Raiders players excited for opportunity in Las Vegas
After the Raiders played their last game representing Oakland on Sunday, players expressed excitement for the future in Las Vegas as the offseason began.
Updated December 30, 2019 - 2:45 pm
ALAMEDA, Calif. — As quarterback Derek Carr pointed out when he addressed the media on Monday morning, the Raiders won’t truly leave the Bay Area until after the offseason program in the spring. But with the club playing its last game as the “Oakland” Raiders on Sunday, players expressed excitement for the future in Las Vegas as the offseason began.
“I’m not going to lie, it’s exciting,” Carr said. “I think it’s time for some fresh air.”
There’s uncertainty for many on the roster as to whether they will be with the team when it opens Allegiant Stadium next fall. But for those players who have seemed to develop into a young core, moving to Las Vegas is an exciting prospect.
Defensive end Clelin Ferrell, the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 draft, said moving to Las Vegas should increase the Raiders’ visibility on the world stage.
“It’s going to be big,” Ferrell said. “Obviously, I love Oakland. But I feel like this organization, our potential can be just so much greater when you’re in a market like Las Vegas.
“Just as far as, we’re already a global brand, but I feel like it can really become big everywhere now.”
Added coach Jon Gruden: “(We) think the Las Vegas Raiders — the Raiders — is a great brand for any player to want to play for.”
Rookie cornerback Trayvon Mullen had similar thoughts.
“We’ve got a lot of good players and good people around, so I think taking that step is going to change the entire foundation of the organization,” Mullen said.
Ferrell said he’s never been to Las Vegas.
“I’m excited. I just want to go out there and just see,” Ferrell said. “I keep hearing all this different stuff; I don’t know what (it’ll be like). Maybe the casino — I like blackjack and all that.”
Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow, who finished the season with two consecutive games of at least 100 yards receiving, also said he hasn’t been to Las Vegas. His wife has been looking online for a place to live in Southern Nevada.
“We might take a trip up there and just kind of see,” Renfrow said. “My perception is the Strip, and I hear that’s not entirely true. So I think it’s going to be a great place to live and a great place to play and is going to be awesome.”
Mullen, however, has spent time in Las Vegas.
“I think it’s a good area,” he said. “There’s a lot to do.”
Still, Mullen and Ferrell acknowledged there are potential pitfalls when it comes to being so close to one of the most famed entertainment districts in the world.
“A lot of guys have gotta have a mindset that’s stable,” Mullen said.
Added Ferrell: “You’ve got to just watch out for things you get involved with out there. It’s a lot of crazy stuff going on out there. It’s just remembering, keeping your eyes on the main thing.
“At the end of the day, it’s about winning games. You can enjoy the Las Vegas area and all that. But we’re here to win games and win the Super Bowl.”
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Contact Myles Simmons at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0350. Follow @MylesASimmons on Twitter.