As the NFL pursued its obsession to move the Rams to Los Angeles (and to conceal any evidence pointing to that reality for as long as possible), it considered a consolation prize for St. Louis.
Via documents obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch regarding the lawsuit filed after the Rams left Missouri, the league did indeed consider, albeit briefly, moving the Raiders to St. Louis.
At a meeting in November 2014, there was “talk” of the Raiders making the move “with restructured ownership, a brand makeover and a commitment to a ‘special diversity initiative.'” That information came from Commissioner Roger Goodell’s personal copy of the agenda for the meeting in question.
Although the possibility “went nowhere,” it suggests that the league does indeed have unresolved concerns about the Raiders. Recent issues underscore that reality.
There’s another reality that has sparked plenty of speculation regarding the future of the Raiders. Carol Davis inherited the team after Al Davis died in 2011. When she passes, a major estate tax obligation will arise. If Mark doesn’t have the cash to pay it and/or can’t raise the required amount by selling a portion of the family’s equity in the team, he’ll have to sell controlling interest in the franchise.
That’s not unprecedented. The Dolphins were sold by the family of Joe Robbie and the Commanders were sold by the family of Jack Kent Cooke due directly to estate-tax obligations.
Franchise values are skyrocketing. The Broncos are expected to sell for at least $5 billion. What are the Raiders worth, especially in their new home of Las Vegas? Is it $7 billion? Is it $8 billion? How about $10 billion?
It’s a critical question that could ultimately result in Mark Davis being forced to sell. Based on the new report from the Post-Dispatch, it looks like the league has already considered the possibility of moving forward at some point without Mark Davis in charge of the Raiders.