A Los Angeles Raiders official said yesterday there is nothing to substantiate a broadcast report that the team might move back to Oakland in time for the start of the National Football League season.
"The same source said a few weeks ago that without a doubt, the Raiders would play the Dallas Cowboys in their preseason game at Oakland instead of Los Angeles," said the official, who asked not to be identified. "As we all know, the Raiders beat the Cowboys, 16-14, Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum."
ESPN, citing unidentified sources, reported Sunday night that Raiders owner Al Davis was scrambling to work out final details of a move to Oakland, including a buyout of the team's lease at the Los Angeles Coliseum. ESPN also reported the NFL has been prepared for months for a quick switch back to Oakland.
Davis could not be reached for comment.
Don Perata, president of the Alameda County Supervisors, told KCBS radio in San Francisco he thinks a move is likely. "It could all come together, and I suppose even though I've never, ever assumed they would be back this year, if Al Davis can say, 'We have a contract and we have a release from L.A. and we have the approval of whatever is required from the NFL,' yeah, it could happen," Perata said.
The Raiders, who moved to Los Angeles from Oakland in 1982, drew only 28,273 against the Cowboys. They are unhappy with their aging stadium, the oldest in use by an NFL team. Oakland has made a $127 million relocation offer, and Davis has until September to accept or reject it.
Coach Buddy Ryan says he wants to talk to holdout tight end Keith Jackson, but he does not know how to contact him.
Ryan told the Philadelphia Inquirer that he tried to reach Jackson at likely places in Arkansas, New Jersey and Dallas, to no avail.
"Somebody told me he was in Oklahoma," Ryan said. "When I get that number, I'm going to call him."
What will Ryan, who calls the Eagles' tight end situation "desperate," say to Jackson, who is holding out despite having two years remaining on his contract?
"I'll tell him I love him," Ryan said. "Come back."
A Harris County (Houston) prosecutor warned he could seek an arrest warrant against Johnny Bailey if the rookie running back does not resolve outstanding probation fines and fees.
Bailey, a ninth-round draft pick after becoming college football's all-time leading rusher at NCAA Division II Texas A&I, is accused of failing to pay about $1,400 in probation fines and fees over the past four years. He also failed to report to a probation officer seven times in the past three years, violating terms of a deferred adjudication agreement following a cocaine arrest in 1986, authorities said.