Las Vegas Raiders owner Mark Davis

On The Ray-Dar: Blips From NFL Flex Decision To Las Vegas Raiders OTA

Mark Davis left no ambiguity in his thoughts on the NFL’s thoughts of flexing the Thursday Night Football slate this coming season. “Just make the schedule and play it,” the Las Vegas Raiders owner told USA TODAY Sports during a brief hiatus at the NFL owner’s meetings this past Monday.

Did Mark Davis have a right to be concerned?

Davis’s pushback was born out of his concerns for fans and the logistics behind watching a Thursday Night Football clash. And he got a jab at the Los Angeles Chargers in the process of explaining his concern.

“If you have a Raiders-Chargers game in Las Vegas scheduled for a Thursday and all of the fans driving from Los Angeles—the Raiders fans and all three Chargers fans—buy their tickets and book their hotels, how in the hell do you schedule it and now say, ‘Sorry, it’s now on Sunday?’” Davis posed. “How in the hell do you do that?”

Zing!

But Davis has a point. How the hell, indeed?

Yet Davis’s concerns fell on deaf ears. The owners plowed ahead and approved the flexing of Thursday’s slate. The caveat: It only applies to Weeks 13–17 with a maximum of two flexes per season. Oh, and a 28-day notice is required.

Which circles us back to the Raiders and Bolts.

The two AFC West squads square off on Thursday night for a Week 15 matchup on Dec. 14 in Las Vegas. Davis’s angst does have its logic. So does this: Consider that both the Chargers and Raiders boast head coaches that are dubbed “genius” (the Bolts’ Brandon Staley for defense; the Raiders’ Josh McDaniels for offense). Yet they often end up wearing dunce caps for disappointing seasons. Let’s face it, that Week 15 matchup may end up getting flexed when both teams are sub-.500.

Zing!

“Yeah, with advance notice, I think it’s okay,” McDaniels said when asked about the Thursday night flex rule change during his media availability post-Raiders organized team activity (OTA) on Thursday. “Again, we’re going to play whenever they tell us. They changed one of our games last year, as you guys all know, to a Saturday. So, whatever the flex ruling is, if we end up being flexed, then so be it, and we’ll get ready to play the game. I think that 28 days is plenty of notice for you to kind of adjust what you’re doing as long as you know ahead of time that you’re going to play on a short week.”

Speaking of Las Vegas Raiders OTA…

McDaniels and Co. touched on a number of items. Of course, the most notable being the absence of certain players. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is out as he mends from his foot injury, as our own Phil Robinson pointed out recently. Also, ditto for 2023 first-round pick Tyree Wilson on that note. Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow wasn’t there either. Neither was running back Josh Jacobs (who hasn’t signed his franchise tag tender). OTAs are voluntary at the moment, but mandatory items loom ahead. And when asked about absences, McDaniels was his usual guarded self; no surprise there. Still, he did note that none of the absences were unexpected.

Las Vegas is slated to have a mandatory minicamp from June 6–8, so it’ll be interesting to see who is available and practicing two weeks from now. Don’t be surprised if neither Garoppolo nor Wilson participate. They’re rehabbing after all.

Tae Field Day

With Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams being made available for the media, you knew the question about his quotes from The Ringer piece Davante Adams and the Race Against Time” was bound to come up. Adams’ assessment on Thursday?

Much ado about nothing…

“I mean, I told you guys right after the Derek (Carr) thing I was here to stay and I wasn’t going anywhere,” Adams said in a lengthy response to a question about the article. “So, you can grab something and run with it if you want to get clicks, and that’s what people often do with me and things that I say, whether I misspeak or if I speak up.”

“I mean, one thing I don’t do is BS, so I’m not going to make anything up when it comes to that. I’d rather keep my mouth closed if I have negative things to say,” Adams continued. “But when I say that these are some good men in this place that really value the relationship that I have with them, I mean that. That’s about all that needs to be said for that.”

*Top Photo: Stephen R. Sylvanie/USA Today Sports

Are Jimmy Garoppolo And The Raiders Getting Off On The Wrong Foot?

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