Hi all, I’m Bill Williamson. I’m proud to announce I will be covering your Las Vegas (yep, I did first type “Oakland”) Raiders for SB Nation and our newly-formed California Fan Communities. I will be providing extensive Raiders’ coverage for this community and I couldn’t be more motivated or excited to embark on this special endeavor.
I have covered the Raiders continuously since 2008 for several media outlets, most notably ESPN from 2008-15; I know this team extremely well.
I promise to deliver consistent, high volume, well-balanced coverage of your favorite team to help set the tone for this community. But, in the end, this is still very much your community. I expect and encourage the same passion and participation this community is famous for.
I will often engage with you in the comment section during this new journey. Expectations are high. We have plenty to discuss.
Let’s get going. Here is my first of many posts as we chronicle the Raiders’ transition to Win City.
Random early combine thoughts:
Mike Mayock pumps up Derek Carr. But Mayock also says the Raiders will upgrade any position if they think they can:
Mayock’s approach does not stun me one bit. And it doesn’t close the door on Carr moving on this offseason. There was no way Mayock wasn’t going to publicly praise Carr in Indy. Also, it is vital to note, he left the door open for an upgrade.
That’s the key here. Can the Raiders find an upgrade from Carr? I bet they look, but finding one is a different story. So, whatever the conclusion, Mayock covered his bases with his early-combine comments.
The Vikings say they aren’t planning to trade wide receiver Stefon Diggs:
The Raiders need to add multiple receivers, and they have both draft trade capital and salary cap room. So, they’d be a natural fit for Diggs if the Vikings were to trade him. We all know Jon Gruden loves veteran receivers (although his Raiders’ trade experience at the position has been, um, rough). I think it’s perfectly fine for the Raiders if Diggs stays with the Purple. This draft is bubbling over with receivers and the Raiders can always sign a mid-level receiver in free agency. So, if the Diggs’ trade market doesn’t develop, it’s not going to ruin Las Vegas’ offseason.
Cancel the Justin Simmons pipe dream:
Denver Broncos’ czar John Elway said the team will put the franchise tag on safety Justin Simmons if they don’t give him a contract extension. Simmons has been connected to the Raiders. While he would be a great fit and it would hurt an AFC West foe, Simmons won’t become a Raider this offseason.
Finally, I conclude my first post in this community with a combine PSA: Don’t get too caught up when you hear that the Raiders are talking to prospects in Indy, especially the top players. That’s what the combine is for. The Raiders are there to meet players. Don’t read too much into it, but I’d love to hear all your thoughts what is going down in Indy below.