City Of Oakland

This Date In Transactions History: Raiders Release Sebastian Janikowski

Three years ago today, Sebastian Janikowski‘s 18-year Raiders run came to an end. The kicker was out-of-contract but, this time around, the Raiders informed him that he would not be re-signed. 

Janikowski’s Raiders tenure was nearly capped one year earlier. In 2017, he initially rebuffed the team’s request for a pay cut — he later caved to keep his place on the roster. Unfortunately, a preseason back injury would sideline him for the rest of the entire season.

Seabass was synonymous with the organization. After being selected in the first round of the 2000 draft, Janikowski appeared in 268 games for the Raiders, a franchise high. And, before 2017, he had only missed a total of four games throughout his career.

Despite his long-running history with team, the Raiders had concerns about his age and possible decline. In 2016, Janikowski sank 82.9% of his field goals and 37-of-39 extra point attempts. He has not cleared the 83% mark on field goals since 2014. At this time, he was on the cusp of his 40th birthday. It’s possible that the Raiders would have cut him in ’17, if it weren’t for the bad PR that would have come along with it. After announcing the move to Las Vegas, losing Janikowski would have made things especially ugly in Oakland.

With Janikowski out of the picture, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was left as the only player from the 2000 Draft to remain with his original team. The kicker moved on to the Seahawks, unseated Jason Myers, and made 81.5% of his regular season kicks. His final play would come in the Wild Card game against the Cowboys — Janikowski missed a 57-yard field goal and suffered a hamstring injury. In April of 2019, Janikowski announced his retirement, capping his NFL career after 19 seasons.

AFC West Rumors: Raiders, Simmons, Jones

From Cliff Branch to James Jett to Darrius Heyward-Bey (to name a few of many), the Raiders have been known for their speed affinity for decades. They surprised many by making Henry Ruggs the first wide receiver pick in this draft. Their owner was eyeing the Alabama deep threat for months leading up to the draft. Citing a lack of team speed for the past several years, Mark Davis said he pegged Ruggs as the first-rounder he wanted for six months going into this year’s draft, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). Chosen before Alabama teammate Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, Ruggs did not eclipse 800 yards in a college season. And he spent time this offseason rehabbing a thigh injury he sustained two months ago while helping a friend move. However, Ruggs said Wednesday he is 100%, per Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area (on Twitter), as Raiders rookies prepare for the team’s strength and conditioning period.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • For the first time in five negotiations with franchise-tagged players, Broncos GM John Elway did not close a deal. Justin Simmons will play this season on the safety tag. Elway said discussions never came close to a deal, but the 10th-year GM believed his offer was “very, very fair.” The offer was believed to place Simmons among the five or six highest-paid safeties. Guaranteed money was an issue, however, with Elway noting the pandemic induced the Broncos to limit the guaranteed dollars in their proposal to Simmons (Twitter links via 9News’ Mike Klis). Elway, who said late last season Simmons would be a priority, still wants to extend the standout defensive back next year.
  • The Raiders are beginning their first season in Las Vegas, but the prospects of the NFL moving to Nevada surfaced in January 2016. Davis adds that Vegas was after the Raiders “for years” before those talks began. “We got our ass kicked in L.A., and we went back to Oakland with our tails between our legs. And then (Coliseum Authority executive director Scott) McKibben backtracked and tripled our lease, and it was total disrespect. It was like, how are we going to work with these people?” Davis said. “Vegas had been after us for years, but I told them I will only talk to you if Oakland and Los Angeles don’t happen.” The NFL in 2016 voted to send the Rams to Los Angeles and placed the Chargers ahead of the Raiders in the pecking order. The Raiders then spent three years as a lame-duck team in Oakland.
  • Chris Jones‘ contract trails both Fletcher Cox‘s 2016 extension ($17.1MM per year) and Grady Jarrett‘s pact in 2019 ($17MM AAV) in terms of two-year payouts, leading Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap to label it a Chiefs-friendly deal. Jones’ four-year, $80MM extension is essentially a two-year deal. The Chiefs, who did this deal without including a signing bonus, would incur no dead money by moving Jones in 2022. Through those two years, Jones will see $37.6MM — which is also well behind Aaron Donald‘s $60MM two-year total.

