Raiders owner Mark Davis still hasn’t dismissed the formal Oakland proposal aimed at keeping the team in town. Maybe that’s because Davis needs the proposal, as leverage at a minimum.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Davis and Sands casino owner Sheldon Adelson (pictured) continue to have a difficult time striking a deal for a stadium that would be built with $750 million in taxpayer money and, beyond that, a collaboration between and among Adelson, Davis, and the NFL. The past two weeks have been particularly difficult for Davis and Adelson, according to the source.
It’s still believed that a deal will be struck, but it won’t happen because Adelson suddenly has gone soft. He has a long reputation of driving hard bargains, and he is still expected to push for partial ownership of the team and a path to control of the franchise, among other terms favorable to his interests.
News of the lingering difficulties puts the recent profile/puff piece penned by the Adelson-owned Las Vegas Review-Journal in a different light. The glowing article on Davis could be viewed as an olive branch on one hand, and/or an effort to pressure him to finalize a deal he already has promised to do.
“One thing about Mark Davis, he’s an honest guy and he believes in trustworthiness,” former Raiders receiver Cliff Branch says in the story. “When he gives his word about something, he’s totally committed.”
Coincidentally (or not) that quote provided the basis for a Monday morning tweet from the Review-Journal promoting the profile.
Meanwhile, NFL owners meet in two days, and the future location of the Raiders (while not officially up for vote) will surely be a focal point of the conversations.