Risky Raiders

I’m sure the Raiders move to Vegas was well thought out in terms of economic value and giving the people “what they want,” but how much thought was put into the lifestyle aspect for the franchises’ players of today and of the future?

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I’m sitting at the dinner table eating breakfast, reading up on the Steelers third round draft pick Cameron Sutton (a no nonsense kind of guy), while CNN is in the background touching base on President Trump’s “harder than he thought” comments, then it hit me. Here you have a multi-million dollar franchise settling into an atmosphere that reeks of wealth, now becoming the home to a lot of young men, who may not be ready for the fast lifestyle that Las Vegas will bring, let alone flourishing into a professional athlete.

If you happen to be in Vegas or just a Raiders fan reading this, there’s no need to get defensive…well unless you’re upper management with the Raiders who filled and upgraded needed positions on the defensive side of the ball through the first three rounds of the 2017 NFL draft.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach, Jack Del Rio seen eye to eye in drafting Ohio State cornerback Gareon Conley, Connecticut safety Obi Melifonwu and UCLA defensive tackle, Eddie Vanderdoes. So what does this mean? It means that you have all but one player (thus far) moving across the country to begin their next chapter in life in “Sin City.” I’m not saying this to question or shame the characters of this or next year’s rookies, but simply saying team officials or maybe league officials should have seen a few red flags and concerns with the move from Oakland to Las Vegas.

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I mean think about it, if you read into the NFL or pro sports in general (mainly the NBA for this matter) you know that one common issue that links them together is financial struggles, specifically speaking, rookies and their management of finances.

I understand that the NFL is a business first, but at the end of the day, the league still has a code to take care of their players, and I’ve always been one to say that there should be a mandatory string of classes for rookies throughout their first one maybe two seasons that assist/ teach them proper money management.

Sure these guys aren’t getting goo-gobs of cash within their rookie contracts, but I can guarantee you they’re getting more than your average vacationing money. In general, as a professional athletic coach, it takes a certain type of makeup to keep your players on the straight line, like your Belichicks, Arians, and Tomlins, guys who don’t have a problem disciplining their guys and making their presence felt as soon as they walk in a room, and in Las Vegas, there’s going to be some testing moments, and it’s going to take some tightening up from coach Del Rio to keep the teams current 3-year streak of not having any players arrested, still alive.


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