POSTED 11:48 a.m. EST; LAST UPDATED 12:29 p.m. EST, November 24, 2006

AL DAVIS HAS BEEN TRYING TO SELL

A league source with knowledge of the situation, but who has requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the discussions, tells us that Raiders owner Al Davis has been trying to sell a 30-percent stake in the team, with a path to control of the organization upon his demise.

Talks have occurred with "a bunch" of parties, but no deal has been consummated.

The problem, per the source, is that the clarity of the path to control is subject to debate.

Though identified as the "owner" on the team's official web site, Davis technically is the managing general partner of the Raiders.
(Actually, the legal title, as we understand it, goes like this:
"managing general partner of the general partner.")

Per the source, Davis doesn't own 51 percent of the team, but under the legal structure that has been in place for decades Davis is the guy who runs it.

So if Davis isn't in a position to provide a clear path to control upon his demise the question, as we see it, is whether he likewise has the ability to bequeath control upon his passing.
It could be that he doesn't, and the homework assignment for the members of the "real" media with the time, resources, and inclination to take the baton is to round up information as to the full gamut of persons who hold an interest in the team -- and to get access to documents that detail how it is that Davis has been in charge for so long, and how the power vacuum will be filled once he is no longer in position to run the team.