Isaiah Crowell

Raiders Place Isaiah Crowell On IR

As expected, Isaiah Crowell is heading to the Raiders’ IR list. The Raiders made that move on Friday, the team announced.

Crowell suffered an Achilles’ tendon tear while working out Tuesday. By virtue of Friday’s transaction, the sixth-year running back will miss the 2019 season.

The Raiders moved quickly to re-sign Doug Martin. Marshawn Lynch is open to returning as well, but he remains in free agency. Oakland is expected to position rookie Josh Jacobs as its starter. Attached to a second-round tender, Jalen Richard is on the roster as a passing-down option. Martin, who bounced back from two down years in becoming the starter after Lynch went down last season, figures to push for the backup job.

As for Crowell, this is obviously a tough blow. He saw the Jets cut bait on the parties’ three-year deal after one season, one in which he received a career-low 143 carries. While Crowell is just 26, Achilles tears are quite damaging to running backs’ careers.

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Raiders’ Isaiah Crowell Suffers Torn Achilles

Isaiah Crowell‘s season may already be over. During workouts on Tuesday, the new Raiders running back suffered an Achilles tear, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). 

Crowell is unlikely to suit up for the 2019 season, but as Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter) notes, there have been some instances of players tearing their Achilles in the spring and managing to play in the same season. Michael Crabtree, for example, tore his Achilles in May of 2013 but managed to play in five regular season games and two playoff contests for the 49ers. Still, the early read from the Raiders’ medical staff is that Crowell won’t be able to suit up.

The Raiders signed Crowell to a one-year deal in late March, positioning him as one of Oakland’s top rushers. Instead, it now appears that first-round pick Josh Jacobs is slated for an even bigger role than anticipated. The Raiders also have Jalen Richard, Chris Warren III, and DeAndre Washington to help keep things moving following the retirement of Marshawn Lynch. Meanwhile, last year’s top rusher Doug Martin remains in free agent limbo.

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Raiders To Sign RB Isaiah Crowell

The Raiders are set to sign former Jets running back Isaiah Crowell, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). When finalized, it’ll be a one-year deal worth up to $2.5MM. 

Crowell visited the Raiders on Thursday and it didn’t take long for a deal to come together. Crowell now has an opportunity to take over as the Raiders’ top running back with Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin both in free agent limbo.

Head coach Jon Gruden has indicated that he would like to retain both Lynch and Martin, but he also said the same of tight end Jared Cook, who has since left to join the Saints. There’s also the draft to consider, so the returns of those two vets are far from guaranteed.

The Jets released Crowell earlier this offseason after his first and only campaign with the club. Crowell did well on a per-carry basis in New York, matching his career high with 4.8 yards per carry. But, the Jets gave the 2018 free agent acquisition a career-low 143 carries. Crowell, 26, finished with 685 yards and the Jets replaced him with Le’Veon Bell.

Crowell has 27 career rushing touchdowns and surpassed 850 ground yards in his final two Browns seasons, doing so despite the team often trailing in a 1-31 stretch. He might not be the sexiest name out there, but he could help to fortify the Raiders’ running game.

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Isaiah Crowell To Visit Raiders

The Raiders have made some splash moves in free agency but still have openings at running back. Isaiah Crowell will make a trip to Oakland as a potential solution, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Jon Gruden, in particular, wants the Raiders to sign Crowell, Rapoport adds. So this partnership appears to have a good chance of happening. Crowell’s visit, his first in this free agency period, will occur Thursday.

The Jets released Crowell earlier this offseason, doing so after one season. Crowell did well on a per-carry basis in New York, matching his career high with 4.8 yards per carry. But the Jets gave the 2018 free agent acquisition a career-low 143 carries. Crowell, 26, finished with 685 yards. The Jets replaced him with Le’Veon Bell, who was also on the Raiders’ radar. Although, the Silver and Black did not appear to make a serious run at the longtime Steeler.

Crowell has 27 career rushing touchdowns and surpassed 850 ground yards in his final two Browns seasons, doing so despite the team often trailing in a 1-31 stretch.

