Las Vegas Raiders

How Cardinals trading No. 1 NFL draft pick could affect Raiders, 49ers

How Cardinals trading No. 1 NFL draft pick could affect Raiders, 49ers

The Arizona Cardinals will draft Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick next week. Right? Right?

Maybe not, NBC Sports' Peter King speculates.

The veteran NFL reporter dropped an interesting scenario in his “Football Morning in America” column Sunday night. After writing that he doesn’t believe Cardinals brass has unanimously decided whether it will use the No. 1 pick on Murray, trade down, or switch gears and select an edge rusher such as Nick Bosa, King asks this question: What if the Raiders came calling with a big package of pick to trade?

Hmm, let’s examine …

King wonders if Raiders coach Jon Gruden would offer two first-round picks (Nos. 4 and 27) from this year’s draft and another first-rounder from next year’s draft for the No. 1 pick. That would give the Cardinals four first-round picks in the next two drafts -- an enticing proposition for a franchise with numerous holes.

Of course, if Murray landed in Silver and Black, that likely would mean the end of Derek Carr’s stay. King speculates that the Raiders could unload Carr to QB-needy teams such as the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants or Washington for a 2020 first-round pick. That also would save the Raiders $13 million per year, King notes, because of the difference between Murray’s and Carr’s contract.

While King is just laying out a scenario, he’s also coming from an informed place. So, if he’s hearing whispers that the Raiders really like Murray, maybe there’s more to this.

Of course, we all heard Raiders general manager Mike Mayock loud and clear last week, when, after saying the team believes Carr is a franchise QB, he added this: "We love Derek. We love what he brings to the table, but like every other position, we’re going to do all of our due diligence. I happen to work with a head coach that absolutely loves that position. We’re always going to know about those guys.”

OK, then.

[RELATED: Murray's football-over-baseball decision is gift for NFL]

Rooting against all this are the 49ers, who own the No. 2 pick. They could have the edge rusher of their choice -- Bosa, Josh Allen, Quinnen Williams -- if the Cardinals stand pat and draft Murray. On top of that, the 49ers would have the chance to harass a rookie QB twice next season, with the Cardinals also in the NFC West.

We’ll likely have to wait until April 25 to see what the Cardinals do, but if they decide to trade the No. 1 pick, it’d be quite the bombshell that could impact both Bay Area NFL teams.

Read Raiders' Oakland Coliseum lease agreement to be voted upon Friday

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Read Raiders' Oakland Coliseum lease agreement to be voted upon Friday

The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority will meet at 8:30 a.m. Friday to vote on a lease agreement that would allow the Raiders to play the 2019 NFL season at the facility.

The measure is expected to pass, and although the Oakland City Council, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors and NFL owners also must approve it, that isn't considered an issue.

The deal includes an option for 2020, presumably allowing the Raiders to play yet another season in Oakland if their new home in Las Vegas isn't ready by then.

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NFL free agency: How Raiders' Las Vegas move plays a role in contracts

NFL free agency: How Raiders' Las Vegas move plays a role in contracts

Trent Brown will sign a four-year contract with the Raiders on Wednesday worth up to $66 million. There’s $36.25 million fully guaranteed for the offensive lineman, all of it in the first two years.

Players generally prefer the biggest sum in that first season, but Brown elected to put his largest payout in 2020.

That wasn’t random. It certainly wasn’t superstitious.

Brown wanted more next year, and will earn $21.25 million when the Raiders are scheduled move to Las Vegas. The state of Nevada, after all, has no state income tax.

California, by contrast, takes 13 percent from its highest earners. That’s a huge difference, and players and their agents are cognizant of it. This has been a talking point since the Raiders were approved for relocation to Las Vegas in March 2017, but it wasn’t truly applicable until now. Before then, the move was too far out.

Now it’s on the horizon, with a brand new stadium being built off the Las Vegas Strip and a facility going up in nearby Henderson. The Raiders are scheduled to play one more season in Oakland – that lease to play at Oakland Coliseum is nearing completion – before staying full time in the Silver State.

Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins is making far less than Brown but is taking a similar tact. He can earn $2.478 million in 2019 playing in California, but has a chance to earn $6 million the following year in Las Vegas.

We haven’t seen details from Antonio Brown’s massive restructure – he’s set to make roughly $50 million with $30 million guaranteed over three years – but moving to Las Vegas (and Nevada’s tax laws) was a factor in him agreeing to join the Raiders.

[RELATED: Latest NFL free agency news, rumors, updates]

It will be interesting to see how many in this year’s Raiders free agent class defer guaranteed money to 2020 to get paid more in Nevada than they would in California.

There are other attractions to the destination city known for its nightlife and party atmosphere, but keeping extra money in their pocket is the biggest draw of all for players. Those factors, plus new facilities, should help the Raiders attract free agents both now and in the future.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt about that,” Raiders general Mike Mayock said a few weeks back, at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We can’t counsel them on tax matters, technically and legally, but we’re all aware of it. Once we get into trying to structure contracts that crossover into Nevada timeframe, we’ve already seen agents asking questions about it. the genesis of that, is that those guys go from 13 percent of zero percent. That’s a pretty good pop in a contract.”