Lamarcus Joyner

Raiders To Cut Lamarcus Joyner?

The Raiders narrowly missed the playoffs in 2020, and their defense was largely to blame for that. The unit finished near the bottom of the league in terms of total defense and points per game, and Vegas hopes that new defensive coordinator Gus Bradley and an influx of new talent will lead to an improved showing in 2021.

As Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes, the Raiders can free up about $48MM of cap room with a series of cuts that shouldn’t be too difficult to make — they already plan to release WR Tyrell Williams — and they can allocate some of those funds (along with the No. 17 overall pick, perhaps) to the defensive side of the ball. One of the players that is expected be let go is defensive back Lamarcus Joyner.

Indeed, Tafur says “there is no way” that Joyner, 30, will return to the team on his 2021 salary of $9.6MM. Releasing him would save Vegas about $8.7MM in cap space, and when one considers the value of that space versus Joyner’s performance over his first two years in the Silver-and-Black, it stands to reason that the Raiders would want to part ways.

GM Mike Mayock signed Joyner as an unrestricted free agent in March 2019, giving the former Ram a four-year, $42MM contract. That did not turn out to be one of Mayock’s better decisions, as Joyner — who primarily played safety with the Rams but who has become Vegas’ top nickel corner — has generally struggled. As Tafur candidly remarks, Joyner has “made like five plays in two seasons,” and Pro Football Focus is not much higher on him. The advanced metrics ranked the Florida State product as the 89th-best CB in the league in 2020, out of 121 qualified players. While player and team could theoretically come to terms on a pay cut, Tafur says that doesn’t seem overly likely either.

In Tafur’s estimation, Mayock should use the No. 17 overall selection on one of this year’s top collegiate pass rushers while using some of his free agent dollars on an established safety like Denver’s Justin Simmons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Activate Trent Brown, Lamarcus Joyner From Reserve/COVID-19 List

After Trent Brown‘s second lengthy absence this season, the Raiders may finally have their right tackle back in action soon.

The Raiders activated Brown, Lamarcus Joyner and Theo Riddick off their reserve/COVID-19 list Wednesday. Brown contracted the coronavirus earlier this season and experienced significant complications from the disease, requiring hospitalization and a second stay on Las Vegas’ reserve/COVID list.

Brown was on track to practice this week, and while the 2019 Pro Bowler might not be ready to return against the Jets, staying on schedule represents a positive development given his issues this season. If Brown is not ready to suit up this weekend, two weeks’ worth of practices could well be enough for a Week 14 re-emergence to take place.

Brown has played all of 73 offensive snaps this season, with an injury a few plays into the season moving him to IR, and has required two stints on the virus list. The Raiders have experienced issues at both tackle spots recently, though Kolton Miller returned from a brief absence late last month. He and Brown have barely seen the field together this season, however, and the latter’s return would be a boon to the suddenly struggling team’s playoff hopes. Las Vegas is already out starting guard Richie Incognito for the season.

Joyner has also landed on the Raiders’ COVID list twice this season. He was part of a slew of Raiders to be placed on the list after Clelin Ferrell‘s positive test late last month, but after Joyner initially came off the list with teammates, the Raiders moved him back on the list just before their Chiefs rematch. Joyner has missed the past two games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lamarcus Joyner Back On Reserve/COVID-List

The Raiders activated CB Lamarcus Joyner from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday, but as Vic Tafur of The Athletic reports, Las Vegas has put Joyner back on the list today (Twitter link). As such, Joyner will miss tonight’s matchup with the Chiefs.

Raiders defensive end Clelin Ferrell recently tested positive for the coronavirus, and as a close contact of Ferrell, Joyner — along with a whole host of other players — landed on the reserve-COVID-19 list earlier this week. All of those other players came off the list yesterday and remain on track to play.

It’s unclear whether Joyner himself has contracted the virus, but regardless, the Raiders will be without their primary slot corner as they attempt to put a lid on the Chiefs’ high-flying offense. Of course, Las Vegas is responsible for Kansas City’s only loss this season, but the club had to prepare for this game with most of its starting defense participating remotely.

Joyner, who is in his second year with the Raiders, has not been great this season, as Pro Football Focus regards him as a middling performer in terms of coverage and as the 85th-best corner out of 119 eligible players. Still, the club ranks in the bottom third of the league in passing yards allowed per game, and losing a veteran like Joyner is never a good thing.

Joyner has compiled 46 tackles and three passes defensed this season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/20

Here are Friday’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Lachavious Simmons

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: RB T.J. Logan; Logan remains on IR

Raiders To Place Several Defenders On Reserve/COVID-19 List

4:09pm: The following Raiders landed on the reserve/COVID-19 list: Johnathan Abram, Maliek Collins, Johnathan Hankins, Arden Key, cornerback Isaiah Johnson and defensive tackle Kendal Vickers. While this comes in under the rumored eight-starter number, five Raiders defensive first-stringers are currently sidelined — when Ferrell and Joyner are included.

