The Raiders’ future home remains up in the air, but owner Mark Davis isn’t afraid to admit how much he likes the site in Inglewood that remains an option for the franchise.
“I know the site very much,” Davis told CSNBayArea.com on Monday at the NFL owners meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. “I love the site. I think it’s a great opportunity.”
The Los Angeles Rams are building a new stadium in Inglewood, scheduled to open in 2019, and the San Diego Chargers have a one-year option to join them that expires in January. (That option could receive a one-year extension if a referendum to approve funding for a San Diego stadium is approved by this November).
If Chargers’ chairman Dean Spanos passes on L.A. to remain in San Diego, the option transfers over to the Raiders, who could return to the area they called home from 1982-94.
“I think L.A. is great,” Davis told CSN. “It’s up to Dean to make his determination, and we’ll give him the time to determine what he wants to do for his future, as well, because he has the same decisions to make. And we’ll see what happens. That’s really all we can do on that.”
Davis reiterated his common refrain of ingress, egress and parking being the most important things for the Raiders’ next home and he seems to have concerns about that aspect of the Inglewood plan.
“I don’t know whether they’re going to create that there,” Davis told CSN.
As for Oakland, Davis had nothing to update.
“I’m still trying to get something with the stadium,” he told CSN.
* Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie backed up his earlier comments that the team holds linebacker Aldon Smith in their long-term plans.
The NFL recently clarified that Smith, who is suspended until mid-November and can’t apply for re-instatement until 60 days prior, is eligible to sign a contract even while he’s under suspension. The Raiders don’t plan to rush into re-signing Smith though.
McKenzie told CSN that conversations with Smith have been positive but they want to continue to monitor to make sure Smith is staying out of trouble.
“Really, it’s encouraging him as a person to continue to get his life right,” McKenzie said to CSN. “And if you’re going to commit to this thing, you have to go through some steps. And that’s what he’s going through right now.”