The Oakland Raiders are going through a bit of a tough time.
The much ballyhooed return of coach Jon Gruden started with an embarrassing loss and hasn’t gotten much better. For the sake of Raiders fans, the less said about the nine years and $90 million left on Gruden’s contract, the better.
The Raiders began the season by trading their best player, linebacker Khalil Mack, to the Chicago Bears. All Mack has done is revive the “Monsters of the Midway” and help the Bears win their division despite shaky play from the offense.
The Raiders then traded 24-year-old receiver Amari Cooper, who has given a jolt to the Dallas Cowboys and helped the team win its division.
Quarterback Derek Carr has regressed under Gruden’s watch, a bad sign considering Gruden’s alleged specialty is developing quarterbacks.
The Raiders also somehow have a bad team that’s full of old players. At least other bad teams, like the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, have some young talent in the pipeline. The Raiders have no such light at the end of the tunnel.
That’s to say nothing of the comedy of errors, like easily avoidable fines, that have plagued the team through the year.
The only reason they don’t have the worst record in the NFL going into their “Monday Night Football” game against the Denver Broncos is because they haven’t played their 15th game yet. At a putrid 3-11, they are a half-game “up” on the equally rancid Arizona Cardinals going into Monday night.
But as bad as the Cardinals are, at least they have a home next year. The Raiders don’t even have that going for them.
The Raiders, who are moving to Las Vegas for the 2020 season, have basically been thrown out of Oakland for 2019 after the city sued the team. Reuters reports that Oakland’s federal lawsuit alleges antitrust violations and breach of contract.
Oakland is not seeking to keep the team or prevent the move to Vegas, but the relationship between franchise and city has clearly become untenable.
So, the coach may be bad, the team is definitely bad and the team has no home stadium for the 2019 season. How could it get worse?
Well if a report from Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer is to be believed, how about not even being in the country?
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) December 23, 2018
According to Glazer, there is apparently real chatter of the Raiders potentially playing their home games next year in London.
The idea has enough traction that apparently other NFL owners have brought up this idea up to the Raiders and owner Mark Davis.
The NFL hasn’t exactly been shy about expanding its presence across the pond. Rumors have long run rampant about a permanent NFL team in London and there has been chatter about perhaps even moving the Super Bowl to London after Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan bought the iconic Wembley Stadium in London (Khan swears the Jaguars will remain in Florida.)
It just seems like a natural progression for a displaced team as iconic as the Raiders to somehow end up in London for a year.
But if you’re worried about your favorite NFL team getting moved to London next, fret not. It’s hard to imagine a worse representation of the NFL product to send to London than the 2018 Raiders.
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