Raiders coach Jack Del Rio doesn’t want to spend too much time talking to his team about the franchise’s pending move to Las Vegas.
Primarily, that’s because many of the people he’d be telling it to might never get that far.
“The reality is, I’m going to go talk to guys that may never make it, that won’t make it to Las Vegas, about Las Vegas,” Del Rio said, via Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com.
Of course, that’s not going to keep players from wondering what’s next, but since the team’s going to play in Oakland for at least the next two years, it’s probably best to not invest too much time with the current roster. Only three players on the current roster are under contract through 2020, which is the year they’ll move into the new stadium there. They have options for two more years in Oakland, and owner Mark Davis said playing in their current home in 2019 remains a possibility.
“Everyone needs to understand what the landscape is,” Del Rio said. “To me, once you get that part settled, then you can settle back into you job, and what you need to do. There are wives at home right now that are asking their husbands and their husbands don’t have those answers. The first thing I want them all to know is that just remember, the 30 percent rule; 30 percent of the team changes so don’t worry about what we’re going to be doing two or three years from now. Worry about taking care of your jobs now so you can be a part of that in two or three years.
“So it’s about the here and now for the actual coach, for the actual player, for the actual product we’re putting out this year. But you can’t be blind to the fact that there are families involved, there are people involved, and they need some information. And part of that will be, not yet. Not yet.”
It’s natural that players are going to wonder about their future homes, but Del Rio’s point is a valid one — if they don’t play well in Oakland the next year or two, it may not matter.