Raiders Rumors

Raiders TE Nick O’Leary Retires From NFL

About two months ago, Nick O’Leary signed on with the Raiders. Today, the team announced that the tight end has been placed on the reserve/retired list. 

O’Leary, 28 in August, split his 2019 season between the Jaguars and Dolphins. After entering the league as a fifth-round pick of the Bills in 2015, he enjoyed a five-year career as a reliable role player and a pass-blocker. Now, he’s moving on to something new.

To replace O’Leary on the roster, the Raiders re-signed free agent Paul Butler. The tight end spend time with the Raiders over the last two years and he’ll return in 2020 to join them in Las Vegas. He also spent time with the Lions as a reserve/future signing, but he has yet to see live regular season action in the NFL.

Butler will fight for his spot on the 53-man roster, competing in camp alongside tight ends Darren Waller, Jason Witten, Foster Moreau, Derek Carrier, and UDFA Nick Bowers.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Still Eyeing July Stadium Completion

  • Despite the coronavirus altering the construction of the Raiders‘ Allegiant Stadium, the team is eyeing July 31 as a completion date for the Las Vegas-based domed stadium’s “substantial construction,” Mick Akers of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes. At least 16 workers have tested positive for COVID-19, and Akers adds the near-$2 billion project moved from two shifts to three to allow for social distancing.

Longest-Tenured GMs In The NFL

When we ran down the longest-tenured head coaches in the NFL, we found that less than half of the league’s current coaches have been in their positions for more than three years. That’s not quite the case with general managers, but there have been plenty of changes in recent years.

A handful of general managers have gotten to take their coats off and stay for a long while. Among coaches, Bill Belichick had joined his team prior to 2003. Here, you’ll see that five GMs have been with their teams since before ’03 (Belichick, of course, is also on this list). Two of those five – Jerry Jones and Mike Brown – are outliers, since they’re team owners and serve as de facto GMs. But the Patriots, Steelers, and Saints, have all had the same general managers making their roster decisions for well over a decade.

Here’s the complete list of the NFL’s longest-tenured GMs, along with the date they took over the job:

  1. Jerry Jones (Dallas Cowboys): April 18, 1989[1]
  2. Mike Brown (Cincinnati Bengals): August 5, 1991[2]
  3. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000[3]
  4. Kevin Colbert (Pittsburgh Steelers): February 18, 2000[4]
  5. Mickey Loomis (New Orleans Saints): May 14, 2002
  6. Rick Spielman (Minnesota Vikings): May 30, 2006[5]
  7. Thomas Dimitroff (Atlanta Falcons): January 13, 2008
  8. John Schneider (Seattle Seahawks): January 19, 2010[6]
  9. Howie Roseman (Philadelphia Eagles): January 29, 2010
  10. John Elway (Denver Broncos): January 5, 2011[7]
  11. Les Snead (St. Louis Rams): February 10, 2012
  12. David Caldwell (Jacksonville Jaguars): January 8, 2013
  13. Steve Keim (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2013
  14. Tom Telesco (San Diego Chargers): January 9, 2013
  15. Jason Licht (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 21, 2014
  16. Ryan Pace (Chicago Bears): January 8, 2015
  17. Chris Grier (Miami Dolphins): January 4, 2016
  18. Bob Quinn (Detroit Lions): January 8, 2016
  19. Jon Robinson (Tennessee Titans): January 14, 2016
  20. John Lynch (San Francisco 49ers): January 29, 2017
  21. Chris Ballard (Indianapolis Colts): January 30, 2017
  22. Brandon Beane (Buffalo Bills): May 9, 2017
  23. Brett Veach (Kansas City Chiefs): July 11, 2017
  24. Marty Hurney (Carolina Panthers): July 19, 2017
  25. Dave Gettleman (New York Giants): December 28, 2017
  26. Brian Gutekunst (Green Bay Packers): January 7, 2018
  27. Mike Mayock (Oakland Raiders): December 31, 2018
  28. Joe Douglas (New York Jets): June 7, 2019
  29. Eric DeCosta (Baltimore Ravens): January 7, 2019[8]
  30. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020[9]
  31. Andrew Berry (Cleveland Browns): January 27, 2020
  32. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 28, 2020

Footnotes:

  1. Jones has been the Cowboys’ de facto general manager since former GM Tex Schramm resigned in April 1989.
  2. Brown has been the Bengals’ de facto GM since taking over as the team’s owner in August 1991.
  3. Belichick has been the Patriots’ de facto GM since shortly after being hired as the team’s head coach in January 2000.
  4. Colbert was initially hired as the team’s director of football operations and received the newly-created general manager title in 2011.
  5. Spielman was initially hired as the team’s VP of player personnel and received the GM title in 2012.
  6. While Schneider holds the title of GM, head coach Pete Carroll has the final say on roster moves for the Seahawks.
  7. Elway was initially hired as the team’s executive VP of football operations and received the GM title in 2014.
  8. In 2018, the Ravens announced that DeCosta would replace Ozzie Newsome as GM for Ozzie Newsome after the conclusion of the season. The Ravens’ ’18 season ended with their Wild Card loss to the Chargers on 1/6/19.
  9. Technically, the Redskins do not have a GM, as of this writing. Rivera is, effectively, their GM, working in tandem with Vice President of Player Personnel Kyle Smith. Smith may receive the GM title in the near future.

