Raiders Rumors

Josh McCown Retires From NFL

After 17 years in the NFL, Josh McCown is calling it a career. On Monday, the longtime QB bid farewell to the game in a post on The Player’s Tribune

At the end of the day, no matter what team I was on, I tried to serve it to the best of my ability, and I tried to influence my team in a positive manner. I hope I did that,” McCown wrote. “And I made sure that when my number was called, I was prepared, and I gave it everything I had, every time. I may not have turned out to be the franchise quarterback I set out to be back at Cardinals rookie camp, but I’m extremely proud of the career I had.”

McCown didn’t become the face of the Cardinals as he had hoped, but he did enjoy nearly two decades in the NFL while spending time with ten different teams. His journey also included a pit stop in the UFL in 2010, a deal that almost didn’t come to pass when the Bears offered him a contract. Remarkably, McCown declined the opportunity in Chicago and stuck it out with the Hartford Colonials. He later said that the notion of bailing on the commitment “didn’t sit well” with him and he didn’t want to set a bad example for his children in which he would give his “word to somebody until something better comes along and then break that.”

McCown had some memorable moments on the field throughout his career, but he will largely be remembered for his high-character, intense work ethic, and willingness to help groom younger quarterbacks. After starting 13 games for the Jets in 2017, McCown put his ego aside and agreed to return to New York as a mentor for rookie Sam Darnold. Now, McCown will continue to put his football wisdom and knowledge to good use, either as a broadcaster or coach.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Lamarcus Joyner Only Seeing SCB Time

Given Jon Gruden‘s moves involving several other Reggie McKenzie-era high draft picks, and the Raiders‘ decisions this spring, it would appear Karl Joseph is not in the team’s long-term plans. The Raiders, who benched Joseph to start last season, did not pick up his fifth-year option and proceeded to sign Lamarcus Joyner before drafting Johnathan Abram in the first round. Nevertheless, Joseph is not planning (at least publicly) for a 2020 free agency foray.

Among McKenzie’s first-round picks, only Joseph and 2017 first-rounder Gareon Conley remain Raiders. Despite starting in just eight games last season, the 2016 first-round pick graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 23 overall safety (in just 509 snaps) and worked alongside Abram in Oakland’s starting lineup at minicamp. Erik Harris is working as a backup, per Bair.

  • As for Joyner, the Raiders are following through on their spring talk of playing him as a slot corner. The player the Rams used as a safety starter the past two years worked exclusively as a slot defender during the minicamp and OTA sessions available to the media, Bair notes. The Raiders gave Joyner a four-year, $42MM contract. If they intend to confine him to slot duty, this would make him the league’s highest-paid pure slot corner — a distinction Kenny Moore was believed to hold when he signed a Colts extension this week. Joyner worked as a corner for the Rams from 2014-16 and would join Trent Brown as recent Raiders signees asked to change positions.

Latest On Raiders ST Competitions

The Raiders have Daniel Carlson locked in as their starting kicker, but the coaching staff has some tough decisions to make elsewhere on special teams. As Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes, the organization currently has competitions at both punter and long snapper.

The punter competition is between Johnny Townsend and rookie A.J. Cole. The 24-year-old Townsend is the incumbent after appearing in all 16 games for the Raiders in 2018. However, the Florida product struggled at times during his rookie campaign, and he ranked 30th in the NFL with a 38.3-yard net average. The Raiders ended up adding Cole as an undrafted free agent, but Gehlken notes that Townsend is still the favorite for the position.

“He’s really done a great job working on his hang time,” said special teams coordinator Rich Bisaccia. “That’s improved tremendously (over) the course of the year. Now, we’ve given up a little bit of direction to get his hang time where he’d like it to be, and hopefully we can get both — the hang and the direction — going into training camp.”

Meanwhile, veteran Andrew DePaola is the favorite at long snapper, although the 31-year-old missed the majority of last season with a torn ACL. The Raiders signed Trent Sieg to fill in, and the rookie ended up appearing in 15 games last year. While DePaola wasn’t able to get on the field with a rookie punter and rookie kicker, the veteran was still instrumental in their development.

“If we had any questions, we’d always ask him because he’s been through it a little more than we have,” Carlson said. “It was just huge for us last season to have that resource. It’s good to have him back and healthy and competing now again.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Which Top 10 Pick Has The Highest Bust Potential?

The NFL Draft is just barely in the rear view mirror, which means that teams are full of hope for their young rookies. But, of course, the NFL Draft is largely a crapshoot, and not every player will realize their full potential. 

This year’s draft had talent, but lacked a true consensus on the top player. Many evaluators pegged defensive end Nick Bosa as the player with the highest ceiling in the 2019 class, but other saw Alabama’s Quinnen Williams as the “safest bet.” The 49ers pounced on Bosa with the No. 2 pick while the Jets (and former GM Mike Maccagnan) were delighted to land Williams at No. 3 overall.

Leading up to the draft, much of the attention was on Oklahoma quarterback (and one-time MLB hopeful) Kyler Murray. When Murray announced that he would ditch the Oakland A’s, his stock exploded – Murray was considered a borderline first-round prospect in the winter, but wound up as the Cardinals’ choice at No. 1 overall. Murray has the speed that teams crave at the QB position, but questions persist about his size and overall lack of experience as a full-time starter.

