Raiders

Huge spike for Raiders in Forbes' 2017 NFL franchise valuations

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USATI

Huge spike for Raiders in Forbes' 2017 NFL franchise valuations

The Raiders are worth a lot more money today than they were one year ago.

The franchise valuation is now $2.38 billion -- the 19th highest mark in the NFL, according to Forbes.

Last year, Mark Davis' team was valued at $2.1 billion -- 20th in the league.

That is a 13 percent year-over-year increase. 

Only the Falcons (16 percent), Cowboys (14 percent) and Saints (14 percent) took bigger leaps.

From Forbes:

In May, the NFL approved the Raiders move to Las Vegas, which will likely happen for the 2019 season or possibly 2020 when the new stadium will be ready. A good team makes it easier to sell tickets and sponsorships. It was logical that in June, the Raiders and quarterback, Derek Carr finalized a five-year contract extension worth $125 million, making Carr the highest paid player in NFL history at the time. The Raiders had more than $32 million in salary cap room, and Carr was set to make less than $1 million for 2017, the last year of his four-year, $5.4 million rookie deal. Carr led the Raiders in 2016 to their first playoff appearance since 2002 with 28 touchdowns and only six interceptions. The 2014 second-round pick is the only QB in NFL history to throw more than 80 TD passes with fewer than 40 interceptions during his first three seasons.

The Raiders beat the Jets, 45-20, on Sunday to move to 2-0 on the season.

Former Raiders interim head coach, 49ers assistant Tony Sparano dies

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Former Raiders interim head coach, 49ers assistant Tony Sparano dies

Former Raiders interim head coach Tony Sparano died unexpectedly on Sunday morning. He was 56.

The Minnesota Vikings announced his passing, though an exact cause of death is unknown.

He was the Vikings offensive line coach, a position he held since 2016. Sparano had been an NFL coach for nearly two decades, with stints in Oakland and San Francisco. He was also Miami's head coach from 2008-11.

He was hired to run the Raiders offensive line in 2013, and was promoted to interim head coach after Dennis Allen was fired four games into the 2014 campaign.

Sparano showed well in that role, kept the team playing hard during a difficult 3-13 season and nearly had the interim tag removed. He was a finalist for 2015 head coaching job, though Jack Del Rio ultimately got the job.

He left the organization then, and spent the 2015 season as 49ers tight ends coach. He ended up in Minnesota after that.

Sparano helped the Raiders finished 2014 with a three wins over their final six games, which started an upward trend that carried through 2016. He also remained patient with then-rookie starter Derek Carr.

Left tackle Donald Penn joined the Raiders in 2014, and experienced a career renaissance that season under Sparano.

The Silver and Black mourned Sparano's loss.

"The Raiders family was deeply saddened to learn of Tony Sparano's passing this morning," the team said in a statement. "Tony had a deep passion for football and was embraced by the Raider Nation during his time with the Silver and Black. Tony will be sadly missed by the entire NFL community. Our hearts are with (his wife) Jeanette and the Sparano family during this extremely difficult time."

The 49ers also paid respects to the longtime NFL coach.

“The 49ers organization is deeply saddened by the passing of Tony Sparano,” the 49ers said in a statement. “We share our heartfelt condolences with the Sparano family and the Minnesota Vikings.”

Sparano is survived by his wife Jeanette, their three children and four grandchildren.

Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party

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Jon Gruden gets Raiders fans ready for training camp with party

To celebrate his return to the sideline, Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden threw a party for fans on Friday at Ricky's Sports Theatre and Grill in San Leandro.  

Raider Nation showed up in droves. 

In all, over 500 fans showed up, according to a Ricky's spokesperson.

"We are honored to be a part of the love story between Jon Gruden and this fan base," the spokesperson said. "It's incredibly special. And the significance of this event, at this time, is not lost on us."

The Raiders, Gruden, and Ricky's all collaborated on the event, which came together because of Gruden's relationship with Ricky's owners, Ricky and Tina Ricardo. Gruden paid for the catering and entertainment himself, according to the spokesperson. 

Plenty of Raiders alumni attended, including Cliff Branch and Lester Hayes, according to ESPN's Paul Gutierrez. Branch even took the mic and made a guarantee. 

Gruden broke in as an NFL head coach with the Raiders in 1998, and coached Oakland for four seasons. It was in Oakland where Gruden was first given the nickname "Chucky," after the murderous puppet in the Child's Play film franchise. Gruden paid tribute to those roots at Ricky's with a... creative autograph signing. 

Raiders training camp begins on July 27. Whether or not the team will be joined by its best defensive player remains to be seen. 

Star defensive end Khalil Mack skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June in pursuit of a new contract. Gruden told fans on Friday that the team will "find a way" to bring Mack back.