Raiders Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/3/20

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. For the running list of opt out decisions, check out PFR’s 2020 Opt Out Tracker.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

  • Released: QB Jalen Morton, FB Elijah Wellman

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

  • Claimed off waivers (from Colts): CB Picasso Nelson

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Raiders Trade P.J. Hall To Vikings

The Raiders are trading defensive tackle P.J. Hall to the Vikings, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. In exchange, the Vikings will send a conditional seventh-round choice to the Raiders.

Hall was supposed to be waived before the end of the business day. Instead, the Vikings swooped in with a trade offer. Instead of crossing their fingers and waiting to see if Hall slipped on the waiver wire, they pulled off a deal. The pick will only change hands if Hall is on the roster for a certain number of games, so it’s essentially a low-cost, no-risk pickup for the Vikes.

Hall, a 2018 second-round pick, was pushed out of the starting lineup by the addition of Maliek Collins. Then, he lost his spot on the team, despite his reasonable rookie contract.

Hall started in 12 of his 16 games last year, finishing out with 26 tackles and 1.5 sacks from the interior. The Vikings will assume the remainder of his contract and have him under club control through 2021.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Cut 2018 Second-Round Pick P.J. Hall

The Raiders will release defensive tackle P.J. Hall, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Raiders used a second-round pick on Hall just two years ago. 

[RELATED: Raiders To Sign Jeremy Hill]

Hall, a Sam Houston State product, cracked the starting lineup in 2019. However, the Raiders went in a different direction this offseason, signing former Cowboys DT Maliek Collins to start alongside Maurice Hurst. Collins, 25, came on a fairly reasonable one-year, $6MM deal. Ultimately, they preferred his experience and 55 career starts to Hall’s raw talent.

Hall started in 12 of his 16 games last year, finishing out with 26 tackles and 1.5 sacks from the interior. Head coach Jon Gruden ran the 2018 draft for the Raiders, but he didn’t feel that Hall was worth keeping two years later. Cutting Hall won’t save the Raiders a whole lot of cash – they’ll carry $750K in dead money with just $532K coming off of the books. However, Hall’s release will clear a roster spot for the Raiders as they work their way down to an 80-man roster and welcome running back Jeremy Hill.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Expected To Sign Jeremy Hill

3:49pm: This deal looks like it will come together. The Raiders indeed plan to sign Hill, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, though an agreement will be contingent on the former second-round pick passing a physical and a COVID-19 test.

3:40pm: The Raiders are looking to add to their running back group. They are hosting Jeremy Hill on a visit Friday, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.

Hill, who has not played since the 2018 season, last popped up on the radar when he visited the Titans in November 2019. Under the current pandemic-reshaped landscape, teams are only allowed to bring in players for visits if they are seriously considering signing them. Hill may have a chance to continue his career in Las Vegas.

The former Bengals and Patriots running back would join a Raiders group that houses Josh Jacobs, Jalen Richard, Rod Smith and Devontae Booker. The latter, however, resides on Las Vegas’ reserve/COVID-19 list. The Raiders placed Booker, a 2020 addition, on the list Thursday.

Still just 27, Hill is attempting to come back after suffering another serious injury. He suffered an ACL tear in Week 1 of the 2018 season. His 2017 season in Cincinnati ended in an IR stay due to an ankle malady.

The LSU product rushed for a career-high 1,124 yards as a rookie in 2014 and scored a career-best 12 touchdowns in 2015. He rushed for nine TDs in 2016. Since, Hill has not delivered much in the way of notable work. He played in only seven 2017 games, after Joe Mixon‘s Cincinnati arrival, and has not averaged more than four yards per carry in a season since his rookie year. But the Raiders are planning to offer the veteran another chance despite a near-two-year hiatus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2020 NFL Opt Out Tracker

Per an agreement between the NFL and the NFLPA, players with COVID-19 health concerns can opt out of the 2020 season. Initially, the deadline was believed to be Tuesday, August 4. Recently, we learned that the deadline is set for seven days after the final execution of the agreement. The lawyers are still hashing out some paperwork matters, so the NFL is looking to push up the date.

Chiefs guard and medical school graduate Laurent Duvernay-Tardif was the first player to officially opt out. This week, scores of players followed.

Here’s the rundown, so far:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

  • OL Anthony McKinney

Washington Football Team

Free agents

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Henry Ruggs Back At 100%

From Cliff Branch to James Jett to Darrius Heyward-Bey (to name a few of many), the Raiders have been known for their speed affinity for decades. They surprised many by making Henry Ruggs the first wide receiver pick in this draft. Their owner was eyeing the Alabama deep threat for months leading up to the draft. Citing a lack of team speed for the past several years, Mark Davis said he pegged Ruggs as the first-rounder he wanted for six months going into this year’s draft, via Vic Tafur of The Athletic (subscription required). Chosen before Alabama teammate Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb, Ruggs did not eclipse 800 yards in a college season. And he spent time this offseason rehabbing a thigh injury he sustained two months ago while helping a friend move. However, Ruggs said Wednesday he is 100%, per Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area (on Twitter), as Raiders rookies prepare for the team’s strength and conditioning period.

