Raiders

Oakland Raiders officially apply for relocation to Las Vegas

Oakland Raiders officially apply for relocation to Las Vegas

The Oakland Raiders have applied for relocation to Las Vegas.

The long-expected filing was officially announced by the NFL on Thursday morning, shortly after Clark County Commission chairman Steve Sisolak broke the news on Twitter.

Raiders owner Mark Davis said on several occasions he was committed to moving his franchise to Las Vegas, especially after the Nevada state legislature approved $750 million in public funds for a $1.9 billion stadium project near the Las Vegas Strip.

The Raiders had to wait until after their season ended – the Raiders lost their playoff opener at Houston on Jan. 7 – to apply for relocation.

“Today, the Oakland Raiders submitted an application to relocate their franchise to Las Vegas, as is provided for under the NFL Policy and Procedures for Proposed Franchise Relocations,” the NFL said in a statement. “The application will be reviewed in the coming weeks by league staff and the Stadium and Finance Committees. The relocation of a franchise requires the affirmative vote of three-quarters of the NFL clubs (24 of 32).”

A vote could come at the NFL owners meetings in late March. It’s uncertain whether Davis has the votes needed to relocate, but there has been momentum building for such a move over the past several months.

Davis has said that, even if the Raiders are approved for relocation, he plans on playing in Oakland the next few years while a Las Vegas stadium is built. The team has already sent out season ticket pricing to fans for the 2017 season. The Raiders have one-year team options to play Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in the 2017 and 2018 seasons.

The Las Vegas stadium isn’t expected to be ready until the 2020 season.

Placing a team in Las Vegas was a non-starter in the fairly recent past. NFL ownership, buoyed by a record commitment of public funds, has warmed to the idea of placing a franchise in Sin City. Legalized gambling isn’t the hurdle it once was. Moving from a large market to a smaller one isn’t ideal, but Oakland and Alameda County officials haven’t provided the NFL with a stadium plan it considers viable.

The league doesn’t like third parties directly involved in negotiations -- it prefers direct work between team and municipality -- one of a few sticking points with Oakland’s negotiation agreement and stadium financing outline constructed with Fortress Investments and a group fronted by former 49ers and Raiders safety Ronnie Lott.

The Raiders have moved forward on a Las Vegas stadium proposal that includes $750 in public financing funded by a tourism tax and $500 million from the Raiders – that sum includes a $200 million loan from the NFL, and the sale of personal seat licenses and stadium naming rights.

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson has also committed $650 million to the project if a business deal with the Raiders can be worked out. According to the NFL Network, those negotiations are ongoing.

The Raiders told the Las Vegas Stadium Authority board that they can proceed with or without Adelson. The Goldman Sachs investment firm is reportedly prepared to back the project if Adelson isn’t involved.

The Raiders applied for relocation last season as well. In 2016, they sought approval for a stadium project in the L.A. suburb of Carson with the Chargers. The league approved the Rams project in Inglewood over the Raiders-Chargers proposal. The Chargers were given a year to decide whether to join the Rams in L.A., and exercised that option last week.

Derek Carr hopes pivotal Raiders offseason can expedite rebuilding process

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USATSI

Derek Carr hopes pivotal Raiders offseason can expedite rebuilding process

Derek Carr is tired of burning daylight. He’s done some of that already, cycling through four head coaches, four offensive play callers and three offensive schemes in five NFL seasons. He was a young player brought in as part of a roster rebuild that worked.

It just didn’t last long. The Raiders fell back on hard times following a 12-4 campaign in 2016, and now head coach Jon Gruden’s fully committed to another radical reconstruction.

Gruden traded Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, guys who could’ve helped the Raiders win last season. He acquired others who didn’t, namely Martavis Bryant and Ryan Switzer and several veteran defenders who won’t see another season in silver and black.

Now the Raiders enter the offseason with an arsenal: three first-round draft picks and $76 million in salary-cap space without anyone deserving of a long-term extension that must factor into the budget.

Carr’s hoping all those tools will expedite the rebuilding process. He doesn’t want to waste more seasons doing it slow, and hopes Gruden can import several impact players in one offseason.

“We need some guys who can come in and help us now,” Carr said in an interview with 940-AM in Fresno. “We have some good building pieces. We have some foundational pieces. Obviously, we have a quarterback, so we don’t need one of those. That’s the good thing.

“We just need some players who can help us win now. We’re building this thing. We’ve been building this thing. We’ve built this thing a couple of times. It’s time to get people who can just come in and help us now. There are a lot of veterans on this team who signed contracts or signed extensions or free-agent deals to come play here because we want to win and we believe in this system and what we’re doing.”

[RELATED: How Raiders can realistically improve Derek Carr's supporting cast]

Count Carr among them. He signed a $125 million extension believing incumbent stars would also be here long term and find sustained success. That wish never came true, and now Gruden’s looking to remake the franchise with new guys.

This offseason will be pivotal in Gruden’s success. It could turn things around quickly, as Carr hopes, if he and general manager Mike Mayock lock onto the right guys.

“If we get three players who are NFL ready right now, if we get three starters from those three (first-round picks) or maybe four if you count some of the other picks…,” Carr said, trailing off. “And we have some cash to spend. We have a lot of cap room. If we can spend that cap and that capital and get some good veteran players, not just average guys but guys who can make a difference, (that would be positive). We’re a lot closer than people give us credit for.”

Raiders Derek Carr dismissed by Khalil Mack when asked about being dunked on

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Raiders Derek Carr dismissed by Khalil Mack when asked about being dunked on

Khalil Mack and Derek Carr remained close even after they stopped being teammates. Carr was devastated to lose Mack in a trade for a Raiders' future draft compensation, both in the locker room and on the field.

Beyond the friendship, the two became main members of the silver and black, and brought much promise to the organization and hoped to create a culture change.

That, unfortunately, didn't come to fruition. 

But we're lucky they still participate in Twitter exchanges to show there are no hard feelings and the bromance is still alive and well. But most recently, they showed there will always be a competitive nature between the two.

Carr answered some questions on his YouTube channel Thursday. But someone wanted to ask via Twitter if he will still dunk on Khalil Mack in the offseason after it became public knowledge Mack has already dunked on him at David Carr's house.

The answer? Without question:

Well, that settles that, but we won't truly believe it until we see it. But at least there's the 1-on-1 win that Carr had against Mack.

Your move, Carr.