Raiders

Raiders denied LA relocation

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Raiders denied LA relocation

HOUSTON – The Rams are headed for Los Angeles. The Chargers have been approved to go there, if they can finalize a deal to do so.

The Raiders are headed back home. Maybe. For a little while at least.

A league source confirmed to CSNCalifornia.com that the Raiders bowed out of their LA relocation. That helped establish a resolution the NFL could get behind, one that owners approved with a 30-2 vote. The Rams will play in the L.A. Coliseum starting next year, before moving to a new Inglewood stadium. The Chargers can join them now, but have up to a year, maybe more, to do so. The Raiders can exercise an option to relocate if the Chargers don't exercise their option.

You lost yet? It's a little complicated, but the bottom line is this: The Raiders won't move to L.A. right away after a dramatic owners meetings slated for two days but finished in one.

The Rams entered these meetings promoting a $1.86-billion Inglewood project, while the Raiders and Chargers promoted a $1.7-billion stadium proposal in Carson.

The league approved a separate option, putting the Rams and Chargers in the Inglewood proposal. With some tinkering.

The Raiders will be compensated for being left out of Los Angeles, though their bounty wasn’t as fruitful as expected. They will get an additional $100 million for stadium construction only if they find a solution in their home market. The Raiders will continue to look for a long-term stadium solution that can generate steady corporate revenue streams.

That could be in Oakland. It could legitimately be in another market.

The league’s decision came on the second formal vote.

The NFL whittled three proposals down to two prior to the first vote, as a league source confirmed that the Rams’ proposal to play in the Inglewood stadium they’ve created alone was taken off the ballot early Tuesday afternoon.

League owners conducted an initial vote after that decision and neither proposal received the 24 votes required for approval. The Rams' Inglewood option received more votes than the Carson plan. That result came despite the fact that the NFL’s committee on L.A. opportunities recommended the Raiders-Chargers project in Carson.

Owners then broke for further discussion in hopes of reaching an accord. The league’s L.A. committee met with Spanos and Davis privately, as they discussed a way to break up the Carson coalition.

That formally happened on Tuesday night.

Disney CEO and Carson stadium chairman Bob Iger gave a presentation on Tuesday morning that sources say impressed owners in the room. Rams owner Stan Kroenke led off Tuesday’s meeting touting his project and its merits, which proved to be the preferred site.

The Chargers had been quietly working on the Carson project for a while, and found a partner in the Raiders in early 2015. Chargers owner Dean Spanos and Raiders owner formed a strong bond over the last year, and Spanos didn’t want to let his partner go without making sure Davis found an agreeable settlement.

Where the Raiders go from here is up in the air. O.co Coliseum would welcome the Raiders back with open arms even on a one-year lease, though the team is not committed to return. It has flirted with San Antonio in the past, and San Diego popped up as a possible Raiders destination in discussions at these meetings if the Chargers vacate the city, though that interest has not been confirmed by anyone within the organization.

Why Raiders should make Emmanuel Sanders priority in NFL free agency

Why Raiders should make Emmanuel Sanders priority in NFL free agency

So, you want to compete with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs? Well, you're going to need a lot more firepower.

Jon Gruden knows that.

In what was Year 1 of a true rebuild for the Raiders following the teardown in 2018, the Silver and Black showed a lot of promise, with a historic draft class leading them to a 7-9 record. The building blocks are being put in place for the Raiders to march up the AFC West pecking order. While another draft-day haul is needed, Gruden knows he doesn't yet have the offensive weapons to contend with Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City. 

Yes, the Raiders have a big question mark at quarterback, but this is about a different area of need -- the team's biggest area of need -- other than the black hole at linebacker. The Raiders need wide receivers. Many of them. They need dynamic playmakers who can stretch the field, make people miss and rack up explosive plays. Players who can answer a lightning strike from Mahomes that left the Raiders stunned and wobbling last season.

They'll likely select one early in the 2020 NFL Draft and maybe another in the third round. But that won't be enough. With $54 million in projected cap space, expect the Raiders to look to the free-agent market to add a veteran receiver to help Tyrell Williams, Hunter Renfrow and tight end Darren Waller shoulder the load. 