  • The Raiders are beginning their first season in Las Vegas, but the prospects of the NFL moving to Nevada surfaced in January 2016. Davis adds that Vegas was after the Raiders “for years” before those talks began. “We got our ass kicked in L.A., and we went back to Oakland with our tails between our legs. And then (Coliseum Authority executive director Scott) McKibben backtracked and tripled our lease, and it was total disrespect. It was like, how are we going to work with these people?” Davis said. “Vegas had been after us for years, but I told them I will only talk to you if Oakland and Los Angeles don’t happen.” The NFL in 2016 voted to send the Rams to Los Angeles and placed the Chargers ahead of the Raiders in the pecking order. The Raiders then spent three years as a lame-duck team in Oakland.

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/28/20

Here are Tuesday’s minor moves, with the list being updated throughout the afternoon. With teams having until August 16 to cut their rosters from 90 to 80 players, many are doing so before on-field camp work begins.

Carolina Panthers

  • Claimed off waivers (from Patriots): LB Kyahva Tezino
  • Waived: OL Juwann Bushell-Beatty

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

  • Waived/NFI: WR Zimari Manning

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Washington Football Team

Raiders Sign Damon Arnette, Wrap Draft Class

The Raiders have wrapped up their 2020 NFL Draft class. Following their reported agreement with first-round wide receiver Henry Ruggs, the Raiders formally announced deals for the rest of the class. Here’s the full rundown, via PFR’s tracker: 

1-12: Henry Ruggs III, WR (Alabama): Signed
1-19: Damon Arnette, CB (Ohio State): Signed
3-80: Lynn Bowden Jr., WR (Kentucky): Signed
3-81: Bryan Edwards, WR (South Carolina): Signed
3-100: Tanner Muse, LB (Clemson): Signed
4-109: John Simpson, OL (Clemson): Signed
4-139: Amik Robertson, CB (Louisiana Tech): Signed

Per the terms of his slot, Arnette will receive a four-year deal worth $13.4MM, including a signing bonus of ~$7.3MM. Beyond that, the Raiders will hold a fifth-year option to keep him under club control through the 2024 season. Arnette wasn’t expected to go in the middle of the first round, but the Raiders aren’t afraid to buck conventional thought.

Arnette took a while to develop and reach Ohio State’s starting lineup, but once he got there, he provided the Buckeyes with a solid partner opposite star Jeff Okudah. With the ability to play on the inside or the outside, the Raiders believe that Arnette has what it takes to make it at the next level. His 4.56 second 40-yard-dash didn’t necessarily impress evaluators, but his ability to jam receivers at the line is a major plus.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders, Henry Ruggs Agree To Deal

The Raiders have agreed to terms Henry Ruggs, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Per the terms of his slot at No. 12, the speedy wide receiver will earn $16.67MM on his four-year deal.

Ruggs didn’t put up gaudy numbers in Alabama’s talent-laden offense, but teams were more focused on a sub-4.3-second 40-yard dash. That was evident on draft night when he went ahead of Jerry Jeudy, who tallied ~1,500 yards and 24 touchdowns over the last two years. Ruggs, meanwhile, cleared 700 yards in each of his final two seasons.

More importantly, he averaged 17.5 yards per grab over the course of his collegiate career. The 6’0″ receiver projects as a potent deep threat, one that Jon Gruden & Co. could not pass up. Along with Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow, Ruggs figures to give fits to opposing defenses.

Here’s the full rundown of the Raiders’ 2020 class, via PFR’s tracker:

1-12: Henry Ruggs III, WR (Alabama): Signed
1-19: Damon Arnette, CB (Ohio State)
3-80: Lynn Bowden Jr., WR (Kentucky)
3-81: Bryan Edwards, WR (South Carolina)
3-100: Tanner Muse, LB (Clemson)
4-109: John Simpson, OL (Clemson)
4-139: Amik Robertson, CB (Louisiana Tech)

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Antonio Brown Retires (Again)

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. On Monday, Antonio Brown announces his retirement from the NFL. This marks at least the third time Brown has publicly called it quits since September of last year. 

[RELATED: Patriots, AB Settle Grievance]

At this point, the risk is greater than the reward,” Brown tweeted. “Thank you [to] everyone who [has] been a part of this journey. I sincerely thank you for everything!”

Brown, of course, isn’t the only player who is concerned about the risk involved with playing this season. Still, it remains to be seen whether his latest farewell will stick. Less than three weeks ago, Brown was lobbying the Seahawks to pair him with friend and workout partner Russell Wilson. There were also rumblings of AB and Tom Brady getting together in Tampa Bay, but the Buccaneers weren’t interested in the drama that comes with the controversial wide receiver.

Brown, 32, remains under NFL investigation for multiple incidents, including two alleged acts of sexual misconduct. His own safety concerns aside, there was little guarantee that a team would take on the risk of signing him. Brown’s availability for the coming year was also highly questionable.

If this is truly a wrap for Brown, he leaves the game with a complicated legacy. Over the course of his ten-year career, Brown tallied 841 receptions for 11,253 yards and seven Pro Bowl appearances. Before things turned ugly, Brown was a surefire Hall of Famer and regarded as one of the game’s most dangerous offensive talents. Now, (we think), he’ll focus on other endeavors, while untangling some of his off-the-field matters.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.