Marshawn Lynch‘s status with the Raiders is up in the air, and despite Gruden indicating he was in favor of a Doug Martin return, that has not come to fruition. Jalen Richard has yet to sign his second-round tender, but the fourth-year passing-down back doing so would appear likely. DeAndre Washington remains on the team as well.

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Jets Release RB Isaiah Crowell

The Jets have released running back Isaiah Crowell, according to a team announcement. This was the expected move after the club inked Le’Veon Bell to be the new lead back.

We heard this was the plan back in February, and now the Jets are following through. Crowell, 26, matched a career watermark with 4.8 yards per carry last season. He also had six touchdowns on the ground plus 21 catches for 152 yards. While his season was fine on paper, it was a relative disappointment after the Jets signed him to a three-year, $12MM deal last offseason.

His numbers were somewhat inflated by one standout game, as 219 of Crowell’s 685 yards came against the Broncos in a brilliant Week 5 performance. New York ended up placing him on injured reserve with a few weeks to go last season, as he battled a toe injury.

Crowell will now enter a market without too many big-name running backs on it, and he should be able to find a new home relatively easily, although he likely won’t be receiving the $4MM per year he got from the Jets.

An undrafted free agent from Alabama State, Crowell started his career with the Browns and spent his first four years in Cleveland. He was always pretty productive, rushing for at least 600 yards in all four seasons, but for whatever reason the Browns never wanted to commit to him as their full-time running back.

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AFC Rumors: Brown, Crowell, Pats, Broncos

Although Joe Flacco interrupted Antonio Brown‘s run as the NFL news cycle’s offseason centerpiece, the Steelers‘ drama with their superstar wide receiver remains the league’s top storyline. After Brown’s trade request, NFL executives believe there may be a significant gap between what the Steelers want to part ways with Brown (and take on a sizable dead-money chunk) and what other teams will pay. One NFL GM believes Pittsburgh, regardless of Brown’s age (31 in July) and off-field trouble, will still want a first-rounder, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes. Two other high-ranking execs said, via Fowler, Brown could fetch a Day 2 draft choice, while another predicted a fourth-round pick. Collecting a third- or fourth-round pick for a four-time All-Pro, while taking on more than $20MM in dead money, would be an incredible pill for the Steelers to swallow.

One team that may want Brown may not be able to acquire him, with Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports tweeting the Steelers will not trade him to the Patriots in addition to having a predictable stance on an intra-AFC North trade.

Free agency is less than a month away, but teams are making moves in preparation. Here is the latest on this front, along with other AFC news:

  • Already pushing $100MM in cap space, the Jets may move closer to triple digits soon. They plan to release Isaiah Crowell once they agree to terms with a veteran running back, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News notes. Such a release would clear $3MM off New York’s cap. The Jets have been the team most linked to preparing for a Le’Veon Bell run, and Mehta adds Tevin Coleman would be a nice consolation prize. While Crowell signed a three-year, $12MM deal, the Jets would only be on the hook for the remaining $2MM of his signing bonus.
  • With several free agents at wide receiver, the Patriots‘ pass-catching corps is likely to look considerably different next season. However, if Josh Gordon is somehow reinstated, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe expects the RFA to be back in New England (Twitter link). But the Patriots obviously cannot count on that happening. Additionally, the Patriots are not, in fact, paying for Gordon’s rehab. The NFLPA is doing so, Volin adds.
  • Under Ozzie Newsome, the Ravens have been known to prioritize compensatory picks. They may be ready to collect another prime end-of-round draft choice this year. Za’Darius Smith‘s free agency buzz reminds The Athletic’s Jeff Zreibec of what followed Pernell McPhee four years ago as he readied for the market. McPhee left for a big Bears offer. A contract-year wonder, Smith looks headed elsewhere, too, per Zreibec (subscription required), with the Ravens prioritizing four-time Pro Bowler C.J. Mosley and possible skill-position enhancements. Baltimore is about to lose $16MM via its Flacco trade, and it presently holds just $21MM in cap space. So adjustments will need to occur if these roster-bolstering hopes are to be realized.
  • Brandon Marshall is open to restructuring his contract to stay with the Broncos, Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic notes (subscription required), but Denver may be set to move on after a six-season partnership. The Broncos re-signed Todd Davis last year and like 2018 fourth-round pick Josey Jewell, who started several games for an injured Marshall last season and would be a cheaper alternative. Denver would save $5MM by releasing Marshall while also being tagged with $4MM in cap charges. A Super Bowl 50 starter, Marshall played all 16 games in 2017 but missed five in both 2016 and ’18.

