We’re just a few weeks from the start of the new league year, and the Oakland Raiders likely won’t have to tell interested free agents they have no idea where they’ll be playing in 2019.
The whole strange ordeal of the Raiders trying to find someplace to play next season is about to end, according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle. The Raiders are close to a deal to return to Oakland for another season before moving to Las Vegas, the Chronicle reported. It’s hard to say what’s sadder, the Raiders coming back or Oakland allowing them back after all that has happened.
The odd twist in this is the Chronicle reported there will be an option for the Raiders to play in Oakland again for the 2020 season, just in case the Raiders’ stadium in Las Vegas isn’t ready yet.
Raiders reportedly back to Oakland for another year
No, it seems the Raiders won’t be playing in a baseball stadium or shacking up with the San Francisco 49ers or splitting time between Tucson and Birmingham or whatever outpost wanted to get in the headlines by pitching a cockamamie “Raiders in 2019!” plot.
Phil Matier of the Chronicle said the Raiders will pay Oakland $7.5 million this season and if they have to exercise the option in 2020, it will be for $10.5 million. Given the embarrassing way the Raiders could not find a home for this season, even with years to prepare, it’s a little surprising Oakland didn’t get even more rent money out of them.
Given how the story has had so many twists and turns as the Raiders looked for a home, maybe it’s premature to put this to bed before the Raiders and Oakland actually sign a contract. But according to Matier’s report, the deal is close. Matier wrote the announcement is expected later this week or early next week.
Raiders slated to move to Las Vegas in 2020
The Raiders have to be praying to not use that 2020 option in Oakland. The stadium in Las Vegas looks luxurious, while the one in Oakland is practically falling apart. There’s a reason the Raiders are moving.
The Raiders had passed on a $7.5 million option for 2019 previously according to the Chronicle, after the city of Oakland sued the NFL over the Raiders move, but the Raiders had to be desperate after not finding a home almost two months into their offseason.
At least the team can see the finish line and it looks like they’ll have a place to play in 2019. Even better, the ridiculous speculation about where the Raiders will play can be put to rest.
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