The Oakland Raiders agreed to a brand new one-year lease to play in Oakland Coliseum for the 2019 season. However have they completed an excessive amount of to deliver again their followers?
2018 was a tough yr to be an Oakland Raiders fan.
The on-the-field stuff was dangerous sufficient. Earlier than the season even started, new head coach Jon Gruden traded away one of many Raiders greatest gamers, Khalil Mack, to the Chicago Bears for a sequence of future draft picks. Oakland went Four-12 within the 2018 season, ending 4th in a yr the place two of their AFC West rivals went to the postseason. By the point the bye-week rolled round, it felt just like the season was over.
Off-the-field, it appeared just like the Raiders franchise was able to move-on from Oakland. At occasions, it felt just like the workforce didn’t even care that it could be their final ever recreation in Oakland or that they could be saying goodbye to a fanbase that has supported them on and off for the final sixty years.
Now, the Raiders group has come to an settlement with town of Oakland that may preserve them within the Coliseum for an additional yr, with an choice for 2020. However will Oakland followers forgive the franchise in what *may* be their farewell season?
This isn’t the primary time Raiders followers have been on this scenario. The Raiders franchise performed in Oakland from 1960 to 1981 earlier than shifting to Los Angeles for twelve years. Then, they got here again to Oakland in 1995, the place they’ve been for the final 24 years.
Right here’s the factor about Oakland followers: they’re loyal to the top. They’ve been examined loads of their practically 60 yr historical past. However even on the finish of final season, although the Raiders had been barely holding issues collectively, Oakland followers appeared to precise a combination of pleasure and unhappiness. “I’m a Raiders fan,” one Raiders fan mentioned. “I’m going to roll with my workforce wherever they go.”
And it helps that they’re placing in some work within the offseason. The largest addition is extensive receiver Antonio Brown, acquired in a commerce with the Pittsburgh Steelers on a three-year, $50.25 million greenback deal. They’ve additionally added offensive sort out Trent Brown, defensive again LaMarcus Joyner, and extensive receiver Tyrell Williams. Plus, the Raiders have three first spherical draft picks. They’re rumored to be linked to some massive names, together with Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray.
If that is going to be the Raiders’ final season within the Coliseum, it’s shaping as much as be fairly one thing. Some followers are possible prepared to surrender on the workforce, feeling like one more technology of Raiders followers who’ve been taken benefit of by the group. However some will inevitably return, able to cheer on their workforce in a yr with lots of promise.
The place will nearly all of followers fall? We’ll have to attend and see.