Stability’s been elusive during Jon Gruden‘s first months in Oakland, and Rashaan Melvin found himself as the centerpiece of a recent chapter in a complicated Raiders year. The Raiders limited the free agent addition to just seven snaps Sunday in London, and Melvin expressed his frustration with a reduced role. The Raiders have wanted Melvin to add a new technique to his repertoire, one he wasn’t familiar with during his previous NFL seasons, and internally prefer mid-offseason pickup Daryl Worley to Melvin, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes. After a more diplomatic response Sunday, Melvin tweeted, “I’m done trying to change my style. It’s not me. Back to what I know and what got me here!!” Gruden then used another opportunity to take issue with one of his players through the press.
“Melvin is on his seventh team. Maybe he is confused about what technique he is using,” Gruden said Tuesday, via Vic Vafur of The Athletic (on Twitter). “He is frustrated. I can’t blame him. … He is a good kid.”
Melvin signed a one-year, $5.5MM contract with the Raiders after delivering a strong season, prior to an injury, in 2017. Like most aspects of the 2018 Raiders, Melvin’s contract year is not going well. Projected starting corners Melvin and Gareon Conley are now on the bench.
Here’s the latest out of Oakland:
- Trade rumors continue to hit Reggie McKenzie-era draft picks, with Amari Cooper, Karl Joseph and even Derek Carr surfacing in them. Although Carr’s status appears secure in 2018, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com writes some NFL execs are receiving the impression no other non-rookie Raider is untouchable at this year’s trade deadline. While little’s going right for the Raiders, they do have a solid offensive line interior (Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson) and have proven pass rusher Bruce Irvin. All arrived under McKenzie’s watch and helped lead Oakland to a 12-4 2016 season. Cooper’s availability stems from the Raiders, like they were with Khalil Mack, appearing unready to authorize a top-market second contract, per Robinson. It’s a tough time for a franchise that’s endured many of them this century.
- Marshawn Lynch is one Raider who’s having a decent season, but his campaign may need to be paused. The 32-year-old back is battling a groin strain, and Gruden is concerned this could be a long-term problem (Twitter link via Tafur). Lynch is receiving medical input on the issue this week. Lynch scored touchdowns during the first three games of the season but has averaged fewer than four yards per carry in five of his six games. He rushed for 45 yards on 13 carries in London. The Raiders exercised their post-London bye option, so Lynch has additional time to recover.
- Having cut Derrick Johnson earlier Tuesday, the Raiders worked out former Broncos linebacker Corey Nelson, veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets. Nelson’s been on the workout circuit for a bit now and hasn’t been able to stick on a team since his Broncos rookie contract expired.