Looks like it is the Town. According to a Phil Matier of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders are getting close to finalizing a one-year lease (with a 2020 emergency option) to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2019.
Whether or not you love the Raiders getting one more year (perhaps two if the brand-spanking new digs in Las Vegas isn’t complete and open by then) in the Yay Area or you loathe the franchise for taking the cash grab and bouncing, let’s remain cautiously optimistic this deal gets finalized.
The debacle that was a search for a temporary home — after the city of Oakland and the Raiders got pissed off at each other — needs to come to an end. Being spurned by the city of San Francisco was downright a comedic disaster. Moreover, there’s no way owner Mark Davis would ever put his team in the confines of Pants Field (Levi’s Stadium). Then came those wild rumors of Alabama and Arizona wanting to host the Raiders.
According to Matier’s piece, the bill to the Raiders for staying in Oakland is slated to be $7.5 million and $10.5 if the team stays for the 2020 season. This comes from an unnamed source — due to the sensitivity of the deal, says Matier — and the Raiders aren’t talking. But the deal needs to be completed.
Let. That. All. End. Please.
It’s imperative Davis, team president Marc Badain and the Coliseum Authority close the deal on this bad boy. Because, with an actual field to play on, the focus can properly shift to the on-field product orchestrated by Davis’ Chosen One, Jon Gruden.
The chastising, mocking and lambasting of Raiders brass due to the stadium debacle can swiftly shift to the unbridled mess Gruden has when it comes to the roster. That’s where magnifying glass and microscope should be, really.
Because while one more year in Oakland is fitting — for the die-hard Raider Nation that reside in the Bay and California — the swan song needs to have more rhythm and shouldn’t make your ears bleed. That was the 2018 season.
Gruden came the realization that he wasn’t going to win with the roster he inherited — despite what he said numerous times in his introductory presser and other interviews after and to the chagrin of fans wanting a 2016 year again — and dismantled the roster with a vision of making it truly his in the off seasons that followed.
New Era, Last Dance
Well, Gruden dropped Reggie McKenzie like a bad habit and handpicked Mike Mayock as the successor at general manager. Now, the two dudes from TV Land embark on a critical offseason with free agency looming in March and the draft — and a trio of 1st round picks — the following month.
The Raiders are in primo position to improve around supposed franchise quarterback Derek Carr and adding much-needed youth and hunger on defense in both free agency and the draft. Gruden couldn’t ask for a better set up and scenario to give the Town an exponentially better send off to the Town than what happened this past season — if he and Mayock, not only strike gold in free agency and the draft, but the coaching staff gets said players right.
Admit it, isn’t that process wholeheartedly more interesting than where in the blue hell will the Raiders play in 2019?