Raiders Rumors

Trade Rumors: Seahawks, Broncos, Beasley

In the wake of Will Dissly‘s season-ending Achilles tear, the Seahawks are in the TE trade market, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Of course, Seattle already traded Nick Vannett to the Steelers earlier this season, and the club’s TE depth chart is so thin that they used several backup DEs as blocking tight ends in practice this week and may do so against the Ravens today.

Now for more trade rumors from around the league as we approach the October 29 trade deadline

  • No surprises here, but the Broncos are getting trade calls on WR Emmanuel Sanders, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com writes. Though Denver GM John Elway has refuted the notion that any of his players are on the trade block, Schefter says the Broncos will listen to offers for Sanders, though they are expected to ask for at least a third-round draft choice in return.
  • Another member of the Broncos that could be on the move is cornerback Chris Harris Jr. The Eagles made a strong offer for Jalen Ramsey, and Harris would still be a welcome addition to Philadelphia’s secondary and would not require the team to part with nearly as much draft capital. Former NFL agent Joel Corry (among others) wonders if the Eagles will make a push for Harris (Twitter link).
  • The Falcons have put Vic Beasley on the trade block, per Vaughn McClure of ESPN.com. Beasley’s play has tapered off dramatically since his breakout 15.5-sack performance in 2016, but he’s a former first-round pick and is only 27, so he could be a low-risk, high-reward target for a team in need of pass rushing help.
  • Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com believes the Browns still have a chance of landing Redskins LT Trent Williams, but she concedes that it will take a first-round pick and more to land him.
  • Schefter tweets that the Raiders will be buyers in advance of the deadline and have already begun looking for LBs and pass rushers.

Antonio Brown Generating Interest; Latest On Grievance

Wide receiver is one of the most coveted positions during the run-up to this year’s trade deadline, but with A.J. Green seemingly off the market, and given the uncertain availability of other big names like Emmanuel Sanders, WR-needy teams that are unable to swing a trade prior to October 29 may turn to another option.

Indeed, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says a number of teams are keeping a close eye on Antonio Brown, and his name has come up in internal personnel meetings. Once the trade deadline passes, La Canfora’s sources expect interest in Brown to further intensify.

Of course, the league has not yet interviewed Brown regarding the sexual assault/rape allegations that have been made against him, and if he were to sign with a team, the league will reportedly put him on the commissioner’s exempt list until the interview takes place. On the other hand, his signing may trigger the NFL to hold that interview and make a disciplinary decision, because it doesn’t want to look like it’s deliberately dragging its feet just to delay Brown’s return to the field. The last we heard, Brown prefers to wait until he is cleared by the league to sign, but he may have to force the issue.

Obviously, a Brown signing would need to be green-lighted by team ownership, which is not going to be an easy sell. But all it takes is one owner to pull the trigger.

In other Brown news, Chris Mortensen of ESPN.com reports that AB’s grievance against the Raiders has taken a major hit (Twitter link). Brown is seeking to recoup $30MM in guaranteed money from Oakland, but in the discovery phase of the grievance, the Raiders submitted multiple text messages from Brown to owner Mark Davis asking for his release. That will certainly not help Brown’s cause.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Tyrell Williams Out For Week 7

Raiders Extend TE Darren Waller

The Raiders are signing breakout tight end Darren Waller to an extension through the 2023 season, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (Twitter link). The team has since confirmed the transaction.

Oakland already controlled Waller’s rights for the 2020 campaign, as the former sixth-round pick had been scheduled to become a restricted free agent next spring. Waller’s new deal is essentially a three-year extension on top of what would have been a one-year RFA tender, tweets Pelissero, adding Waller will collect roughly $9MM annually under his new pact.

Waller has played in just five games as a result of the Raiders’ early bye week, but he still ranks second to only Austin Hooper in receptions among tight ends, and is sixth at the position with 359 receiving yards. Meanwhile, Pro Football Focus grades Waller as the league’s ninth-best run-blocking tight end.

Waller, 27, was selected by the Ravens in the 2015 draft. Suspended twice by the NFL (the second time for a full season), Waller has since courageously overcome addictions involving cocaine and opiates. Oakland signed him off Baltimore’s practice squad last November, and has been rewarded with one of the more surprising stories of the 2019 season.

While full details of Waller’s extension aren’t in just yet, a $9MM annual average would rank fifth among tight ends behind Jimmy Graham, Travis Kelce, Jordan Reed, Kyle Rudolph, and Greg Olsen. In terms of guarantees, Trey Burton leads the way with the $22MM he received under his free agent deal with the Bears.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Work Out LeGarrette Blount

The Raiders worked out running backs LeGarrette Blount and Bo Scarbrough today, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Blount hasn’t been heard from this offseason, as he hasn’t take any known visits or workouts with NFL clubs. That’s perhaps to be expected after the veteran back struggled through a 2018 campaign with the Lions in which he managed an anemic 2.7 yard per carry on 154 rush attempts. Now 32 years old, Blount has nearly 1,500 carries on his ledger through nine pro seasons.

