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Raiders' Oakland stadium deal on life support

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The NFL convenes for another round of owners meetings this week. Though there will be no vote on the issue of teams looking to make the move to LA, representatives from the Raiders, Rams, and Chargers will discuss with the NFL their respective stadium situations.

For the Raiders purposes, their Oakland hopes are not looking especially good.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, a Coliseum source has said the stadium situation "is gurgling blood" which is to say it could be very close to death.

Previous concerns have been raised by NFL Vice President Eric Grubman - who is overseeing the LA stadium matters - about the Oakland stadium plans. He has said that each time he meets with the Raiders the plans seem to have taken steps backward.

Several times recently, Floyd Kephart - who has been tasked as the representative for the Coliseum City plans - has expressed concerns about the Raiders and what can be viewed as a lack of serious interest in getting a stadium deal completed in Oakland.

All while Oakland attempts to keep the Raiders, the team's plans for a shared stadium with the Chargers in Carson continue to move forward.

There are two main things that raise concern with Kephart with regard to the competing stadium plans.

First, the Raiders have collaborated on actual architectural designs for the new Carson stadium - something they have not done for the Oakland plans. What they have in Oakland is an overall plan for the land where Coliseum currently stands and surrounding areas. There have been no design ideas submitted or concepts of the actual stadium drawn up as there is with the project in Carson.

Second is the money the Raiders are putting up for the land. They are prepared to put up $150 million to purchase the land in Carson, while expecting to receive the land in Oakland free of charge - something the city and county are unwilling/unable to grant.

This money is all separate from any money put up for the stadium itself which the Raiders have said they would contribute some $300 million, which, with the $200 million from the NFL, would cover about half of the proposed cost for the new stadium.

The A's having extended their lease with Coliseum another ten years only further complicates things. The Raiders are currently on their second one-year extension as they explore their options for a new stadium.

Those seeking evidence the Raiders are set on remaining in Oakland have pointed to the improvements the Raiders have made at their Alameda facility. That's not to be completely overlooked, although it is relatively meaningless in the grand scheme of things. The team needed those upgrades if even for a short term and the cost of the work being done is rather miniscule compared to the figures being discussed in their stadium plans.

As for the NFL situation in Los Angeles... it's complicated.

Rams owner Stan Kroenke really wants to move (back) there. Oakland and San Diego are trying to keep the Raiders and Chargers respectively, but neither city's plans are showing reasons for optimism, which means in the end both could NEED to move to Los Angeles.

The possibility of all three teams moving to LA is extremely low. Best case scenario from a league perspective is one of the three teams figures out how to stay in their home markets. And since Kroenke appears unwilling to consider staying in St Louis, that falls to Oakland and San Diego.

Should Oakland or San Diego come through with a stadium plan, the team without a deal could end up sharing Kroenke's stadium in Inglewood. If neither the Raiders nor Chargers can get things worked out at home, their shared stadium would be the most likely Kroenke is left out as St Louis has more viable stadium plans in place for him to remain there.

Either way, the two most likely scenarios could involve the Raiders moving to LA.

What just months ago was cautious optimism for Oakland, has taken a turn toward great pessimism. As we all know, these things can turn back around quickly and anything's possible. But the situation in Oakland seems to have only deteriorated over the past few weeks.

The next step are the owners meetings this week. Hopefully we will soon get an indication of there is still life left to be breathed into the Oakland stadium plans.