Oakland Raiders: A More Attractive Free Agency Option in 2015

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Oct 30, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; T-shirts depicting a map of the bay area and the new bay bridge Golden State Warriors logo at Oracle Arena before the game between the Golden State Warriors and the Los Angeles Lakers. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Location: Northern California

While almost no one would gripe about living in NorCal, the tax rate in California is still pretty ridiculous. Believe it or not, taxes can be a determining factor for a player who is making a final decision between two teams. California currently sits at #2 just behind New York state when it comes to highest average annual tax burden. Compare that to states like Florida or Texas who rank amongst the lowest in annual tax burden.

So what does this mean for a player? A lot, those figures that get reported when a player signs are not the whole story. Players must account for not only taxes, but business and endorsement opportunities, cost of living, and lifestyle. Even though it is true players are taxed for whatever state they play in, that still means half of their games will be in California, with a much larger portion going to uncle sam.

Smart players and agents will have to negotiate things like taxes and cost of living into their respective contracts. GM’s should also understand this, meaning they may have to overspend a bit to get the player they want.

But C’mon, this is still California! Great weather, beautiful women (or men if that’s your thing), and so much to do. Oakland may not be your cup of tea, but most players live in the suburbs and commute to the team facilities anyway. There is no denying, there are definitely worst locations in the league than the Bay Area. I mean if Green Bay can attract free agents, I’m sure location is not the biggest obstacle facing the Raiders.

Lastly the looming move to LA may also be a deciding factor for potential free agents. Some may view the possible move as a good thing, while others may see it as an inconvenience. Players like defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh may like the possibility to grow their brand in a city like Los Angeles.