Raiders' Jack Del Rio: 'Worry' about your job now, Vegas move later

ByPaul Gutierrez ESPN logo
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

PHOENIX -- While the Oakland Raiders do not plan on moving to Las Vegas until 2020, coach Jack Del Rio said there has already been an "initial thought about what may or may not need to happen" regarding the potential pitfalls on working, living and playing in Sin City, especially with such a lag in time between now and a move.

"There's not a handbook out there," Del Rio joked at the AFC coaches breakfast at the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday. "If there is, please send it to me."

Then again, while many wonder about plopping young, impressionable millionaires into the middle of Las Vegas, Del Rio said there is a precedent ... of sorts.

"I played in New Orleans as a rookie ... and that city doesn't shut down either," Del Rio said. "New York stays open pretty much through the night, so [Las Vegas] is not the only city that has a segment that doesn't go to bed."

And that's not counting Miami and South Beach, or there now being two teams now in Los Angeles.

Las Vegas may be a unique city and situation, Del Rio said, but at least there is something to glean from existing markets.

Plus, with so much roster turnover from year to year -- Del Rio estimated it at 30 percent -- such a message espoused this year would be lost on many players.

"The reality is, I'm going to go talk to guys that may never make it, that won't make it to Las Vegas, about Las Vegas."

Indeed, per ESPN Stats & Information, only three players currently on the Raiders' roster are under contract through the 2020 season -- All-Pro left guard Kelechi Osemele, cornerback David Amerson and punter Marquette King -- though general manager Reggie McKenzie reiterated his desire to lock up quarterback Derek Carr and NFL defensive player of the year Khalil Mack to contract extensions this offseason, as well as right guard Gabe Jackson.

Del Rio, meanwhile, was recently rewarded with a new four-year contract extension of his own by owner Mark Davis, a deal that should see him on the sideline for the opening of the $1.9 billion, 65,000-seat dome stadium south of the Las Vegas Strip.

"There would be an opportunity to coach there should I continue to perform," Del Rio said with a laugh. "Because we're in the performance business so it's all about doing that."

Still, Del Rio said the No. 1 priority for players and coaches was to "talk to their wives and kids" about the pending move.

"Everyone needs to understand what the landscape is," he said. "To me, once you get that part settled, then you can settle back into you job, and what you need to do.

"There are wives at home right now that are asking their husbands and their husbands don't have those answers. The first thing I want them all to know is that just remember, the 30 percent rule; 30 percent of the team changes so don't worry about what we're going to be doing two or three years from now. Worry about taking care of your jobs now so you can be a part of that in two or three years.

"So it's about the here and now for the actual coach, for the actual player, for the actual product we're putting out this year. But you can't be blind to the fact that there are families involved, there are people involved, and they need some information. And part of that will be, not yet. Not yet."

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