Details On Prince Amukamara's Contract

  • Prince Amukamara will take a considerable pay cut to join the Raiders. The veteran cornerback signed a one-year, $1.05MM deal, per Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Amukamara will qualify for the new minimum salary benefit, counting only $888K against the Raiders’ cap. The Bears re-signed Amukamara in 2018, and he was set to make $9MM in base salary on that contract this season.

Raiders Waive CB Nick Nelson

On Monday, the Raiders officially announced their signing of cornerback Prince Amukamara. To make room on the roster, they waived fellow corner Nick Nelson with a failed-physical designation.

Nelson was cut with a failed physical designation, bringing his Raiders run to a close after just two years. Nelson was a fourth-round pick of the (then Oakland) Raiders in 2018 and saw time in ten games as a rookie. Last year, however, he spent most of his time on the practice squad. Jon Gruden called him up to the varsity squad ahead of Week 15, but he landed on injured reserve before the season finale.

Unfortunately, Nelson is no stranger to the injury bug. Just weeks before the draft, Nelson suffered a torn meniscus during a private workout for an NFL club. The Raiders still used a fourth-round choice on the 5’11” Wisconsin product, believing that his coverage skills would translate to the pro game and make up for his stature.

If Nelson goes unclaimed in the next 24 hours, he’ll be free to sign with any team. If he gets picked up, his new team will be on the hook for the two remaining years on his deal.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Longest-Tenured Head Coaches In The NFL

Things move fast in today’s NFL and the old adage of “coaches are hired to be fired” has seemingly never been more true. For the most part, teams change their coaches like they change their underwear. 

A head coach can take his team to the Super Bowl, or win the Super Bowl, or win multiple Super Bowls, but they’re never immune to scrutiny. Just ask Tom Coughlin, who captured his second ring with the Giants after the 2011 season, only to receive his pink slip after the 2015 campaign.

There are also exceptions. Just look at Bill Belichick, who just wrapped up his 20th season at the helm in New England. You’ll also see a few others on this list, but, for the most part, most of today’s NFL head coaches are relatively new to their respective clubs. And, history dictates that many of them will be elsewhere when we check in on this list in 2022.

Over one-third (12) of the NFL’s head coaches have coached no more than one season with their respective teams. Meanwhile, less than half (15) have been with their current clubs for more than three years. It seems like just yesterday that the Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury, right? It sort of was – Kingsbury signed on with the Cardinals in January of 2019. Today, he’s practically a veteran.

Here’s the list of the current head coaches in the NFL, ordered by tenure, along with their respective start dates:

  1. Bill Belichick (New England Patriots): January 27, 2000
  2. Sean Payton (New Orleans Saints): January 18, 2006
  3. Mike Tomlin (Pittsburgh Steelers): January 27, 2007
  4. John Harbaugh (Baltimore Ravens): January 19, 2008
  5. Pete Carroll (Seattle Seahawks): January 9, 2010
  6. Andy Reid (Kansas City Chiefs): January 4, 2013
  7. Bill O’Brien (Houston Texans): January 2, 2014
  8. Mike Zimmer (Minnesota Vikings): January 15, 2014
  9. Dan Quinn (Atlanta Falcons): February 2, 2015
  10. Doug Pederson (Philadelphia Eagles): January 18, 2016
  11. Sean McDermott (Buffalo Bills): January 11, 2017
  12. Doug Marrone (Jacksonville Jaguars): December 19, 2016 (interim; permanent since 2017)
  13. Anthony Lynn (Los Angeles Chargers): January 12, 2017
  14. Sean McVay (Los Angeles Rams): January 12, 2017
  15. Kyle Shanahan (San Francisco 49ers): February 6, 2017
  16. Matt Nagy (Chicago Bears): January 7, 2018
  17. Matt Patricia (Detroit Lions): February 5, 2018
  18. Frank Reich (Indianapolis Colts): February 11, 2018
  19. Jon Gruden (Las Vegas Raiders): January 6, 2018
  20. Mike Vrabel (Tennessee Titans): January 20, 2018
  21. Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals): January 8, 2019
  22. Zac Taylor (Cincinnati Bengals): February 4, 2019
  23. Vic Fangio (Denver Broncos): January 10, 2019
  24. Matt LaFleur (Green Bay Packers): January 8, 2019
  25. Brian Flores (Miami Dolphins): February 4, 2019
  26. Adam Gase (New York Jets): January 11, 2019
  27. Bruce Arians (Tampa Bay Buccaneers): January 8, 2019
  28. Ron Rivera (Washington Redskins): January 1, 2020
  29. Matt Rhule (Carolina Panthers): January 7, 2020
  30. Mike McCarthy (Dallas Cowboys): January 7, 2020
  31. Joe Judge (New York Giants): January 8, 2020
  32. Kevin Stefanski (Cleveland Browns): January 13, 2020