Jets Place Isaiah Crowell On IR

On Friday, the Jets placed running back Isaiah Crowell on IR due to a toe injury. To take his place, the Jets will promote running back De’Angelo Henderson from the practice squad. 

Crowell rushed for 685 yards and six touchdowns off of 143 carries this year, but his 98-yard rushing performance against the Titans earlier this month represents his only big game over the last eight contests. Of course, before that, Crowell went off against the Broncos when he racked up 219 yards off of 15 carries.

Crowell seems likely to return to the Jets after signing a three-year, $12MM deal in the offseason and matching a career high 4.8 yards per carry in 2018. However, it’s not guaranteed that he’ll be the Jets’ lead back next year. Gang Green will have upwards of $100MM to spend in the spring and Le’Veon Bell is rumored to be among their top targets.

The Jets are looking to win two straight games for just the second time this season when they face the Texans on Sunday. They’ll try to get the job done without Crowell and wide receiver Quincy Enunwa, who is battling an ankle injury.

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AFC East Notes: Pats, Jets, Crowell, Dolphins

Defensive end Trey Flowers has been a solid contributor for the Patriots for the past three seasons, but as he enters his contract year, Flowers isn’t guaranteed to land an extension from New England, as Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston writes. The Patriots, historically, haven’t been willing to invest much cap space in their defensive line, preferring to plug in low-cost veterans or rookies who excel at stopping the run. Chandler Jones, New England’s best edge rusher in recent memory, was traded to the Cardinals in exchange for a second-round pick, as the Patriots presumably had no interest in paying Jones market value. Flowers, 25 next month, played in roughly three-quarters of New England’s defensive snaps a season ago, far-and-away the most among Patriots’ defensive lineman. In that time, Flowers posted 45 tackles, 6.5 sacks, and graded as the league’s No. 14 edge defender, per Pro Football Focus.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Even after inking a three-year, $12MM contract, Isaiah Crowell is not expected to become an every-down back with the Jets, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News. The 25-year-old Crowell handled a career-high 206 carries in 2017, but New York has other running backs on its roster that are more capable in the passing game. Bilal Powell and Elijah McGuire will likely handle most of Gang Green’s passing work, leaving Crowell early downs. The Jets figure to trail in many of their games during the upcoming season, meaning Powell and/or McGuire may very well see the lion’s share of the offensive snaps as New York throws the ball in attempts to catch up. Former Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls is also on the Jets’ roster, and could conceivably soak up carries if Crowell falters.
  • Frank Gore turned 35 years old in May, but he’s hoping the move to a grass field with the Dolphins could help prolong his career, as he tells Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald“Turf is tough on your body and it’ll have you swollen,” said Gore, who played on turf for the past three seasons with Indianapolis. “Playing on turf, I wouldn’t get my body back until that Friday. But when I’m playing on grass, I’m good after the game. I’m happy that I’m on grass.” Gore isn’t expected to be the lead back in Miami, as he’ll compete with Kenyan Drake and rookie Kalen Ballage for carries. But he’ll conceivably serve as something of a mentor to both of those young players, each of whom is under the age of 25. Gore managed 3.7 yards per carry on 261 totes for the Colts in 2017.
  • In case you missed it, the Jets are expected to sign former Mississippi State defensive back Brandon Bryant, who was not selected in Wednesday’s supplemental draft.
  • Here’s the latest on Bills running back LeSean McCoy, who is facing domestic violence accusations from his ex-girlfriend.

AFC Notes: Broncos, Brady, Jets, Dunlap

Bill Musgrave, who was elevated to Broncos‘ offensive coordinator once Mike McCoy was dismissed after Week 10 of the 2017 campaign, could not effectuate many wholesale changes to the offense midseason. But as Mike Klis of 9News.com writes, Musgrave is installing an almost completely different offense this year. “Yeah, it’s pretty much all different,” Musgrave said.