Raiders Decline Option To Play 2020 Season In Oakland

An option existed for the Raiders to play a fourth lame-duck season in Oakland, in the event their Las Vegas stadium was not ready on time. But the Raiders will not take it, according to Josh Dubow of the Associated Press.

The COVID-19 pandemic has injected uncertainty into the Raiders’ stadium situation, but they notified officials in Oakland they will not exercise an option to play at the Oakland Coliseum in 2020. The Raiders still plan to play in Las Vegas; 2020 has served as their relocation window for years.

As for the stadium construction amid this health crisis, Dubow adds that the project remains ongoing. Nevada has shut down numerous businesses, and casinos have been temporarily closing. But the stadium project has been deemed “essential” and is continuing as scheduled. The $1.9 billion domed stadium remains scheduled to open this summer.

The Raiders received approval to relocate in 2017 but played the 2017, ’18 and ’19 seasons in Oakland. UNLV’s current home venue — Sam Boyd Stadium — was deemed a non-starter as a temporary Raiders site years ago. Mark Davis also did not give serious consideration to sharing Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers, so it appears, for the time being, the Raiders will power through this coronavirus pandemic in an effort to have their stadium ready.

Raiders Nearing Deal To Play In Oakland For 2019

The Raiders are nearing a deal that will allow them to play in the Oakland Coliseum for at least one more season, according to Phil Matier of the San Francisco Chronicle. An announcement is unlikely to be made this week, tweets Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review Journal, but it could come next week.

The Raiders are expected to pay a $7.5MM fee to play in the Coliseum in 2019, a price tag that has been agreed upon for some time. Additionally, the deal will come with an option that would let the Raiders spend the 2020 campaign in Oakland, as well. Per Matier, that option is something of an insurance policy, a fail-safe in case the Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium isn’t ready by its scheduled 2020 launch date.

Reports emerged in late January indicating the Raiders would stay in the Bay Area for 2019, and the club reportedly reached an agreement to play in San Francisco’s Oracle Park, the home of MLB’s Giants. That accord ran into issues, however, as the 49ers refused to waive their territorial rights to the San Francisco area.

The NFL, meanwhile, reportedly preferred the Raiders share the 49ers’ Levi’s Stadium for the 2019 campaign. While the Niners and the Raiders discussed the viability of such a setup, it’s not clear how serious the discussions were, per Matier.

Latest On Raiders’ Oakland Discussions

The Raiders have missed the NFL’s Super Bowl LIII deadline for resolving their 2019 stadium situation, but they may be closing in on finalizing this saga.

The likelihood that, after all of the talk of a move elsewhere following Oakland’s lawsuit, the Raiders will play in Oakland has increased. More discussions are on tap next week, with a near-future resolution in sight.

We’ll talk against next week. Again, this will come to a conclusion one way or another in the next week or so,” Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority Board executive director Scott McKibben said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “It’s fair to say that discussions have been meaningful and productive and, after the update with our board, things are progressing.”

Oakland and the Raiders had been discussing a $7.5MM lease for 2019, the franchise’s final lame-duck season before its Las Vegas move. Although the Raiders previously walked away from that deal after the city’s lawsuit, playing at the Coliseum for the $7.5MM amount is back on the table.

It appears the prospect of the Raiders playing at the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park home has been scuttled. The 49ers refused to waive their territorial rights. Although, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes NFL bylaws indicate the league’s 30 non-Bay Area owners could supersede the 49ers in this case, that is not expected. Normally, relocations require a two-thirds majority vote; in this case, all 30 other teams would have to approve of the Raiders playing in San Francisco. A precedent of teams moving into markets already housing other teams is not one the NFL wants, per Maiocco.

Additionally, the seven opponents set to face the Raiders in the Bay Area may well have objected to sharing a sideline with the Raiders on game day, Maiocco adds. That would have been the case at Oracle Park.

Raiders Increasingly Likely To Play 2019 Season In Oakland

There has been a great deal of chatter in recent weeks as to where the Raiders will play next season, but it looks increasingly likely that they will remain in Oakland for one more year. The Raiders had previously agreed to pay $7.5MM in rent to the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum to play their 2019 homes games at the Coliseum, but they began looking for alternate sites when the city of Oakland filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NFL.

However, we heard just last week that the Coliseum is willing to honor the prior agreement, and today, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the two sides have engaged in productive talks. Scott McKibben, executive director of the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Authority, said, “I will confirm that we, late last week, started sitting down and talking with the Raiders about the potential of a 2019 season deal. In my view, the discussions have been meaningful and productive.”