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Had Interest In LeSean McCoy

We haven’t heard much about LeSean McCoy‘s market lately, but there have, in fact, been suitors. The Raiders showed interest in Shady before they added Devontae Booker to their running back depth chart, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (Twitter link).

[RELATED: LeSean McCoy Makes His Case To The Eagles]

McCoy “could see” himself with the Eagles, but Howie Roseman & Co. may be more keen on Carlos Hyde, if they can get the 1,000-yard rusher to agree to a dirt-cheap one-year deal. Last year, Hyde averaged 4.4 yards per carry with the Texans, proving that he still has lots left in the tank. McCoy, meanwhile, had a strange up-and-down year with the Super Bowl champs. After a red-hot start in his new Chiefs uniform, McCoy would up as a late-season afterthought.

Still, Jon Gruden loves his veteran players and the Raiders considered McCoy to join starter Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard, Rod Smith, and third-round rookie Lynn Bowden. The Raiders probably don’t have room for McCoy, but plenty of other teams could be interested in the one-time superstar. If the Philly return doesn’t go down, the Bears would be a logical landing spot for someone like McCoy – ditto for fellow free agent RB Devonta Freeman.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Sign Prince Amukamara

The Raiders are set to sign cornerback Prince Amukamara, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (on Twitter). The financial terms are not yet known, but Garafolo hears that everything is in place for a deal. 

The former first-round pick has been looking for work since he was cut by the Bears in February. His career began with the Giants, where he spent the first five seasons of his career. After that, he spent a year with the Jaguars before signing yet another one-year pact – this time with the Bears – in 2017. In 2018, they gave him a three-year, $27MM re-up, but he did not get to see the last year of that deal.

Amukamara was a key player in the Bears’ secondary as he started alongside Kyle Fuller. Now, he’ll spend his age-31 season and ninth pro year in Las Vegas.

Last year, Amukamara graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 41 corner in the NFL – he fared better in 2018, when the Bears had the league’s best D. For his career, Amukamara has started in 99 of his 113 games – he’s more or less been first-string for every campaign except his rookie year. With the Raiders, he’ll fight for his place alongside Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette, slot/safety Lamarcus Joyner, Amik Robertson, Isaiah Johnson, and Nevin Lawson.

If the Amukamara deal should fall though for some reason, look for Las Vegas to pivot to Dre Kirkpatrick. The longtime Bengal, whom Cincinnati released at the end of March, is a fallback option for the Raiders, per NFL insider Adam Caplan (via Twitter). It sounds as if the Raiders will not pursue Kirkpatrick if the Amukamara deal is finalized, but Las Vegas could probably stand to add another veteran CB to its depth chart.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Jets, Charlton, Gipson

Some assorted contract details to pass along:

  • Tashaun Gipson, S (Bears): One year. Deal is worth $1.05MM, including $550K in guaranteed money. Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
  • Johnathan Joseph, CB (Titans): One year. Deal is worth $2MM, including $1.5MM guaranteed. Additional $500K in “reachable incentives” and another $750K in standard incentives. Contract worth a maximum of $3.25MM. Via Tom Pelissero of NFL.com on Twitter and Mike Garafolo of NFL Network on Twitter.
  • Frank Gore, RB (Jets): One year. Deal is worth $1.05MM, including $200K guaranteed. Cap charge of $750K. Via Pelissero on Twitter and ESPN’s Rich Cimini on Twitter.
  • Jordan Jenkins, LB (Jets): One-year. Deal is worth $3.75MM. $3.25MM in guaranteed money, including $1.75MM signing bonus and $1.5MM base salary. $500K in roster bonuses, $250K in “likely to be earned” incentives. Via Cimini on Twitter.
  • Taco Charlton, DE (Chiefs): One year. Deal is worth $825K. Via Pelissero on Twitter.
  • Devontae Booker, RB (Raiders): Signed. One year deal worth veteran salary benefit ($887.5K cap charge). Includes $50K signing bonus. Via ESPN’s Field Yates on Twitter.