Shortly after reports emerged of the Raiders having discussions with officials in Las Vegas, the league issued a set of talking points to all its clubs.
And when commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about the possibility of the Raiders playing in a place where there’s big scary gambling, he didn’t deviate far from his own script.
Appearing this week with his own network’s Rich Eisen, Goodell carefully walked that line when asked about owner Mark Davis meeting with Las Vegas businessmen.
“Ultimately, it’s the ownership’s decision,” Goodell said. “It requires 24 of the 32 owners to approve any relocation to any market. Obviously there are specific issues that would need to be discussed in the context of Las Vegas. But I think it’s way premature at this point to be speculating on that.
“There’s no proposals, there’s nothing firm in any way. So I think this is something that at some point it may come up. But for right now we’re not focused on that.”
It’s a reasonable stall tactic, and a safe position for Goodell to stake out. With the Raiders the equivalent of a restricted free agent (a year away from a possible option to move to Los Angeles if the Chargers for some reason don’t), the thing they need most are options.
And if they want to build a domed stadium on the strip, it creates useful leverage for the Raiders in their ongoing talks with Oakland.
And it’s also more interesting to envision than San Antonio.