Over the past eight weeks, there's been a mass exodus from the Raiders front office and no one seems to know why it's happening, but whatever the reason is, it's led to the resignation of four key executives since June, which has to be at least somewhat concerning to the team.
The biggest name to quit was former team president Marc Badain, who announced his resignation on July 19. Badain had been with the team since 1991 and he also spearheaded the move to Las Vegas, which is one reason why his resignation was so shocking. With the Raiders scheduled to play their first game ever in front of fans at Allegiant Stadium this year, it was surprising that he didn't stick around to see that.
In a statement to multiple media outlets, Badain didn't offer any details on why he decided to leave the franchise.
"The successful construction and operation of Allegiant Stadium has been unequivocally the most challenging part of my 30 years with the organization," Badain said the time of his resignation, via ESPN. "Seeing it through to the end has been rewarding beyond measure. Together the Raiders and Las Vegas accomplished what seemed impossible. Now that the project is complete it is time for me to focus on my family and look ahead to new pursuits.
Although Badain was the most notable executive to leave, he wasn't the only one. Here's a look at the three other executives who have resigned over the past few weeks along with when they are believed to have resigned.
- Late July: Brandon Doll (V.P. of strategy and business development). Doll, who was going into his ninth year with the Raiders, worked closely with Badain to help make the Vegas move happen, according to the Sports Business Journal. Due to the fact that he had been with the team for nearly a decade and the fact that he played such a big part in the move to Vegas, it was surprising to see him leave just as the Raiders were getting ready to welcome fans into their new stadium.
- Sometime in June: Ed Villanueva (CFO) and Araxie Grant (Club controller). Sports Business Journal reported on Wednesday that not only did these two resign, but they both left the team in June. If Grant had been the only one to resign this offseason, it probably wouldn't have raised too many eyebrows and that's mostly because she had only been with the team for barely six months. However, Villanueva had been with the team for 18 years and when you see four of your team's top business executives leave in a span of eight weeks, that doesn't paint a great picture.
It's unclear why everyone is jumping ship, but there are some theories. Peter King of NBC Sports has heard some speculation that the resignations might be related to the team's financial situation, which would make sense, since it was four business executives who quit.
"I heard lots of theories about why [Badain] left," King wrote on Aug. 2. "That he didn't approve of some of the spending by owner Mark Davis in the midst of a disastrous first financial season in Las Vegas (including Davis' decision to buy the WNBA's Las Vegas Aces), that he was just tired of the nonstop pace of running a franchise in a new city, that he and Davis were having significant disagreements on the direction of the franchise at a time when money was tight."
According to Jason Cole, who's on the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee and has had the inside scoop on the the Raiders for awhile, the Raiders "are in the process of hiring an outside law firm to deal with whatever issue is at the center of at least four top executives being dismissed/leaving the team."
Basically, this is a situation that is definitely going to be worth keeping an eye on.