The Raiders don't seem like a home for A.J. Green and we can cross former Raider Amari Cooper off the list. Robby Anderson might be a fit, and the Raiders reportedly had interest in him at the deadline, but his price tag might be a tad high for a guy that isn't a true No. 1.

Gruden needs only look to the Raiders' now-former Bay Area neighbor for a free agent worth their while. 

Emmanuel Sanders came over to the 49ers in a midseason trade with the Denver Broncos and immediately paid dividends. He was able to lead a young receiver group while being successful running every type of route for coach Kyle Shanahan.

Sanders is most effective in a West Coast type of offense such as the one Gruden runs. The 32-year-old completely transformed his game after tearing his Achilles, reinventing himself as a savvy, veteran playmaker. He's a highly efficient route-runner and has some of the surest hands in the game, only dropping one pass last season.

His arrival in San Francisco took the 49ers' passing game from an attack with puppy teeth to one that could shred defenses in an instant. He played a key role in the development of Deebo Samuel, who became a lethal weapon as the season wore on. Sanders also is a good blocker on the outside, as he showcased during the 49ers' run to the Super Bowl.

Don't let Jimmy Garoppolo's overthrow in Super Bowl LIV taint your opinion of Sanders. With the title on the line, Sanders smoked his man, blew past the safety and was in line to be a Super Bowl hero had the pass been on target.

He's played in three Super Bowls and knows what it takes to get to, and win, the biggest game in sports. His leadership and experience would be as valuable as his on-field production.

Some will argue Sanders' age is a red flag or that the 49ers are destined to re-sign him. Due to the 49ers' cap situation, it seems more likely than not that they will let Sanders walk. At age 32, Sanders is exiting his prime, but he's the perfect veteran receiver to complement Tyrell Williams, mentor Renfrow and the incoming top prospect (s) (CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy) and provide a reliable target for Derek Carr, Tom Brady or whoever is under center for the Raiders in 2020.

[RELATED: Why Raiders would make sense in Darius Slay trade]

The Raiders need to take their offense to the next level. Their offensive line is stout, running back Josh Jacobs is a star and Renfrow and Waller will be long-term staples of the offensive attack. Gruden will expect more from Williams in Year 2 of his contract after the veteran receiver was hampered by injuries in 2019. 

But they need to get more explosive at receiver. No matter who the quarterback is, Renfrow and Waller can't be the only weapons. If that's the case again in 2020, the results will be the same.

A deep draft class at receiver will help the Raiders stock the arsenal, but they'll need another proven veteran as well.

Sanders, who PFF projects to make around $10 million per season, would give Gruden a do-it-all veteran who has ranked as one of the 25 most valuable receivers in each of the past two seasons. And it also would leave the Raiders with money to spend to improve a defense that needs a lot of work.

An offense with Sanders, Williams, Renfrow, Waller, Jacobs and at least one young star from the draft would give the Raiders' offense the pop Gruden has been missing.

Derek Carr posts photo with Khalil Mack, adding to Bears trade rumors

Derek Carr posts photo with Khalil Mack, adding to Bears trade rumors

The picture of Tom Brady talking to Raiders owner Mark Davis at a UFC fight was burned into Oakland Las Vegas Raiders fans' minds.

What would that mean for Derek Carr? Could he be headed to the Windy City to meet up with an old friend? 

There has been a lot of speculation about Carr getting traded this offseason. Carr had a less than memorable season during the Raiders' last year in Oakland, and a photo on his Instagram just adds to the swirling thoughts.

Carr added a picture of himself and Chicago Bears linebacker Khalil Mack, with no caption.

Naturally, the comments section flooded with speculation. 

The two are former Raiders teammates, and despite Carr's "meh" season, he would be an improvement over current Bears QB Mitch Trubisky -- who could also use a change of scenery. 

[RELATED: One NFL exec sees Raiders as Brady's fallback]

Carr's contract could make a trade hard, but this IG post on top of everything else makes us think.

The quarterback will blow out 29 candles on his birthday cake next month which could only help his cause.