"Holy Toledo!"

March 22, 2015

Raiders Stadium News To Report

Filed under: NFL, Oakland Raiders — Bill @ 1:15 pm

Woke up this morning to interesting news about the Raiders potential stadium deals, and a insightful article about the teams. All three are fairly short articles so I will post them for you here.

Many have complained about Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie’s not being able to sign a big name guy. You won’t here that complaint from me, I was just fine with the undisciplined Suh and the potentially worn down Murray signing elsewhere. Reggie’s philosophy is well documented, he rarely pays huge money for big name free agent, instead he uses free agency to fills holes and primarily builds through the draft.

If the Raiders were a better team one might argue that a big name guy could put them over the top. At this point they are a team with some really good young players, they have some holes to fill, they need depth, not one big name. They need speed at the wide receiver position and there weren’t many guys out there in this year’s free agent class, unless you want problem child Percy Harvin.

As far as the stadium deals go, let’s quickly review:
Oakland is a mess, but this Coliseum City idea may have potential. Any deal would involve not one, but two governmental bodies, so I question Oakland’s ability to get a deal done in time. It is unfortunate that the plan near the Concord Pavilion never took off, I liked that idea. There are several options in LA, Carson being the most likely, see the article below. One source informed me that the St. Louis Rams owner may want to add a second team to his Inglewood, CA deal, but that is not confirmed. There are also long shots in San Antonio and St. Louis. I might not agree with everything in the Kawakami article, but I do believe that until the Raiders settle their stadium issue, they will have a difficult time selling their organization the top coaches and big name free agents.

While uncertainty seems to be prevalent, one thing is certain, the Draft is coming, which means more help is on the way!

Kawakami: Oakland Raiders In A Limbo Year
By Tim Kawakami, Mercury News Columnist
Posted: 03/21/2015 03:56:21 PM PDT

Think of 2015 as an interim year for the Raiders, because that’s how the rest of the league is looking at this fragile franchise. OK, yes, that’s an uncomfortable way to put it for Raiders executives, coaches, players and fans, who all obviously are sick of losing and want to win now and win large.

No question, the Raiders need an influx of talent, were ready to open owner Mark Davis’ checkbook this free-agent period and had new coach Jack Del Rio set to sell the new vision.
But then the free-agent period began this month … and none of the biggest names even considered the Raiders seriously.

Why? Because it’s a limbo year for the Raiders in every practical measurement, and that means they have to get some things settled before they can be taken seriously.

The Raiders need to figure out their stadium situation, of course, and there are signs that this decision will come by the end of this year, whether it’s Oakland, Carson or somewhere else.
Until Davis has a new stadium, there will be questions about the team’s cash flow and its ownership structure, and from those two massive questions all other questions flow.

Such as:
-Is general manager Reggie McKenzie guaranteed to be around much longer?
-If new investors are brought on board to help finance a new stadium, will they have a say in football operations?

This is why it wasn’t surprising that Ndamukong Suh, Randall Cobb, DeMarco Murray and other high-profile free agents bypassed the Raiders. And it’s also why, once the Raiders missed on the big names, McKenzie was better off signing a bunch of younger role players — all 28 or under, all of whom might be part of this team for several years — instead of trying to make a splash with aging veterans.
McKenzie went the Old Guy route last year, and many of those players are gone now, not surprisingly.

Here’s a realistic goal for the Raiders’ interim 2015 season: Let Del Rio put his stamp on this franchise and let Davis see if Del Rio and McKenzie are a good working tandem.
Give Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and this year’s draftees a solid structure. Add some other young players to the foundation. Keep moving forward, slowly.
Then Davis has to figure out where his team will be in 2016 … and what his management structure will look like when he finds that place.

Oakland, Alameda County Joining Forces To Keep Raiders
Posted by Mike Florio on March 21, 2015, 6:13 PM EDT

The clock is ticking in Oakland. Which is forcing a couple of local governmental bodies to come together in an effort to keep the Raiders in town.
Via Mike Blasky of the Contra Costa Times, Oakland City Council voted on Friday to add Alameda County to the agreement signed with the New City Development, an effort led by Floyd Kephart to finance the proposed Coliseum City complex.
“We’ve been separated for awhile, but we agree the baby is valuable,” Oakland City Council president Lynette Gibson MeElhaney said regarding the relationship between Oakland and Alameda County.
The Raiders are willing to work with Kephart, who is expected to produce the first draft of the proposed complex in June. With the Raiders aggressively exploring relocation to Carson in a shared stadium with the Chargers, time is running short for the Raiders to stay in Oakland.

Proposed Chargers-Raiders Stadium In Carson Advances
Saturday, March 21, 2015 08:28PM
CARSON, Calif. —
Organizers behind a proposed stadium near Los Angeles that could become home for the NFL’s San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders announced Saturday they reached an important, early benchmark on the path to construction.

A coalition of supporters, including labor unions, has collected over 14,000 petition signatures in the city of Carson, nearly twice the number needed to place the stadium plan before local voters.

“We have all been extremely encouraged by the sky-high level of support we have found for the stadium project,” Chargers attorney Mark Fabiani said in a statement.

The Raiders and Chargers are planning a shared stadium in Carson, south of Los Angeles, if both teams fail to get new stadiums in their current hometowns.

It’s one of two prominent stadium proposals that have emerged in the Los Angeles area this year: St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke is part of a development group planning to build an 80,000-seat stadium in Inglewood, roughly 10 miles from downtown Los Angeles.

The Carson signatures must be verified by election officials to qualify the plan for the ballot, a process that is expected to begin next week. However, the election could be bypassed if the project is approved by Carson’s City Council.

The dueling stadium plans have raised the hopes of fans that Los Angeles could end its two-decade stretch without an NFL team. The projects are among a string of stadium proposals in the Los Angeles area that have emerged since the Rams and Raiders left Southern California after the 1994 season.

Earlier this month, the Anschutz Entertainment Group announced it was spiking plans for so-called Farmers Field in downtown Los Angeles, after five years and $50 million in planning expenses. The stadium proposal once had been viewed as a leading suitor to attract an NFL team, but AEG failed to secure a team to play there and faced a government deadline next month to cut a deal. On Thursday, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti suggested that the downtown plan could be revived, and its apparent demise was “over-reported.”

The Kroenke plan envisions a stadium rising on the site of a former horse track, as part of a sprawling development of homes, parks and office space. The Carson stadium would be built on a former landfill.

League spokesman Brian McCarthy has said the NFL wants franchises that are “‘strong and successful in their existing markets.”

Under current rules, the next opportunity for a team to file to relocate would be in January 2016. Any decision to move would have to clear a tangle of league hurdles, including winning the support of at least 24 of the 32 teams.

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