The Cardinals’ long flirtation with Murray brought us the expected result, but the Raiders gave us the real first shock of the draft when they tapped Clemson defensive end Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall. Not to be outdone, the Giants snagged Duke’s Daniel Jones at No. 6 overall. Heading into the draft, neither player was thought to be anywhere near Top 10 consideration, but Mike Mayock and Dave Gettleman were unwilling to trade down and risk losing out on their guys.

The domino effect created by those picks allowed the Bucs to grab inside linebacker Devin White (No. 5 overall), the Jaguars to land outside linebacker Josh Allen (No. 6), the Lions to snag top tight end T.J. Hockenson, the Bills to draft defensive tackle Ed Oliver (No. 9 overall), and the Steelers to finish out the Top 10 with linebacker Devin Bush. Most of those picks were warmly received, but nothing is certain in the draft.

Which Top 10 pick do you think has the highest bust potential? Click below to cast your vote (link for app users) and back up your choice in the comment section.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 6/11/19

Today’s minor moves:

Carolina Panthers

Green Bay Packers

New York Jets

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

  • Signed: WR Montay Crockett
  • Signed: CB Isaiah Langley
  • Waived: CB Makinton Dorleant
  • Waived: CB Montrel Meander

Washington Redskins

  • Signed: DB Ashton Lampkin
  • Waived: LB DeMarquis Gates

Raiders Discussing Rodney Hudson Extension

Raiders GM Mike Mayock has been discussing a new contract with the agent for center Rodney Hudson, according to head coach Jon Gruden (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the Review Journal). Currently, Hudson is slated to reach free agency after the end of the 2019 season. 

We consider him a big piece of this franchise,” Gruden said. “We’re going to do everything we can to keep him here a long time.”

Hudson is set to earn a base salary of $8.25MM this year with a $10.017MM cap number. With a slight pay bump in his next deal, Hudson could easily wind up as one of the ten highest-paid players at his position. Currently, Mitch Morse, Maurkice Pouncey, Ryan Jensen, Brandon Linder, Weston Richburg, Travis Frederick, Matt Paradis, Alex Mack, and Justin Britt rank ahead of Rodney in terms of average annual value.

Last year, Hudson graded out as the fourth-best center in the NFL, trailing only Jason Kelce, Paradis, and Mack. The soon-to-be 30-year-old also earned Pro Bowl nods in 2016 and 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Rookie Johnathan Abram Showing Confidence

  • Raiders first-round safety Johnathan Abram is already making a name for himself in OTAs. As Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area writes, the rookie has been working alongside Karl Joseph as a starter, and his confidence has been noticed by his teammates. “I’m always going back and forth a lot. He likes to talk, and I love it,” linebacker Tahir Whitehead said. “He’s a young guy coming in showing how confident he is. I love that. We can build off of that. We need more guys with belief in their skill set and bringing that attitude to the entire team. That’s going to take us a long way.”

    [SOURCE LINK]

NaVorro Bowman To Retire

Longtime NFL linebacker NaVorro Bowman will retire as a member of the 49ers, San Francisco announced today. Bowman spent seven-plus seasons with the 49ers, but didn’t play in the NFL last year.

Bowman, now 31 years old, was a third-round selection in the 2010 draft. After serving primarily as a special-teamer during his rookie campaign, Bowman became a starter in 2011 and didn’t look back. Pairing with Patrick Willis to create the league’s best linebacker tandem, Bowman earned first-team All-Pro honors 2011-13, posting at least 140 combined tackles in each season.

Unfortunately, in what likely became the defining moment of his career, Bowman suffered a brutal knee injury in the 2013 NFC Championship Game, tearing both his ACL and MCL in the process. The Penn State product missed the entirety of the 2014 season, and while he returned in 2015 and was again named first-team All-Pro, he never quite regained his pre-injury form.

A torn Achilles tendon prematurely ended Bowman’s 2016 season, and spelled the near end of his 49ers career. Five games into the 2017 campaign, San Francisco released Bowman after he voiced displeasure at a nearly-completed trade to the Saints. Bowman latched on with the Raiders, and put up 89 tackles over the final 10 games of the year.

Bowman was expected to draw interest during the 2018 offseason, and PFR had him ranked as the second-best off-ball linebacker on the market. The Packers reportedly considered adding Bowman following an injury to their linebacker corps, and he scheduled a workout with the Browns in October 2018, but no deal was ever reached.

Bowman will end his career with more than $44MM in earnings. PFR wishes him well as he enters retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Richie Incognito

  • Richie Incognito has become more well known for things not related to football than for what he’s done on the field. The Raiders raised a lot of eyebrows when they signed the veteran guard to a deal earlier this week. Incognito spent the entire 2018 season out of football before retiring and then quickly reversing his decision. His retirement came at a tumultuous time for him, and a source told Josh Dubow of the Associated Press that “security was stepped up at the Bills headquarters around the time Incognito announced his retirement,” and that “security personnel were placed on alert if Incognito arrived.” Clearly Buffalo was concerned about him, which isn’t too shocking. Raiders GM Mike Mayock recently said while defending the signing, that “at the end of the day, you can’t have all Boy Scouts.” Speaking of Incognito, he’s had some run-ins with the law that were heavily publicized, but one slipped under the radar. According to documents obtained by ESPN, Incognito plead guilty to “charges of criminal damage and disorderly conduct,” last month, stemming from an August argument at his grandmother’s house. Incognito reportedly blamed his grandmother for his father’s death, which had happened just prior to the argument.

Minor NFL Transactions: 5/30/19

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

New Orleans Saints

Oakland Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Redskins