The Raiders are going to stay in Oakland for a few years before heading to Las Vegas, and LB Khalil Mack knows just how strange and potentially awkward the situation is. If fans know the team is leaving, will they still cheer for a few seasons before that officially happens? Or will they be so hurt by the move that they abandon the team early?
Mack has been asked about the mindset the players have and what he thinks of the relocation multiple times. As reported by Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area, he recently said:
“It comes up all the time but it’s always the thing like, ‘just win now.’ That’s what it comes down to for us. That’s all we want to do. You don’t know what’s going to happen down the line. You don’t know. This team that we have now, we want to focus on winning now.”
The Raiders were a potential Super Bowl contender last year, before the injury that ended QB Derek Carr’s season. The focus on winning is in part because they think they could be right on the doorstep of something great.
On top of that, though Mack has become a cornerstone of the team, most players really don’t know what’s going to happen down the line, as he noted. How many of the Raiders who take the field in 2017 will actually still be there when the team moves to Vegas? While that move is looming for the fans, it may mean little to much of the team. Players move around constantly in free agency and simply need to focus on winning wherever they are.