It’s unclear if Oakland is seriously considering a Blount addition or merely updating its emergency free agent list. First-round pick Josh Jacobs has shined in his rookie year, and the Raiders also have Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington in reserve.

Scarbrough, a seventh-round pick of the Cowboys in 2018, has also spent time with the Jaguars and Seahawks. He’s yet to post an NFL carry.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders’ Trent Brown Accused Of Assault

Raiders offensive tackle Trent Brown has been accused of domestic violence by girlfriend Diorra Marzette-Sanders in a lawsuit, according to ESPN.com. Marzette-Sanders says she’s been “bruised, bloodied and battered” by the veteran NFL player on multiple occasions.

Brown, meanwhile, denied the allegations in a statement:

I am aware that my ex-girlfriend has filed a civil suit against me. I deny the claims. They are false. I believe in the court system where I will clear my name. I will not be making any further comment at this time.”

A police report was filed following a June 2019 in which Marzette-Sanders says she was bruised by Brown. Based on that attack, and others dating back to 2018, she says she lived in fear of the 26-year-old.

Brown joined the Raiders on a four-year, $66MM deal this past offseason. To date, he’s started in all five of the Raiders’ 2019 games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/15/19

A look at the latest NFL practice squad moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Chicago Bears

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

  • Signed: WR Davion Davis

New England Patriots

New York Giants

Oakland Raiders

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Redskins

Raiders CB Isaiah Johnson Returns To Practice

One of the Raiders’ IR-return slots appears set to be used on rookie cornerback Isaiah Johnson. The fourth-round pick will return to practice this week, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets.

The Raiders will have three weeks from Monday to decide whether or not to activate him off their IR list. Should the team determine Johnson needs more time than that to recover from injury, he will revert to season-ending IR.

Johnson cannot return to a game until Oakland’s Week 9 contest, per IR-return rules. The Raiders can only activate two players from IR this season. A facial fracture shelved Johnson, who also suffered a concussion during the Silver and Black’s preseason slate.

Oakland added two cornerbacks in this year’s draft, second-rounder Trayvon Mullen and Johnson, a University of Houston product. The Raiders activated Nevin Lawson following a four-game suspension, so Johnson will further add to the team’s cornerback contingent.

‘Many Expect’ Jay Gruden To Eventually Join Raiders?

Jay Gruden became the first head coach fired in 2019 when the Redskins canned him last week, but he probably won’t have too difficult of a time finding a new job. Gruden is a highly regarded offensive mind despite Washington’s struggles, and is respected across the league. 

It also doesn’t hurt that Gruden’s brother, Jon Gruden, is currently the head coach of the Raiders. To that end, “many expect” that Jay will “resurface next season” as a member of Oakland’s staff, writes Adam Schefter of ESPN.com. We heard recently that Gruden is expected to take the rest of this season off from coaching, so this lines up with that. The same report indicated Gruden will hunt for a head coaching job next offseason, but if he strikes out on that then the Raiders look like a likely destination.

Interestingly, Schefter points out that the Raiders never hired a quarterbacks coach this offseason, and that Gruden sliding into that role “could be the perfect move” as the team prepares to move to Las Vegas. Gruden still had another year left on his Redskins contract that he’ll presumably be getting paid for, so he won’t be in any rush to take an undesirable job.

The Gruden brothers have worked together before, as Jay served as an offensive assistant under his older brother in Tampa Bay for seven seasons. Gruden eventually landed the gig as the Bengals’ offensive coordinator, where he impressed with his ability to coax strong performances out of Andy Dalton. He got the Redskins job after that, and spent five-plus seasons in the nation’s capital before getting fired. Jon recently declined to comment on the possibility of reuniting with his brother.

Jon Gruden On Jay Gruden Addition

  • A natural Jay Gruden landing spot would be with the Raiders, considering older brother Jon is in his second season as their coach. While expressing disappointment in the Redskins’ decision to fire his brother, Jon Gruden did not want to speculate on adding Jay to his staff, per NBC Sports Bay Area’s Scott Bair. Jay Gruden worked on his brother’s Buccaneers staffs from 2002-08, doing so as an offensive assistant. Jay was an Arena League quarterback for part of that span. The Raiders bringing Jay Gruden in would create an interesting “Cincinnati West” makeup, with former Bengals defensive coordinator Paul Guenther working as the Raiders’ DC. Guenther and Jay Gruden worked under Marvin Lewis together. Jay Gruden said he does not intend to coach again in 2019 but will pursue other HC jobs in advance of the 2020 season.
  • Daryl Worley has started all five Raiders games this season, doing so as an outside cornerback. But with Nevin Lawson back on the roster after a suspension, and fourth-round rookie Isaiah Johnson set to resume practicing this week, the Raiders envision Worley transitioning into a hybrid role, Bair notes. Lamarcus Joyner already operates in that capacity in Oakland, but Jon Gruden sees Worley playing both safety and nickel in what the coach seems to view as a malleable secondary. Johnson, who is on IR, is likely to start practicing next week, Bair adds.