders' bye week, completing two-thirds of his passes for 2,266 yards and 12 touchdowns with just two interceptions over the final 10 weeks of the season.
But, if the bookies are right, the start of the NFL's league year has the potential to be much more interesting.