Denver ranked 27th in the league in scoring last season, and everyone from the front office down believed that McCoy’s complex system was a big reason for that, although the team’s offense has been in a funk since the second half of the 2014 season. However, the Broncos hope that Case Keenum will bring much-needed stability to the quarterback position, and that Musgrave’s more streamlined offense — which was developed along with GM John Elway, head coach Vance Joseph, and personnel advisor Gary Kubiak — will lead to improved results in 2018.

Now let’s take look at a few other AFC notes and rumors:

  • Although Tom Brady has not announced when he will return to the Patriots, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe, just like owner Robert Kraft, expects him to be present for the team’s mandatory minicamp this week. Brady’s backups, Brian Hoyer and Danny Etling, have gotten increased work in Brady’s absence, and it remains unclear as to how Brady will be received by head coach Bill Belichick when he returns. While Brady will likely not have much trouble making up for lost time, his absence has created plenty of buzz in the NFL world, and it is not helping the already palpable tension between him and his coach.
  • Mike Reiss of ESPN.com says Patriots second-year TE Jacob Hollister, who made the team as a UDFA last year, has added some noticeable weight and strength and has looked good in OTAs. Hollister will compete for No. 3 TE reps with free agent signee Troy Niklas, who comes with a better draft pedigree but who has not done much in his first few professional seasons.
  • Jets CEO Christopher Johnson‘s pro-player stance on the national anthem issue will likely not be a major factor when it comes to luring free agents, but Rich Cimini of ESPN.com says it is suggestive of a player-friendly environment, which could be a selling point if a player has narrowed his choice to a couple of teams. In the same piece, Cimini notes that the team is rededicating itself to a physical and prominent running game, which free agent signee Isaiah Crowell will lead, and that Quincy Enunwa still expects to be ready for the start of training camp.
  • Steelers‘ 2018 second-round choice James Washington is the presumptive favorite to assume the team’s No. 3 WR job following the draft-day trade of Martavis Bryant. But as Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com writes, Justin Hunter — a former second-round pick of the Titans whose star never rose like some expected — has been getting a few first-team reps during this year’s OTAs, and he is making the most of them. Hunter, like Bryant, is a lanky deep threat capable of making plays downfield, and he hopes to become a consistent target for Ben Roethlisberger.
  • Both Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap are entering the final year of their respective contracts, and as Paul Dehner Jr. of the Cincinnati Enquirer notes, the Bengals clearly want to keep Atkins around long-term. Whether or not they want to keep Dunlap could hinge not only on the performance of the young defensive lineman already on the roster, but on next year’s crop of rookies. 2019 is already being labeled “the year of the defensive lineman,” and if the 2019 crop of collegiate prospects lives up to its billing, Cincinnati could be perfectly content to let Dunlap walk. We learned yesterday that Dunlap would end his short-lived holdout and report to the team.
  • In the same piece linked above, Dehner names Bengals‘ 2018 fifth-round choice Darius Phillips as the late-round pick who has stood out the most thus far. Phillips has been deployed as a slot corner in spring practices and has looked sharp and instinctive. He also has been getting a shot at punt returner, as he is reportedly electric with the ball in his hands.

Extra Points: Jets, McKinnon, Cardinals, Mathieu, Eagles, Foles, Acho, Bears

The latest from around the NFL:

  • Running back Jerick McKinnon nearly joined Teddy Bridgewater with the Jets, according to Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (on Twitter). Ultimately, the 49ers came back with a big offer. The Jets pivoted at that point and instead signed running back Isaiah Crowell.
  • The Cardinals were willing to go to about $9MM/year with Tyrann Mathieu before he was cut, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com tweets. Other teams believe that he is now looking to top that figure. He may or may not get that kind of coin given his past injuries and a down 2017.
  • The Cardinals called the Eagles about acquiring Nick Foles this week, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). However, this took place right around the time of the Sam Bradford signing. With Bradford in the fold at a hefty salary, it’s unlikely that the Cards will go back to that well. Meanwhile, the Eagles seem intent on keeping the Super Bowl MVP.
  • Before re-signing with the Bears, linebacker Sam Acho also had interest from the Seahawks, Texans, and Rams (Twitter link via ESPN.com’s Jeff Dickerson).