NFL work stoppage would harm any momentum Raiders build in Las Vegas

Can you fire an effective warning shot four seasons early?

And if so, how seriously should it be taken?

If things go as the Raiders have stated, the NFL team won’t officially relocate to Las Vegas until 2020, no matter what occurs with a lease at the Oakland Coliseum that is set to expire a year earlier.

But any momentum the franchise gains throughout Southern Nevada when it kicks off in its state-of-the-art stadium off Russell Road could be seriously hampered if what DeMaurice Smith has now suggested is a virtual certainty proves true.

Another labor war is brewing.

Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association, told Sports Illustrated he believes the league will experience either a lockout or strike when the current collective bargaining agreement expires following the 2020 season.

Sure, it’s a long ways off — opening week in 2021 seems like forever.

Tom Brady could be wearing nine Super Bowl rings and talking about playing into his 50s by then.

Marshawn Lynch could be living in Scotland full-time as a candy vendor.

Bill Belichick could be sitting on the Iron Throne after it’s discovered the Mad King is really alive.

But there is precedent for work stoppage, which has occurred six times in league history, the most recent a lockout that lasted more than five months in 2011. Only the preseason Hall of Fame game was lost, but it was a stoppage that could have lasted into the season had players not been as concerned about losing paychecks.

You would think they are more educated and prepared now. Tensions are also greater between the league and it players this time. The two sides are hardly best of friends.

Nothing brings a steady flow of cash to a town like NFL games, and given it’s still unknown exactly what percentage of locals to those visiting will comprise most of the weekly attendance figures for the Raiders in Las Vegas, any stoppage during a season could seriously impact potential tourism dollars, never mind the wallets of those working at the stadium.

They don’t stand to gain anything by a strike or lockout, because unlike those bickering at a negotiating table over things like revenue sharing and the level of power a commissioner should wield, such folks usually don’t have inflated margins on which to rely.

“It would be extremely disappointing, first as a football fan and second, obviously, for the stadium and all that would mean to people working there,” said Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak. “You hope it would never come to that and that both sides eventually come together and have an agreement well before any (deadline). Obviously, it’s premature to talk about something like that this far out. Maybe it’s just posturing by the participants.

“If it happened, it would be terrible. The first three years are about jobs for people who are going to build the stadium. But after that, it’s permanent jobs. They would still be needed for UNLV games and other events, but when you’re talking about eight regular-season games and two in the preseason for the Raiders, that’s a lot of (revenue).”

Work stoppages in professional sports also breed apathy among fan bases. The longer players either remain on strike or are locked out, the more those who are asked to pay for tickets and parking and concessions and merchandise grow impatient with rich people figuring out who gets the larger slice of a financial pie.

Such indifference isn’t good for any NFL city, much less one which would be in the infancy stages of building its base while welcoming a franchise into the community on all levels. You could make an argument Las Vegas, because of how new things would be around here, would be impacted most by any stoppage.

“Obviously, if the time comes and it looks like things are headed in that direction, I’m sure there will be contingency plans,” Sisolak said. “I think everyone would hope that (Smith’s comments) are merely a shot across the bow and that eventually, the sides will get together and come to a deal well before the current one expires.”

Warning shots are intentionally harmless, which is what you would expect when trying to make a point in 2017 about something that might happen in 2021.

But it won’t remain a benign threat forever and you have a league full of unhappy players who want major changes to several aspects of the current deal.

A strike or lockout wouldn’t be good for anyone, especially a town that will have recently opened for NFL business.

