Raiders

Madden upset by Raiders decision to leave Oakland: 'That really bothers me'

Madden upset by Raiders decision to leave Oakland: 'That really bothers me'

John Madden was a head coach for just one team -- the Oakland Raiders. He was the best coach in franchise history, with a 103-32 record over 10 seasons leading the Silver and Black.

He’s a legend who brought glory to the East Bay, where he coached home games throughout his career. The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum was his battle ground, where he rarely lost in his head-coaching career.

Seeing the Raiders leave Oakland for good won’t be an easy thing. The Raiders will play one season at least, possibly two or three, in the old venue before heading to a new home in Las Vegas.

Madden sees it as the end of a great era and a strong bond between team and community.

“It really gets you because of the finality of it,” Madden said Wednesday night in an interview on SiriusXM NFL radio, with quotes from the station’s website. “When they moved before (to Los Angeles), that was after I got out and I was in broadcasting and I wasn’t that much of a part of it, but we had a stadium in Oakland that was relevant. And so, ‘Okay, Oakland may lose the Raiders, but we’ll get another team,’ because that was the way it was working back then.

“And with the stadium now, when they move out, that’s going to be torn down and it’s going to be a high-rise or some doggone thing and there’ll be no more Oakland Raiders, there’ll be no more history of the Oakland Raiders. That really bothers me.”

Despite signs pointing toward the Raiders gaining approval to relocate heading into the late March NFL owners meetings, Madden said he was surprised by the ease of approval.

“I didn’t think that that would happen and when they got a vote of 31-1, I was really shocked and I was surprised not only that it happened,” Madden said, “but how quickly that it happened.”

He also fears for teams visiting to play the Raiders, with the abundant nightlife scene that never truly sleeps.

“I would hate to be a coach to take a team in there,” Madden said. “I would hate to have my team be in Las Vegas on Saturday night before the game. And that’s any team. You say, ‘Well, you had a bunch of rowdies,’ but every team has a bottom 10. You can say, ‘Oh, we got a good group, it’s a great group, we’re together,’ and all this stuff. Say you have 55 guys. Forty-five of them can be perfect, but you’ve got that bottom 10. And you have to be as good as your last guy. If this thing goes through, I think there’s going to be a lot of problems like that.”

NFL rumors: Jets 'determined' to trade down from No. 3 pick in draft

NFL rumors: Jets 'determined' to trade down from No. 3 pick in draft

The 2019 NFL Draft is only days away. Between now and Thursday, plenty of things can change. 

There reportedly could be a shaker in the draft sitting between the 49ers and Raiders. Sources told SNY's Ralph Vacchiano that the Jets are "determined" to trade down from the No. 3 pick in the draft. 

"They seem to really, really want to move down," one NFL executive said to Vacchiano. "Maybe they're just keeping their options open, but it sure seems like that No. 3 pick is for sale."

This could affect the 49ers and Raiders in opposite ways. 

Starting with the 49ers, they can use this information to their advantage. If the 49ers decide to move down and add more draft assets, their price for the No. 2 pick has increased. 

In the case that quarterback-needy teams want to move up, 49ers general manager John Lynch can pick up the phone and start demanding a megadeal for his top pick. For the Raiders, however, this could be bad news. 

Raiders GM Mike Mayock has been very protective of his big board and how he sees this draft playing out. But now a team could possibly jump Oakland for the exact prospect the Silver and Black has their eyes on. 

One recent mock draft even has the Raiders trading with the 49ers to get the No. 2 pick and draft ... quarterback Drew Lock. Hey, crazier things have happened. 

[RELATED: Five players Raiders could target at No. 35 on Day 2]

Perhaps more than any other team, however, the Raiders have the greatest package with three first-round picks to move up and select exactly who they want. 

Phones will be ringing on draft day, and the order is sure to change in one way or another.

2019 NFL Draft: Five players Raiders could target at No. 35 on Day 2

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USATSI

2019 NFL Draft: Five players Raiders could target at No. 35 on Day 2

The Raiders will be the NFL draft’s main attraction on Thursday night. They have three first-round draft picks available for use as scheduled or in trades up or down the draft board.

That trio isn’t the only valued piece of the Raiders’ cache. They also own the No. 35 overall pick, coming just three picks into the second round, where the Raiders can select someone considered a top talent.

They don’t have another pick slated for the draft’s second day, though general manager Mike Mayock said he wouldn’t mind getting back into the Day 2 action with an early trade down to accumulate more picks.

“I just think we have a lot of holes that need to be filled,” Mayock said at his pre-draft presser. “I think that’s a really good place to go fishing. If we can, we can.”

That attempt won’t happen until later. Right now there’s only one pick earmarked for the Raiders at No. 35. Let’s take a closer look at five players who might fit the Raiders at that spot, where you’ll see several guys the Raiders are familiar with after working with them at the Senior Bowl.

OG Chris Lindstrom, Boston College

This might be a great place to grab an offensive guard, one that could play right away and complete an offensive line restructure. There’s a hole at one guard spot with Kelechi Osemele traded to the New York Jets. The side will depend on whether Gabe Jackson stays on the right or returns to a left guard spot he has manned most of his athletic life.

Lindstrom is a good one, a nasty player and athlete who can stand in and protect or make downfield blocks in space. He might be gone at this stage, but he would be a welcome addition at No. 35 and add security to the interior offensive line that was a team strength in recent seasons.

OL Dalton Risner, Kansas State

Like Lindstrom, Risner impressed the Raiders during Senior Bowl week. He’s tenacious, tough, coachable and versatile, a trait the Raiders prize. He could compete to play inside right away, and become an option outside if that’s required down the line. He has played center as well, giving the Raiders plenty of options to find quality starters and backups at each spot. Risner has a mean streak that would be a welcome drive no matter where he played.

DE L.J. Collier, TCU

Catching a Senior Bowl theme here? It’s pretty obvious at this stage. While that college all-star game didn’t have elite prospects, there were plenty worthy of selection in this second-round range. Collier might fit a small trade down from No. 35, he’s a scheme fit at end and could be a solid backup plan on the strong side if there’s a massive run on edge rushers in the first round. He could even be an option if the Raiders get one early, especially an athletic type better suited for the other side. Collier is a strong, nasty bull rusher who could fit into a rotation early and grow with quality coaching a development.

S Darnell Savage, Maryland

Savage is another player the Raiders liked coming into the Senior Bowl. They left with a higher opinion of him. Analysts have called him a Lamarcus Joyner clone, and they could use someone like him to work in when Joyner moves to the slot. He could back Joyner up inside as well or even compete with Karl Joseph to play next to him in time. Savage is a smart, yet aggressive player with good vision – and he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash -- who could fit into a secondary in need of one more key component.

[RELATED: Raiders top five draft needs]

CB Justin Layne, Michigan State

This is a prospect Mayock may be able to grab later in the round, but since they don’t have another draft pick until the fourth round, the Raiders GM takes a player he likes at the spot where he has a selection to grab him. He has a good feel for what receivers are trying to do, and has solid ball skills to make plays downfield.