Are the Raiders a 'Healthy' Franchise? Pt. 1

A well-respected NFL executive told our Hondo Carpenter Sr. the five key things that you judge to know if your franchise is healthy. This series, a Raider's Today exclusive, is a look into how the Las Vegas Raiders fit within those five indicators.
Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Jack Jones (18) celebrates with team mates against the Kansas City Chiefs after scoring during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Jack Jones (18) celebrates with team mates against the Kansas City Chiefs after scoring during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
In this story:

Recently, our Las Vegas Raiders beat writer Hondo Carpenter Sr. and his wife, Shannon, had dinner with a widely respected NFL executive. That dinner revealed a fascinating revelation.

The executive told Carpenter what he considered the five indicators of a healthy franchise: stability in ownership, stability in management, stability in coaching, unity throughout the organization and a clear vision of the franchise's future, and the right roster.

Ownership is the first of the five pillars of a healthy franchise. The Raiders check that box, according to Carpenter. Davis does not run the team like his Iconic father, the late Al Davis.

That is not a bad thing.

"Now, are there things I would have done different than Mark Davis? Yes," Carpenter said on the "Las Vegas Insider Podcast." "But I hear some people that are very critical of Mark, and I think there's some things you can be critical of. But overall, I don't think he's a bad owner. The guy ate tens of millions of dollars moving on from [former head coach] Josh McDaniels, and he didn't have to. And there are other things he's done -- the move from [Oakland], he did things his dad had never been able to do business-wise, and now it puts him in a spot. He's got to do some things football-wise ... Again, do I think he's the best owner in the league? No. Do I think he's [the] worst? Not even close. I think he's a good owner and there is stability there."

In his writing, Carpenter has applauded Davis for bringing the team out of financial hardship and, of course, the move to the desert, setting the Silver and Black up for "decades of success." Carpenter has also given due credit to Davis' "being more connected to his blue-collared fan base" than other owners throughout the league.

There have also been moments of what one could call negligent ownership on Davis' part, too. In 2022, the "calculated risk" of hiring McDaniels with the promise that the Raiders were not rebuilding led to a 2-7 start to the season. Where Carpenter criticized Davis was the "duplicitous" nature of which he spoke to the "malnourished" fan base.

Carpenter had written that the fan base deserved better from Davis.

Last season, Davis fired McDaniels and gave the reigns to Coach Antonio Pierce and General Manager Tom Telesco, setting in motion other key aspects of a healthy franchise.

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Michael France

MICHAEL FRANCE