Ian Rapoport of confirms (on Twitter) that the Raiders do appear to be focused on playing the 2019 season in Oakland, and he says the club must make every attempt to work out a deal with the Coliseum before moving on to other options. Nonetheless, a report from NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic last week indicated that, while the 49ers have thus far refused to give up their territorial rights to allow the Raiders play in San Francisco’s Oracle Park — home of Major League Baseball’s San Francisco Giants — it is believed that the NFL will be the party making the final call in that regard. As such, there is still an outside chance that Oracle Park could be hosting Raiders games next season.

And other cities want in on the action as well. In an odd bit of news, NBC Sports Bay Area’s Dalton Johnson reports that Birmingham, Alabama, and Tucson, Arizona are trying to team up to share the Raiders next season. Birmingham city councilor William Parker said, “[t]he fans in Alabama love football. Obviously, the people in San Francisco and Oakland don’t want them and there’s a fan base here for the Raiders.”

Parker’s city, though, looks like it may have to content itself with the AAF’s Birmingham Iron for the time being, as it currently appears that the Raiders will have one last hurrah in Oakland before heading to Las Vegas in 2020.

Raiders Rumors: Oakland, SF, Carr, Cook

An offer for the Raiders to play in Oakland in exchange for $7.5MM in rent remains on the table, as Michael Gehlken of the Review-Journal writes. The Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum is willing to honor the agreement, despite the fact that the city of Oakland has filed a federal antitrust lawsuit against the NFL.

We have always wanted them to come back and play the last season here,” McKibben said Tuesday. “Keep in mind the Coliseum Authority that I work for and represent is not in this lawsuit. The lawsuit has been filed by the city of Oakland. The role that I have taken is I’ve got a lot of jobs to save for a season or two. We would love to see them play here for the fans and the sponsors and the media exposure and all the various constituents that are impacted by this.”

Here’s more out of Oakland:

  • The 49ers are still not expected to waive their territorial rights for the Raiders to play in San Francisco, sources tell Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter). On top of that, the mayor of San Francisco has come out against the Raiders playing at Oracle Park, which makes SF even more unlikely. At this point, it’ll be either Oakland or Levi’s Stadium for the Raiders, Rapoport hears.
  • Derek Carr’s $19.9MM base salary for 2019 became fully guaranteed on Wednesday, as Field Yates of (on Twitter) notes. The Raiders could explore other QB options this offseason, but a Carr release is not a real possibility anymore.
  • Jared Cook is unlikely to return to the Raiders, Vic Tafur of The Athletic opines. Coach Jon Gruden indicated that Cook was in the team’s plans at the Super Bowl, but Tafur believes that he likes tight ends Darren Waller, Lee Smith, Derek Carrier and practice squad TE Paul Butler enough to let Cook go elsewhere in free agency. Talent-wise, the Raiders might like to have Cook back, but he should find a competitive market in March. Cook was named to the Pro Bowl as an alternate after he hauled in a career-high 68 catches for 896 yards and six TDs.

Latest On Raiders’ 2019 Plans

Shortly after Super Bowl LIII, a report emerged indicating the Raiders had their decision on a 2019 playing site. The Silver and Black have an agreement to play at the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park, according to NBC Bay Area (Twitter link).

But it appears there are still a few key hurdles to clear before the Raiders can play in another baseball stadium. The Raiders have not received approval from the NFL or the 49ers to make this move possible, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

The Raiders and the San Francisco Giants have not yet agreed to a deal, either, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic. The sides are discussing one, only the MLB team remains under the impression the Raiders are negotiating with two other sites. Levi’s Stadium and Oakland Coliseum are widely believed to be the Raiders’ other two 2019 options.

Despite playing their home games in Santa Clara, the 49ers could block the Raiders from playing at Oracle due to having territorial rights to San Francisco. The NBC Bay Area report indicated the NFL would announce the Raiders-to-Oracle move this week, the NFL could also nix this.

While the league did indeed conduct another site survey regarding the Raiders shifting from sharing a ballpark with the Oakland Athletics to doing so with the National League West club, barriers remain en route to this interesting future, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. The NFL will need to sign off on the playing field at the San Francisco baseball stadium, while security upgrades will need to take place, in order to meet league standards, per La Canfora. Meetings regarding whether or not the NFL will agree to make those necessary enhancements will transpire this week.

