Happy Monday, everyone. Even in a loss, the start of this week should prove to be a lot calmer than last week. It’s hard to imagine any week being more of a shit storm than last week for the Raiders.
It was supposed to be victory Monday. The Raiders were coming off the big win over the Steelers and feeling pretty good about themselves. The celebration in the locker room after the game would have to be enough. The storm was coming.
Let’s recap the wild week that was.
Reggie McKenzie fired
After seven seasons as Raiders GM, Reggie McKenzie was out. The writing was on the wall months ago, mainly because he’d had most of his GM duties handed to Jon Gruden. The draft was very un-Reggie-like, what with reaching for need and making panicked trades throughout the draft. McKenzie was a patient drafter, even if many of his picks were suspect. It was clear then that Reggie wasn’t making the personnel decisions. As if the quantity-over-quality free agency approach wasn’t already evidence of that.
McKenzie was given the option to finish out the season, but that’s a ridiculous notion. I believe I rode the elevator with he and his brother Raleigh as they left the press box for what was probably the last time. At that time, the reports were already out there that he was to be out. We just didn’t know it would be a few hours later.
City of Oakland files antitrust lawsuit against Raiders
There is still an outstanding debt from when the Raiders returned to Oakland in 1995 and with the team leaving for a new stadium in Las Vegas, the City of Oakland would like that money back with damages. They believe the NFL didn’t follow their own supposed rules for when a team is allowed to leave their current city. They have a case. The NFL and its owners made a joke out of the rules they laid out for moving a team, not just with the Raiders, but with the Rams. But when your system is set up to divvy up millions of dollars to each owner from the relocation fee, you can bet they’re going to be for that. Also, when a city like Las Vegas offers a record $750 million in public funds to get a team, that sends the exact message the NFL wants to send; ‘Pay for out stadiums or we will leave you for a city that will.’
Raiders pull 2019 Coliseum lease proposal off the table
This is in keeping with what Mark Davis threatened he would do if the City went through with their lawsuit. It opens things up for the Raiders to leave Oakland a year early. Davis appeared at the owners meeting on Wednesday and said “All options are open” as to where the Raiders would play in 2019.
Their stadium in Vegas won’t be ready until 2020, so they will be looking at a potential temporary home. The top two potential stadium locations other than Oakland would be Qualcomm in San Diego where the Chargers used to play and Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, sharing with the 49ers. Recently AT&T Park in San Francisco has also been suggested. Wherever they decide to play, they will have about a month to come to that decision.
That day they learned they will be playing one of their home games in another country
They also learned the league will ring in their move to Las Vegas by holding the 2020 draft there
Amari Cooper says it wasn’t Gruden, but Mark Davis who wanted to trade him
The 2015 top pick was sent to the Dallas Cowboys just prior to the trade deadline in exchange for the Cowboys’ first round pick in the 2019 draft. Jon Gruden had postgame of the Raiders loss to the Seahawks in London that he wasn’t shopping Cooper. He reiterated that he wasn’t shopping him, saying “I’m not. I’m not.” Therein lies to truth, it seems. Gruden was saying HE wasn’t. Someone else, though? Yeah. A few days later, Coop was traded.
Martavis Bryant receives indefinite NFL ban
This is extremely similar to what happened with Aldon Smith. He was cut by his team with an impending suspension. Then signed to a one-year deal until the suspension came down. For Smith it came down by midseason. Bryant also played just eight games with the Raiders because he was lost to injury. But before he could return, he was wiped from the NFL landscape indefinitely. It’s possible we never see Bryant in an NFL uniform again, let alone a Raiders uniform. Though Smith could probably have made his way back had he not continued to screw up while during his ban. Bryant has migraines and likely uses marijuana to ease the pain. The NFL is still woefully behind the times when it comes to the medicinal purposes of marijuana. Until they figure it out, guys like Bryant will continue to be ostracized for it.
Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson ruled out vs Bengals
Osemele was downgraded on Friday, technically. Jackson made the trip with the team and worked out on Saturday to see if he could give it a go with his elbow and ankle injuries. He could not. It meant the Raiders would be without two of their top players and with Jon Feliciano placed on injured reserve during the week, the only replacements they had were guys who had been signed within the last couple weeks. Chaz Green and Denzelle Good would face All Pro DT Geno Atkins.
Slaughter in Cincinnati
Remember that great feeling the Raiders had the previous Sunday? Well, it’s hard to keep it going with the considerable noise this week. As Gruden said last week “It’s always something around here, isn’t it?” Derek Carr also laughed at the sarcastic question on Wednesday about it being a “Quiet week”. And that was only Wednesday. The biggest news to affect this game was being without Osemele and Jackson. Their absence combined with the rookie starters at each tackle spot and Carr was under siege the whole game. And in a game that the Raiders should have had a very good chance to win, they were beaten up.
Hopefully this week will be less eventful. Though with the team preparing for what could be their last game in Oakland, it certainly won’t be normal. There haven’t been many normal days with this organization lately.