3:06pm: The Raiders already prepared for a game without their first-string offensive line. They will face another difficult task ahead of their Week 11 rematch with the Chiefs.

At least eight members of the Raiders’ starting defense will land on their reserve/COVID-19 list, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Some of Las Vegas’ non-starter contributors on defense will also surface on the COVID list soon.

These players qualify as high-risk close contacts, and while Rapoport and NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero note they are not ruled out of Sunday night’s game (Twitter link), this certainly will bring another challenge for a team accustomed to dealing with them on the coronavirus front.

This news comes after the Raiders placed Clelin Ferrell and Lamarcus Joyner on their coronavirus list. The former tested positive for COVID-19, Rapoport tweets. With two starters already on the list — and Ferrell set to miss the team’s Week 11 game — Wednesday’s news would cover almost every other starting defender. The latest slew of players set to appear on Vegas’ COVID list are indeed close Ferrell contacts, Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal tweets.

Players who land on the virus list must isolate for five days. That timetable starts not at the point they land on the list but dates back to the individuals’ last contact with someone who contracted the virus. The Raiders are currently down right tackle Trent Brown due to COVID-19 and have lost a 2021 draft choice — and more than $1MM in total this season — because of failure to comply with the NFL’s COVID protocols.

Ahead of their Week 7 game against the Buccaneers, the Raiders practiced without Brown and the rest of their starting offensive line because of the group qualifying as high-risk close contacts of the mammoth tackle. The rest of the Raiders’ O-line returned to face the Bucs, which was moved from Sunday night to Sunday afternoon. With more Raiders out of practice because of the virus a month later, it would not be surprising if the NFL removes this game from the Sunday-night time slot as well to create flexibility in the event a postponement is necessary.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/17/20

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

Denver Broncos

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

AFC West Notes: Joyner, Broncos, Chubb

It’s been a busy offseason for Derek Carr. The Raiders quarterback moved his family to Las Vegas, and the 29-year-old recently announced that his wife is pregnant. Despite those major life changes and the limitations of a virtual offseason, Carr believes that he and his teammate are entirely focused on football.

“I feel like we’re really working hard, I feel like we’re getting a lot done,” Carr said during an appearance on NFL Network (via Kyle Martin of the team’s website). “We’ve got some young guys, some new guys that are going to play big roles for us. So, I feel like this has been really good for us, this is the best we can do right now.”

Carr also reacted to the news that Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas will host the 2021 Pro Bowl.

“I’ve been to three Pro Bowls, it’s blessing, it’s cool, but I’m trying to do some other things,” Carr said. “I’m trying to play in the Super Bowl, I’m trying to win the Super Bowl. The Pro Bowl is fun and all that stuff, it’s exciting and I think it’s great for the community, I think it’s a great thing for fans to see some of their favorite players up close and personal, and not just on Twitter or Instagram. You know me, I’ve got different plans this year.”

Let’s check out some more notes from around the AFC West…

  • While Lamarcus Joyner is currently slotted in as the Raiders‘ starting slot cornerback, Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes that the coaching staff intends to give the 29-year-old some reps at safety. After inking a four-year, $42MM deal last offseason, Joyner was inconsistent during his first season with the Raiders, finishing with 49 tackles and three passes defended in 14 games (1o starts).
  • Following news that Broncos safety Kareem Jackson had tested positive for COVID-19, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that none of his teammates have recently tested positive. 40 Broncos players recently participated in the Denver protests, including Jackson, so there was some concern that the safety may have passed the coronavirus to other members of the organization. Broncos star Von Miller revealed back in April that he had tested positive.
  • It’s been less than a year since Bradley Chubb tore his ACL, but Troy Renck of 7News in Denver writes that the Broncos linebacker has started running. According to the reporter, there’s optimism that the former fifth-overall pick will be ready to go come the start of the regular season.

West Notes: 49ers, Dissly, Raiders

With DeForest Buckner‘s asking price starting at $20MM per year, the 49ers gave the Pro Bowl defensive tackle’s agent permission to seek a trade at the Combine, Albert Breer of SI.com notes. Lynch told Joel Segal, Buckner’s agent, that the four-year San Francisco starter had earned a megadeal. But in order for the 49ers to sign off on a trade, a first-round pick had to be involved. Segal found a taker in the Colts before the Combine’s conclusion.

Not only did he bring back a first-round pick, he brought back the 13th pick,” Lynch said. “And then, it’s like, ‘Whoa, I didn’t think he’d do that.’ By that point, you start looking at how we can keep our team together. And I guess a long story short, it’s not something we wanted to do, but at a certain point, we felt like that was the best decision.”

