Raiders

Raiders to host Patriots in Mexico City during 2017 season

Raiders to host Patriots in Mexico City during 2017 season

The Raiders have given up a home game for the third time in four seasons, and they’re sending a prime matchup south of the border for the second straight year.

A 2016 Monday Night Football game was played in Mexico City. Next season, the Raiders exported their best home match up.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a Tuesday press conference that the Raiders will play the Patriots at Estadio Azteca next season at an undetermined date.

“We had a great experience last year,” Goodell said. “We couldn’t have asked for a better reception from our fans in Mexico. We always envisioned that it would be more than a one-year commitment.”

While last year’s Mexico City contest between the Raiders and Houston Texans was played on a Monday, Goodell said the league is leaning toward the game being played on a Sunday.

The Patriots are the crown jewel of the Raiders’ 2017 home slate, and giving that game to Mexico City is a disappointing, yet expected turn for Oakland Raiders fans hoping to welcome Tom Brady to the Black Hole.

The Raiders have been open to playing away from Oakland in recent seasons, which should remain common as the team looks to relocate away from their home market.

The Patriots have been perennial Super Bowl contenders over the last decade-plus, and the Raiders expected to improve on 2016’s 12-4 mark, meaning that game looks like a great matchup.

Owner Mark Davis is excited about returning to Mexico City. It’s Raiders stronghold that provided a home-game atmosphere for his team in 2016, even against the neighboring Texans.

“The Raiders are excited to return to Estadio Azteca and represent the National Football League once again on an international stage,” Raiders owner Mark Davis. “We enjoyed tremendous support from the Raider Nation in Mexico in 2016 and look forward to experiencing that great passion again this year.”

The NFL said tickets for this game will go on sale this summer. It sold out quickly last year.

Why Drew Rosenhaus hopes Antonio Brown-Raiders trade sets precedent

Why Drew Rosenhaus hopes Antonio Brown-Raiders trade sets precedent

Antonio Brown's agent hopes his client is a trendsetter. 

Despite Brown having three years left on his contract deal and the trade necessitating a massive amount of dead money on their books, the Pittsburgh Steelers traded Brown to the Raiders for just a third- and fifth-round pick. Drew Rosenhaus thinks the deal could set a precedent for players under contract who are unhappy in their current situation. 

“What I hope it does is maybe bring some more balance," Rosenhaus told NBC Sports' Peter King in his Football Morning in America column. "There aren’t many players like Antonio Brown but perhaps—and I’m not suggesting that everybody go out and try to renegotiate their deal or ask for a trade—but I hope it gives players more leverage throughout the league.

"I hope it gives agents more confidence that they can affect something in a way that can make a positive change for their clients. Maybe this is a deal that’s bigger than just one particular contract.”

As Rosenhaus himself notes, Brown is a unique case. He is one of the very best players at his position, catching at least 100 passes for at least 1,200 yards and at least eight touchdowns in each of the past six seasons. Brown made the Pro Bowl in each of those years, and was first-team All-Pro every season from 2014 to 2017. 

Furthermore, his relationship with the Steelers was especially strained. Beginning with his Facebook Live stream from inside the Pittsburgh locker room in 2017 and culminating with his benching in Week 17 last season, it became clear that Brown's relationship with the Steelers was no longer tenable. A player without Brown's pedigree likely wouldn't have had the same leash before the Steelers ultimately decided to part ways. 

[RELATED: Brown takes jab at Bills for false rumors]

Still, Brown's trade definitely represents a departure from business as usual in the NFL. This is an owner-driven and owner-dominated league, where player contracts are not guaranteed and the average career lasts about three years. The Brown saga, frankly, was far more NBA-like. 

If football players begin to have more power like their basketball peers, Brown's trade to the Raiders would mark a clear turning point. 

Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team

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Rashaan Melvin says he cheated Raiders fans during season with the team

Rashaan Melvin said his goodbyes to the Raiders after the Lions announced a deal that would bring the cornerback to the team.

But Melvin's farewell to the Silver and Black was a bit of a sad one. Melvin said he felt as though he cheated the fans:

View this post on Instagram

Im thankful for every opportunity God has placed in my life. We all must go through some things to get to what is actually meant for us. I greatly appreciate the Oakland organization for giving me the opportunity to further my career this past season. I respect the raiders organization, I respect the tradition, and I respect the die hard fans that has and will forever believe in raider nation. I feel like I cheated the fans, and organization, and a long list of players that came before me that made the organization what it is. It was always a life time dream of mine to wear the silver and black. It really hurt me that I wasn’t able to be myself, and play the style of play that I know I was capable of playing. To all my guys in that locker room I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything. I cherish the relationships that were created on and off the field. I respect you guys, and I wish you boy’s the best!! Y’all ball out for the City of Oakland 1 more time or for however long y’all there! Respect!! #22 #raidernation ✊🏾✊🏾

A post shared by Rashaan Melvin (@rmelvin28) on

This, of course, appeared to be more of him not feeling as though he played to his potential. Playing for the Raiders had been a dream of his.

Melvin only started in seven games last season which could be partly why he's feeling the way he's feeling. 

"To all my guys in the locker room, I appreciate you guys for making the year special through everything."