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Some NFL owners are worried Las Vegas is a bad sports town

Gambling isn't the real problem for a potential Raiders move to Las Vegas, at least not for some NFL owners.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Is Las Vegas a bad sports city? With the Raiders flirting with a move to Vegas, owners can't escape the questions that come with putting a team there. Gambling seems to be the big issue for some, but others are less concerned about that than they are whether or not the city can support a team.

I can see the concern. NFL owners, most them, are usually a conservative bunch and haven't seen the precedent for filling a football stadium in Las Vegas. However, the nature of the sport makes selling tickets in the upper deck a lot less relevant than it used to be. On the surface, a team would have plenty of clients in Las Vegas to sell premium seats, with oodles of entertainment corporations in town, not to mention out of town companies who can use those suites and seats for themselves and their clients.

The role of national television deals in the NFL carries a lot more weight than ticket sales. That's where the Raiders might be a fit, assuming the team on the field really is building for sustained success. Raider Nation is one of those NFL brands that transcends individual cities, which offers a little insight into why there are rumors of owners pushing for someone besides Mark Davis to run the team.

Daytime sports shouting shows can debate whether or not Las Vegas is a good sports city all they want. It might not matter if the NFL plays its cards right.


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Is it though? The Eagles gave Sam Bradford a two-year, $35 million contract with $22 million guaranteed. Not long after that they gave Chase Daniel a three-year, $21 million contract with $12 million guaranteed, to be the backup and maybe compete for the starting job. Then, they traded away a ton of draft picks to go up to the second spot in the draft this year and get Carson Wentz, who's reportedly ahead of Bradford already (surprise).

It's not the worst example of cap management (hello, Saints!) but it's enough that it'll hobble their roster-building efforts for two years unless Wentz turns out to be gold almost instantly. That feels like a stretch and a weighty bunch of expectations to put on a rookie QB.

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