The 49ers opted to extend Arik Armstead at $17MM per year, instead trading Buckner to the Colts and drafting defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw 14th overall. Buckner signed a $21MM-AAV deal with Indianapolis. Here is more from San Francisco as well as some news from the AFC West:

  • Lynch called Ron Rivera before the draft, hoping to finalize a Trent Williams trade before the virtual event began, Breer adds. The Redskins HC informed the 49ers GM “too much interest” was coming Washington’s way for the long-disgruntled tackle to have a trade done before the draft. While the 49ers rated Iowa tackle Tristan Wirfs rated “incredibly high,” they preferred Kinlaw in an effort to keep their defensive line as one of the NFL’s deepest position groups. Allowing the Buccaneers to draft Wirfs at No. 13, via one-slot trade-down, preceded the 49ers winning the Williams sweepstakes. Rivera called Lynch Saturday morning to inform that San Francisco’s Friday offer of third- and fifth-round picks was enough to close a deal, according to the 49ers GM.
  • Will Dissly has suffered season-ending injuries early in each of his two NFL campaigns. The Seahawks are not ready to give up on him, however. Despite Seattle signing Greg Olsen and drafting Colby Parkinson in Round 4, Dissly is a roster lock — as long as he’s healthy — according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Regarding Dissly’s health, he fully expects to be ready for training camp, per Omar Ruiz of NFL.com (video link). A 2018 fourth-rounder who has played in just 10 NFL games, Dissly suffered an Achilles tear in October of last year.
  • The Raiders are not looking to move Lamarcus Joyner back to safety. They hope to keep the ex-Rams safety as a slot corner, to the point it affected the team’s pursuit of All-Decade defender Chris Harris, Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes (subscription required). The Raiders were in on Harris, but the ex-Broncos slot standout preferred the Chargers to the Raiders.
  • The Seahawks, whose top two running backs are recovering from injuries, are not closing the door on another Marshawn Lynch contract.

Bay Area Notes: Witherspoon, Lee, Verrett, Joyner

49ers cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon was expected to be active for Monday Night’s contest against the Seahawks for the first time since Week 3. However, Witherspoon remained on the team’s inactive list. According to The Athletic’s Matt Barrows, Witherspoon feels 100%, but he did not get to participate in a full practice this week. Thus, the team plans to give him a full week of practice before rejoining the starting lineup next week against the Cardinals.

Rookie undrafted free agent Emmanuel Mosley has been fantastic in place of Witherspoon and surely made the decision to play it safe with Witherspoon easier. At 8-0, San Francisco has a fantastic opportunity to put themselves in the driver’s seat for the number one seed in the NFC with a win tonight.

Here’s more from around the Bay Area:

  • Raiders linebacker Marquel Lee has rejoined the team’s practices, according to Howard Balzer. Lee was placed on injured reserve in September with an ankle injury, however, the team designated him for a possible return. Balzer’s report signals the beginning of a 21-day practice period for Lee to practice with the team before Oakland must decide to reactivate him or leave him on IR for the rest of the season.
  • Cornerback Jason Verrett was among the 49ers on the field for warm-ups on Monday Night before their matchup with Seattle, according to Matt Barrows of The Athletic. While normally a player warming up before a game wouldn’t be newsworthy, Verrett is currently on the injured reserve with a designation to potentially return later in the season. Per Barrows, he has not been on the field since his injury two months ago. Since Verrett is not eligible to return until December 1, it is a very good sign for the team to see him making progress.
  • Jon Gruden told reporters that Raiders slot cornerback Lamarcus Joyner is questionable with a hamstring injury, according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. Gruden went on to say that Nevin Lawson will get the first opportunity to replace Joyner. Rookie fourth round pick Isaiah Johnson, recently activated from the injured reserve, will get an opportunity to receive snaps at the outside cornerback position and possibly move veteran Daryl Worley inside to the slot as well, per Bair.

Karl Joseph May Miss Rest Of Season

The last of Reggie McKenzie‘s first-round picks still with the Raiders, Karl Joseph is not signed beyond this season. And the Oakland safety starter is in danger of missing the rest of 2019.

Joseph’s injury prompted the Raiders to sign D.J. Swearinger, and Jerry McDonald of the East Bay Times notes this is a “substantial” foot problem that may cause the fourth-year starter to miss the rest of the season. Spotted on crutches shortly after his interception sealed the Raiders’ second win in five days, Joseph at the very least looks likely to miss extensive time.

Although the Raiders have not used him as a consistent starter throughout his career, the 2016 No. 14 overall pick has started every game this year and has logged 41 starts in his career. The Raiders passed on Joseph’s fifth-year option in May, making him a 2020 free agent-to-be. Joseph has graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 31 safety through nine games. His 48 tackles are second among Raiders this season.

The Raiders added Swearinger to a safety mix that includes Erik Harris, Curtis Riley, second-year UDFA Dallin Leavitt and UFA addition Lamarcus Joyner. However, Joyner has played plenty of slot corner this season and suffered an injury Thursday night himself. The ex-Rams defender endured a non-contact hamstring injury, and McDonald notes he is uncertain to face the Bengals in Week 11.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.