The Oakland Raiders..
Not only is Mark Davis moving his beloved franchise out of Oakland AGAIN to Las Vegas but he is doing so with as much resentment and the biggest no care attitude he can build up.
The Raiders had a promising year last year which was one of their first after the move to Las Vegas was finalized and in true Raider Nation fashion their fans poured into the Coliseum at Oakland and visiting stadiums alike to support their Silver and Black, which would be a sign to most owners that they are making a mistake to move a fan favorite franchise, Not Davis.
He has been openly convinced that the Nation will follow wherever they go and seemingly had no remorse for the money grab (or so he speculates, as Vegas is an unknown NFL Market) which leads to more "Davis-isms".
The Raiders, with their time winding down in Oakland, pull a card right from Vivek Ranadive and the Sacramento Kings and looks for the "Feel Good Move" to distract fans. This after signing Marshawn Lynch, who hasn't proven to be a bad choice, goes out and signs Former Coach, and fan Favorite Jon Gruden to an ABSURD, 10 year $100m contract. This for a coach who hasn't coached in 9 years with a nearly .500 record. This bandaid in my opinion was in place to make Raiders fans feel warm and fuzzy about losing their team.
We said it here on ST916, Grudens' ego will hurt this team, we saw it in San Francisco with Jim Harbaugh and the way he departed. Fast forward to today, September 1.
The Raiders have been in a contract dispute with former DPOY Khalil Mack who wants an extension similar to that of what Aaron Donald signed with the Rams, (6 yr, $135m extension). Mack is 100% deserving of this and clearly knows his worth. The Raiders on the other hand, more specifically Gruden, didn't feel the same. Gruden is on record stating that the defense was bad last year being sure to remind media that this team INCLUDED Mack and that he was open to improving it.
Today, Mack was traded to the Chicago Bears for 2 future first round picks, likely 2019 and 2020. TWO unknowns for arguably a top 3, maybe Top 2, defensive lineman in the league, a player who was All Pro in TWO positions last year, and who by all accounts of the league talent SHOULD be getting paid $20m or more a year. I'll remind you FOR NOTHING.
The Raiders just fell into obscurity on defense and true fans will see this as a big problem going into what could be the last season in Oakland.
My feeling here is that the Raiders could be looking for ways to not only save money (with Vegas Revenues still an estimate and Derek Carr in line for $25m a year) but also find a way for an early exit to Vegas even before their stadium is built, with rumors swirling that they could play 1 to 2 years, if needed, in the University of Nevada Stadium.
Poor Attendance, poor fan support and a poor record could be the ticket Davis needs to pack up the trucks and make a run out of Oakland again, while giving the loyal fans of Oakland a big F U on the way out of town.
**IF you made it this far I thank you. Remember I am a 49ers fan and while many are taking this opportunity to POUND on the Raiders and their fans, I am not. This is written in support of the fan base who is left to suffer with an idiot at the helm. The Raiders are one of, if not the most loyal fan bases in all of sports and they do no deserve this. Raider Nation, try to embrace the season, the best you can, from home or a local bar, do not put any more money in Davis's pocket he doesn't care about you.