With bank secure, Davis brings Raiders a vote away from Vegas

With bank secure, Davis brings Raiders a vote away from Vegas

In the drips and drops that have characterized much of the information flow rewarding Mark Davis’ financial plan for relocating his legacy – a.k.a. the Raiders – the shoes have finally dropped.

Davis’ right hand, team president Marc Badain, told the NFL’s finance committee Monday in Lantana, FL, that Bank Of America will cover the financing gap in the Las Vegas stadium plan that would presumably house the Raiders if they are allowed to relocate.

The Las Vegas Journal Review reported, and's Scott Bair confirmed, the news after Badain’s presentation, which was designed to soothe worried voters who saw casino owner Sheldon Adelson and then Goldman Sachs pull out of the deal. Daniel Kaplan of Sports Business Daily originally mentioned Bank of America and US Bank as investors, but it is not entirely clear if Bank Of America is providing the financing for the $650 million Adelson had originally pledged or a higher amount. There are apparently no other new investors.

Badain also told the owners’ finance and stadium committees that everything is in place for a relocation vote at the NFL meeting March 26-29 in Phoenix.

Bank of America does a significant amount of business with the NFL, most visible being the naming of the stadium in Charlotte where the Panthers play. Thus, there would need to be minimal vetting of the financial institution in advance of the meetings.

It is not clear whether Dallas owner Jerry Jones helped broker the B of A deal, although rumors surfaced over the last week that he was working to locate financing to make up for Adelson’s withdrawal.

According to the financing plan, Bank of America would finance slightly more than a third of the advertised $1.9 billion for the stadium. In addition, the State of Nevada voted late last year to provide $750 million through a bond issue funded by hotel taxes, and the Raiders and the NFL would be responsible for the remaining $500 million.

Thus, the remaining hurdle for the relocation is now down to owners’ whim. The greatest doubt all along among the owners was whether Davis could secure the money, and now that it seems he has, the only matters that could derail the deal are a latent reluctance to being so closely associated to gambling and Las Vegas’ modest market size.

The gambling issue has been ameliorated by the fact that there are no casino owners or operators involved in the financing. That had been a worry for some owners when Adelson was bringing the cash, especially those owners who had been forced to divest their own casino interests by league rule.

The market size matter remains, but Oakland is largely considered a non-factor by most owners now. The stadium plan offered by Mayor Libby Schaaf and the Fortress Group, which is now controlled by SoftBank, has been derided as both inadequate and unacceptable by the league, and though Schaaf was in Lantana, sources told USA Today's Tom Pellissero that there were no revisions to the original offer.

Thus, Davis has done everything he has been asked to do, and now is a vote away from beating the massive odds people were willing to lay that he would never be allowed to put his team in that city. We will know in three weeks – unless the owners put off a vote until the owners gather next in Chicago in late May, or decide to vote via conference call in the interim.

But if normal protocol is followed, the owners will gather in Phoenix to decide Oakland’s fate as an NFL town for a second time.


NFL rumors: Derek Carr has 'fractured relationship' with Raiders teammates


NFL rumors: Derek Carr has 'fractured relationship' with Raiders teammates

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said goodbye to longtime teammate Amari Cooper on Monday. He reportedly has work to do to repair his relationship with the players who still are in Oakland.

Carr has "a factured relationship" with his Raiders teammates, according to The Athletic's Marcus Thompson. Citing team sources, Thompson wrote Monday that Raiders players no longer have confidence in Carr, partly because of how he reacted to an injury. 

"It certainly didn’t help when film showed what looked like him crying after being sacked and injuring his arm," Thompson wrote. "They saw his face. They heard his whimper. They witnessed him explain on the sidelines. They assuredly watched it again in film session. It’s hard to see how Carr can lead this team again."

Carr was sacked six times and hit 10 times in the Raiders' Week 6 loss to the Seattle Seahawks. Carr appeared to injure his left arm, but Gruden told reporters in London that he believed the QB would be fine. 

Carr is in the second year of a five-year contract that he signed with the Raiders a year ago. As NBC Sports Bay Area's Scott Bair noted Monday, the Raiders can get out of Carr's contract for $7.5 million in dead money next year if they choose to cut him. 

Raiders coach Jon Gruden and general manager Reggie McKenzie sent mixed messages about whether or not anyone else is available ahead of the Oct. 30 NFL trade deadline. If Carr's not traded, that could make for an awkward Halloween in Alameda.

NFL trade deadline: Five Raiders who could be attractive to other teams

NFL trade deadline: Five Raiders who could be attractive to other teams

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders are stockpiling draft picks, with five first-rounders over the next two seasons, thanks to the Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper trades, plus their own selections.

Coach Jon Gruden told ESPN the Raiders aren’t trading anyone else before next week's deadline, but there’s always a price for doing business. The Raiders are planning for a better future, armed with commodities to aid that goal.

Even with Mack in Chicago and Cooper in Dallas, the Raiders still have roster value that could be attractive to other teams.

Given how freely the Raiders have parted with vital members of a young foundation, it leaves some fans wondering if Derek Carr is available as well. After all, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did say no player is untouchable.

Carr might be at this stage. It seems highly unlikely he'll be moved during the season, anyway, unless it’s an overwhelming offer that the Raiders simply can’t refuse.

Gruden has publicly supported Carr throughout his first year working with him, but this should be considered a prove-it season for the Fresno State product. He has all the physical tools to be a quality NFL quarterback. He also has a relatively tolerable contract, with guarantees already paid out. That could make him a tradable option this offseason or beyond.

The Raiders also could get out of Carr’s deal for $7.5 million in dead money next year -- a total that drops by $2.5 million in each of the two years after that.

The Raiders have some other options for trades before the Oct. 30 trade deadline. Let’s look at five of them:

S Karl Joseph

The Raiders reportedly have been shopping the 2016 first-round pick, though they’re looking for a relatively high payout for someone who has underwhelmed since leaving West Virginia University. He has a hamstring injury, but even when healthy, Joseph was the Raiders’ No. 4 safety behind Marcus Gilchrist, Reggie Nelson and Erik Harris.

Joseph has talent and big-hit ability, but it’s possible the Raiders will take an offer for him before the deadline. He actually might be the most likely player to be dealt, especially if he’s healthy enough to play Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.

CB Rashaan Melvin

The veteran voiced his frustrations after being benched in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks, and he has struggled to master techniques preferred by Raiders defensive coaches. Gruden responded critically in public.

Melvin is on a one-year deal, could be down on the depth chart and isn’t likely part of a long-term Raiders plan. A cornerback-hungry team might want someone who was solid as a Colt in 2017, and the Raiders could give younger players experience using snaps previously earmarked for Melvin.

DE Bruce Irvin

The veteran edge rusher is scheduled to make $8 million this year and $9 million the next, and his role has been reduced as the season has worn on. He’s primarily a situational pass rusher at this stage, and could find a home on a team needing someone who can get after the quarterback.

Irvin also could fit in quickly elsewhere, given the nature of his position. He might not fetch much, but he could work as a rental for a team that easily can cut him in the offseason.

CB Gareon Conley

The Ohio State product was benched last week for Daryl Worley, but he has great talent with some fixable flaws in his game. He’s under control for up to three more seasons, and could fetch a decent pick if the Raiders are ready to part with him.

NFL Network reported the Raiders would like to continue working with him for another year at least, but anything’s possible for the right price.