Raiders made case in support of linebacker Vontaze Burfict's appeal

Raiders made case in support of linebacker Vontaze Burfict's appeal

ALAMEDA – Raiders middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict is currently serving a 12-game suspension for an illegal hit in a Week 4 victory over Indianapolis.

It was essentially a ban for the rest of the 2019 season, an unprecedented ban for an on-field act due more for his history and reputation for vicious and unnecessary hits as the hit against Colts tight end Jack Doyle itself.

Burfict appealed that decision in a Tuesday teleconference that including Burfict, his camp and representatives from the league and the NFL Players Association.

A decision will come from an independent arbitrator, though there’s no exact timetable for a formal ruling on the appeal.

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden address the matter on Tuesday, and said the Silver and Black got a chance to support Burfict’s appeal. They consider the ban excessive, and believe Burfict has a chance to return to the team.

“Yes. We have tried to do that. We have tried to make our case,” Gruden said in his weekly press conference. “I respect the league’s position. They have a tough job. At the same time, we have a lot of confidence that they’ll do what’s right. We want Burfict back. He has already been punished, and we hope he can return to playing soon.”

The Raiders have already played one game without Burfict. They beat Chicago 24-21 on Sunday in London, and received quality contributions from Tahir Whitehead and Nicholas Morrow playing on the weak side and in the middle, respectively.

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“You have to give Nick Morrow and Tahir Whitehead a lot of credit,” Gruden said. “They played great. That doesn’t take away from the fact that we miss Vontaze and his leadership, experience and playmaking ability. Nick and Tahir didn’t come off the field. Morrow had an interception and Whitehead did a great job running the show. Those guys deserve credit.”

The team is razor-thin at that spot, so Whitehead and Morrow were the only linebackers to play a defensive snap in this game. The Raiders used extra defensive backs in the run game, which was effective all night against the Bears.

Raiders sign cornerback Nevin Lawson to one-year contract extension


Raiders sign cornerback Nevin Lawson to one-year contract extension

The Raiders officially became property of Las Vegas on Wednesday, and the Silver and Black made their first official move as Sin City residents Thursday. 

The team announced they signed cornerback Nevin Lawson to a one-year contract extension. After joining the Raiders last offseason, Lawson made five starts and played in 11 games for the Raiders, seeing a bulk of his time in the latter stages of the season when Daryl Worley and Lamarcus Joyner were banged up. 

Lawson will enter next season serving a one-game suspension. The Utah State product was ejected late in the Raiders' Week 17 loss to the Denver Broncos and was given a punishment for using his helmet as a weapon.

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After opening the season 6-4, the Raiders, overcome by injuries and lack of talent, limped to a 1-5 finish to end the season at 7-9.

With the litany of issues the Silver and Black faced in 2019, 7-9 should be viewed as a good record for a team that relied on a dynamic rookie class.

There are a lot of reasons for the Raiders to believe the future is bright, and they hope Lawson is a part of it.

Las Vegas Raiders formally announce name change, dropping Oakland


Las Vegas Raiders formally announce name change, dropping Oakland

The Raiders started scrubbing Oakland from their name a few weeks back. Taking the city’s name off social media accounts was the most public step. Then, the team removed the word from the top of their Alameda training facility, where the organization will conduct business into July.

There were some legal maneuverings already in the works, and all that was a prelude to Wednesday's announcement.

The Silver and Black’s affiliation has formally changed: They are now the Las Vegas Raiders.

We all knew that was going to happen. The team applied for relocation to Las Vegas and the league approved it with a 31-1 vote back in March 2017. The Raiders remained in Oakland, with that name attached, for three seasons while their state-of-the-art stadium was being built just off the Las Vegas Strip.

On Wednesday afternoon, in front of the in-construction Allegiant Stadium, Nevada governor Steve Sisolak formally announced their new name. The announcement was made with owner Mark Davis, team president Marc Badain and several players in attendance, including quarterback Derek Carr, right tackle Trent Brown and tight end Darren Waller.

"The Raiders were born in Oakland and played 13 seasons in LA," Davis said. "Both cities will always be part of our DNA. But today, we begin a new chapter in our storied history. On Jan. 22, 2020, we are now the Las Vegas Raiders. And today, Las Vegas becomes our nation's capital."

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The Raiders formally will move to Las Vegas after training camp in Napa, when their new training facility in nearby Henderson, Nev. will be complete.

The Silver and Black will execute free-agent signings, run the NFL draft and conduct their offseason program in Alameda. The team is scheduled to play in Las Vegas starting in the preseason.