The Oakland Raiders deny a report from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen that owner Al Davis and Chief Executive Amy Trask are negotiating a potential sale of the team to C. Dean Metropoulos, a billionaire from Philadelphia who reportedly hopes to buy a team and move it to Los Angeles.
Per Mortensen, the Raiders are talking to Metropoulos about purchasing a piece of the team, and that Metropoulos is angling for a path to obtain controlling interest within three to five years.
Chris’ report is not true,” Trask told the Associated Press.  “We are not negotiating with this group.  We know who they are and that they want to purchase the controlling interest in a team. 
“This team is not available to them.  They are unhappy about that and have turned to Chris to assist them in their efforts, which is easy to do since Chris contacted no one with the Raiders to ascertain if there was any truth to his report.  There is not.  It would have been so easy for him to contact us and ask if we are negotiating with this group.  We are not.”
Mortensen defended his decision not to contact the Raiders for a comment before publishing the report on ESPN’s SportsCenter and Sunday NFL Countdown.
“The Raiders have lost the privilege with me of running stories past them for comment,” Mortensen said.  “This stems from their history of denials to most stories I have reported — as well as others in the media — when those stories have eventually proven to be true.  The latest example is I reported that Al Davis planned to interview Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride and, of course, the story was trashed by a team spokesman.”
Mort, we’re going to tread lightly here because you broke ranks with your ESPN brethren and acknowledged our existence last night.  (We wish you well in your coming job search.)  That said, in our non-J-school estimation, principles of sound journalism aren’t a “privilege” held by the subject of a story.  Either a reporter who is working on a potentially disruptive and controversial story is going to honor sound journalistic principles and seek a comment from the ultimate source, or the reporter isn’t.
At a minimum, we think that Mort should have explained in his initial report that he chose not to contact the Raiders because they’ve proven to be unreliable.  (Or, perhaps more accurately, because Raiders owner Al Davis called Mortensen a “professional liar” during that epic September 30 press conference.)
Regarding the story itself, if Trask’s statement is accurate, our guess is that the Metropoulos group is working on the purchase of another team (such as the Jaguars), and that the group floated the story in order to develop leverage as to the “real” negotiations in which the group is engaged.
As Trask told the AP, Metropoulos and company have been trying for some time to buy a team.  Whether it’s the Jaguars or someone else (such as the Vikings), we have a feeling that Metropoulos specifically targeted a team whose denials no one would believe in order to bolster any bluff that Metropoulos has a viable alternative.
That said, we wouldn’t be shocked if the Raiders ended up being for sale.  But we would be very, very surprised.  There’s never been any indication that Al Davis is interested in parting ways with the sports franchise from which Davis has derived for decades most if not all of his identity. 


  1. “most”??? Where the **** is the rest of his identity?
    way to split hairs, Florio.
    It’s the NFL. Every team is for sale for the right price. Always.

  2. Wow, it seems someone has self-esteem issues if they are going to take it easy on an ESPN reporter for a end of story shoutout…..

  3. Who cares isnt there playoff games on right now? G-Lewis Injured in warmups maybe. Tony Romo buys remaining tickets to eagles vikings game so they wont go blacked out? Thats all we heard all week was the vikings being blacked out.

  4. “That said, we wouldn’t be shocked if the Raiders ended up being for sale. But we would be very, very surprised.” Is very, very surprised not the same as shocked.
    Good article, terrible finish.

  5. As a lifelong Raider fan, all I could hope is that the Crazy Al would sell the team. I suspect he would never get rid of “majority” ownership. Raiders “senior executive” John Herrera is nothing more than Al’s mouthpiece. the guy denies EVERYTHING that Mortensen or Adam Schefter reports. and those guys 99% have it correct. Herrera needs to step up and be a real man rather than a mouthpiece who looks like a donkey’s ass 99% of the time. Al sold 20% of the team last year and I’m sure is looking to sell some more this offseason. Al Davis was once a mastermind. but now, he has unfortunatly “lost” most of it.
    Welcome to Hell:
    The Black Hole

  6. Al needs to go, he is killing the team with his iron fist, the Raiders need a fresh start.

  7. So my offer of $20.00, and bottle of booze and a hooker was turned down??? Al, baby, you won’t get a better offer, pal…

  8. Mortensen’s report is indeed correct… little do the Raiders know but “Metropoulos” is Greek for “Mortensen”.

  9. Here is why I think the story is incorrect: who in their right minds would buy the Raiders to move them BACK to LA? It’s not like they were that popular the first time they were there.

  10. Weird Al hates Adam Schefter and Chris Mortinson almost as much as he hates Shanahan. Jay Glazer has not made to his hate list – YET.

  11. “The Raiders have lost the privilege with me of running stories past them for comment,” Mortensen said.
    Memo to Mort: You’re just a reporter, and they’re an NFL franchise.
    The “privilege” is yours, jackass.

  12. Florio sits on Herrera’s lap. Herrera whispers in Florio’s ear. Watch Florio’s mouth move. Listen to the bullsh*t flow out. Another story from an “un-named league source”. What a joke.

  13. $20.00 a bottle of Thunder Bird and a hooker that was turned down.
    Thats about how much PFT is worth.

  14. I’m tired of stupid ass hicks that huddle around their respective trailer park’s computer so that they can log on and rip on Florio. You are all absolutely ridiculous. In case you haven’t noticed, this particular area of the site is ‘Latest News and Rumors’, meaning that there are RUMORS that are going around that Florio is kind enough to share with us…FOR FREE! If you have a problem with this site, stop coming here, it’s really that simple…kinda like all of you.
    For those of you with the endless comments about ‘unnamed sources’, shut the hell up. You know nothing about journalism if you do not understand that quite a bit of the time, you cannot reveal your source. You give up their name when they don’t want you to, and guess what happens? YOU JUST LOST YOUR SOURCE!
    In closing, if you’re coming here to bitch and moan about how stupid Florio is, or that this site isn’t worth a damn, just shut your mouth, and leave…maybe go pick up your welfare check.

  15. TheBlackHole nailed it. The Raiders try to be dicks about everything, especially this stuff, and it’s always a sure sign they’ve been found out.

  16. Mortenson is a tool. The Raiders are not for sale, bet on it. My final comment has to do with lame-arse Raider fans like The Blakc Hole.
    You are not a fan. Leave now. Real Raider fans everywhere hate you.

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