Contact columnist Ed Graney at egraney@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4618. He can be heard on “The Press Box,” ESPN Radio 100.9 FM and 1100 AM from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Follow @edgraney on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation: Raiders awarded four draft picks
Bryan Salmond goes over the news that of the Raiders being awarded four draft picks.
Vegas Nation: Vontae Davis Visiting Raiders
Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken goes over Vontae Davis visiting the Raiders in Alameda California.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Estimated Cost Remains at $1.9 Billion
Ed Graney, Rick Velotta and Bill Bradley discuss updates around the Las Vegas Raiders stadium, scheduled to be completed by 2020.
Vegas Nation: Las Vegas could host NFL Draft
Bryan Salmond and Michael Gehlken talk about Vegas' chances to host the NFL Draft.
Vegas Nation: Eagles take down Patriots in Super Bowl LII
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney, Michael Gehlken and Sam Gordon talk about the Eagles Super Bowl win over the Patriots.
Vegas Nation: Eagles win Super Bowl LII
Bryan Salmond recaps the Eagles Super Bowl victory over the Patriots.
Las Vegas, Raiders aim to host Super Bowl as early as 2023
Las Vegas and its $1.9 billion stadium project won’t be forgotten when nine NFL owners and team presidents, together wielding influence over an adjusted Super Bowl bid-selection process, meet in the coming months. Raiders owner Mark Davis serves on the Super Bowl and Major Events Advisory Committee, positioning him to have an active role in where Super Bowl LVII will be located on Feb. 5, 2023. Las Vegas, upon hosting the game, would be the latest NFL city to which league owners have awarded a Super Bowl following a stadium construction. There is no guarantee the game is coming to Las Vegas then. A combination of recent history and comments from an NFL executive, however, indicate the opportunity should arrive in the next eight years.
Vegas Nation: Minnesota running an efficient Super Bowl
Bryan Salmond and Ed Graney talk about Minnesota running a good Super Bowl and a Raiders rookie making an impact.
NFL Commissioner Goodell gives updates on hot topics with the Raiders
At a press conference ahead of Super Bowl LII, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded to questions about the Raiders hiring process with Jon Gruden and about the team having many home games played abroad.
0130 sb wrap with mention
Bryan Salmond, Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney talk about Tom Brady's Minnesota ties, Jon Gruden's advantage in coaching as well as the Patriots demanding respect.
Vegas Nation: Here's how the RJ will cover Super Bowl LII
Ed Graney, Michael Gehlken and Sam Gordon preview their coverage plan of the Super Bowl in Minnesota.
Vegas Nation: Pro Bowl edition
Bryan Salmond recaps the NFL Pro Bowl, including how Raiders quarterback Derek Carr performed.
Vegas Nation: Jon Gruden Does Not Attend Senior Bowl
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken discuss what the Raiders coaching staff are doing at the Senior Bowl.
Vegas Nation: Raiders announce several coaching hires
Review-Journal Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and reporter Michael Gehlken talk about the Raiders coaching hires as well as a significant omission.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Construction of stadium on schedule
Review-Journal sports columnist Ed Graney and reporter Rick Velotta talk about how the Raiders' stadium construction is progressing and the complications that might occur due to pricing.
Raiders hire Paul Guenther as defensive coordinator
Paul Guenther is the new defensive coordinator for the Oakland Raiders. Guenther spent the past four years as the Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator. Guenther, 46, worked with the Bengals from 2005 to 2017. He will call defensive plays in 2018, a role that Ken Norton Jr. handled the first 10 games last season before being fired. Guenther expressed his interest in working with Raiders defensive backs Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu. “I really like both of them,” Guenther said. "(Conley) was probably my favorite corner coming out last year." "We just need to get these guys on the grass, keep them healthy and teach them the system," Guenther said.
McKenzie shares memory of Gruden coaching in Green Bay
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie shared one of his memories of working alongside head coach Jon Gruden back when they were both in Green Bay.
Vegas Nation: Raiders introduce Jon Gruden as head coach
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney and Michael Gehlken discuss the Raiders introduction of Jon Gruden as their new head coach, including the unique atmosphere and how Gruden will work with Derek Carr.
Former Raiders discuss what the team and fans can expect from Jon Gruden
Following a press conference to announce Jon Gruden as the Oakland Raiders head coach, former players discussed what it is that he'll bring to the team and the fans.
Jon Gruden news conference highlights
The Oakland Raiders announced Jon Gruden as their head coach on Tuesday at the team headquarters in Alameda, Calif. Gruden previously coached the team from 1998-2001. (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mark Davis says the Raiders' edge will come from leadership and coaching
Following a news conference announcing Jon Gruden's return as head coach of the Oakland Raiders, team owner Mark Davis said the Raiders' edge will come from leadership and coaching.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hire Jon Gruden
Michael Gehlken talks about the Raiders decision to hire Jon Gruden as their new head coach.
Vegas Nation: Gruden to be named Raiders head coach
Bryan Salmond and Ed Graney discuss the Raiders hiring of Jon Gruden as their new head coach.
Vegas Nation Stadium Show: Votes to occur in coming meetings
Ed Graney and Rick Velotta talk about the latest news about the Las Vegas Stadium.
Vegas Nation: What Does The Raiders Future Look Like?
Vegas Nation host Bryan Salmond and Raiders beat writer Michael Gehlken go over the potential hiring of Jon Gruden and the Raiders performance during the 2017 season.
Raiders’ Crabtree frustrated by lack of playing time to end season
Michael Crabtree expressed his frustration Sunday when asked about his future with the Raiders. The Raiders are expected to part ways with the ninth-year veteran wide receiver this offseason. “I’m out here playing ball,” Crabtree said. “Whatever they ask me to do. Like today, if they only want me to play 10 plays, I’ll play 10 plays." Crabtree started the season hot as the team’s top wideout, catching six touchdowns during the first six games. Crabtree received just three targets against the Eagles on Christmas night and two targets versus the Chargers. Crabtree is owed a $7 million salary in 2018, the third season of a four-year, $34 million extension he signed late in 2015. “I did everything they asked of me. These last two games, I’ve probably had three targets, but nobody saying anything about that," Crabtree said.
Raiders might lure Jon Gruden back to coaching
The Raiders are reportedly pursuing ESPN analyst Jon Gruden to fill their vacant head coaching position. Gruden, 54, has not coached since the 2008 NFL season. “I don’t want to sit here and speculate. There is no news to report,” Gruden told ESPN on Saturday. The NFL Network reported that Davis plans to offer Gruden more than $10 million a year to coach the team with an stake in team ownership. Gruden has been connected with openings in recent years, including a lucrative offer from Indianapolis last season. Gruden was the Raiders head coach from 1998-2001, going 38-26 in four seasons. “I know (Gruden),” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said. “I’ve known him for a while. But the (Del Rio firing) is still pretty fresh.”
Raiders fire Jack Del Rio
Following the Raiders loss to the Chargers, head coach Jack Del Rio was fired. Del Rio was hired in January 2015 after spending time as the Denver Broncos defensive coordinator. In 2016, Del Rio led the Raiders to a 12-4 record and their first playoff birth since 2002. After the 2016 season, Del Rio signed a 4-year contract extension. In three seasons as the Raiders head coach, Del Rio amassed a 25-23 record. “I’m very grateful," Del Rio said. "My childhood team. But it’s a results business.”
Vegas Nation: Del Rio fired after Raiders drop season finale
Bryan Salmond, Ed Graney, Michael Gehlken and Gilbert Manzano discuss the aftermath of the Raiders loss, including Jack Del Rio getting fired and what might follow.
Raiders' QB Carr reacts to Del Rio firing
Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr addressed the media following the team's loss to the Chargers and discussed his thoughts on head coach Jack Del Rio being fired.
Jack Del Rio announces Oakland Raiders fired him following loss to Chargers
After three years of serving as the head coach for the Oakland Raiders, Jack Del Rio announced he was fired by the organization following the team's loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like