Raiders owner Mark Davis repeatedly has said that, when it comes to whether his team will remain in Oakland, he doesn’t make threats. But sometimes threats don’t have to be made.
With the team operating on a one-year Band-Aid lease and Davis making it clear that Oakland needs to “get something done,” it’s obvious that the alternative entails moving the team to a place that will, if Oakland won’t.
Davis has now admitted that he has given thought to some of the other places that possibly will “get something done.”
“We’re not done in Oakland,” Davis told Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area. “We’re trying really hard, and we’ll see how that goes. But Los Angeles is something that I’ve definitely thought about and haven’t pursued. There are other places as well. Until we can find out if Oakland is real, then I’m still staying in Oakland. If we can get something done in Oakland, I will stay in Oakland.”
While Davis likely would say that’s not a threat, the threat is implied. If they can’t get something done in Oakland, he won’t stay in Oakland.
Los Angeles has been the most obvious relocation destination for the Raiders, since they spent more than a decade there before being lured back to Oakland. Some league insiders believe that the NFL wouldn’t permit the Raiders to return to L.A. as long as Davis owns the team. If so, that could set the stage for a squabble that could land in court.
The mention of “other places” becomes intriguing in light of the recent push by fans in Portland to bring the Raiders to Oregon.
Either way, Davis seems to be running out of patience.
“What we’ve done is sign a one-year extension to our lease and we’ll play [at the Oakland Coliseum] this season,” Davis said. “At the end of this season, we have to determine what’s going to happen. . . . We just have to have a place that [the team is] proud of to go and play. That’s all I’m looking for.”
If he doesn’t find it in Oakland, he’ll try to find it someplace else. That’s not a threat. It’s a fact.