Oracle Park was considered for a possible XFL team, NBC Sports Bay Area adds. The site hosted XFL games in 2001 and bowl games for more than a decade. The city of Oakland’s lawsuit against the Raiders prompted them to explore other options; the Silver and Black pulled a one-year lease extension — for more than double their 2018 payment — off the table following the lawsuit.

Super Bowl LIII represented the apparently soft deadline for the Raiders to finalize their decision, but the league does want this decision to be made before schedule meetings begin soon, JLC adds.

Raiders To Play 2019 In Bay Area

The NFL wanted the Raiders to have their 2019 setup worked out by Super Bowl LIII. With four days remaining until the season’s signature event, the franchise still does not know where it will play next season.

However, a region is now known. The Raiders were loosely connected to places like San Diego, Portland and Reno, Nev., but the team will play the 2019 season in the Bay Area, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports (video link). But it’s still unknown which stadium will be the Raiders’ home in their final lame-duck season.

Roger Goodell said Wednesday he believes Mark Davis‘ preference is to keep his team in the Bay Area next season, and Ian Rapoport of adds (video link) the Raiders and 49ers have engaged in discussions about sharing Levi’s Stadium next season. This would be the NFL’s preferred option, per La Canfora.

The San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park remains in play, and the Raiders discussed this with the MLB franchise recently. But it sounds like that is the least likely option, with the 49ers still having the right to block this from happening due to possessing territorial rights in San Francisco. The NFL has done site studies on the Raiders’ sharing a stadium with the 49ers and the prospect of them using the San Francisco MLB venue, per JLC.

Option 2 appears to be staying at Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders were planning to reopen dialogue with the city of Oakland, but Rapoport adds this has yet to take place. The lawsuit Oakland filed against the Raiders and the NFL brought this uncertainty about the Raiders’ 2019 home, but Davis has been lukewarm about sharing a venue with the 49ers in the past. No 2019 lease agreement was in place between the Raiders and the Coliseum before the lawsuit.

The Raiders are on track to move to Las Vegas in 2020, but their 2019 location should be known soon, considering the “significant” backlash expected to come their way from the league if no solution surfaces by the Super Bowl.

Raiders To Discuss Playing 2019 In Oakland

After the city of Oakland’s lawsuit against the Raiders and NFL, the chances of the team finishing its lame-duck stay in Oakland decreased significantly. But there remains a chance the Raiders stay in their home market for one more year.

The Raiders will meet with the Coliseum Authority one more time to discuss the team playing at its longtime home stadium in 2019.

Yes, there still is a possibility that an agreement can be reached. Not sure what the odds are, but still possible,” Coliseum Authority executive director Scott McKibben said, via the Bay Area News Group’s Jon Becker. “Once the Raiders have completed all their research on other places we will sit down and talk one last time.”

While the Raiders have been searching for other sites, having been most connected to the San Francisco Giants’ AT&T Park, the prospect of remaining in Oakland was not completely scrubbed, either. Mark Davis has not been a proponent of sharing Levi’s Stadium with the 49ers. Though, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports the Raiders’ most likely 2019 home is AT&T Park or Levi’s Stadium.

A tentative lease for one more Coliseum season existed, per Becker, but the lawsuit nixed that. Said lease was going to more than double the Raiders’ rent for 2019. The Raiders paid $3.5MM in rent this season, Becker reports. Under the tentative agreement, that would have spiked to $7.5MM, with an option to play the 2020 season in Oakland in the event the Las Vegas site was not ready for play yet. The NFL wants the Raiders to make this decision by Super Bowl LIII or shortly after.

The Raiders have not yet discussed a deal with San Diego, but they continue to monitor Qualcomm Stadium as an option, per La Canfora. However, the league office is not sold on that option. Reno, Nev., remains a possibility as well, JLC adds. The London option is now seen as untenable, he notes, adding that Reno would also cause more issues than a season in Santa Clara, Calif., would.

The 49ers still have territorial rights to San Francisco, which could pose a problem for a Raiders season at AT&T Park — located within the San Francisco city limits. But the Raiders are not 100 percent set to move on from their home stadium yet. They remain slated to relocate to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.