Raiders Rumors

Marc Badain Resigns As Raiders Prez

Longtime Raiders president Marc Badain has resigned, per a club announcement. On Monday, owner Mark Davis issued a statement to thank Badain for his time with the team.

Today I have accepted Marc Badain’s resignation as President of the Las Vegas Raiders,” Davis said. “Marc has been an integral part of the Raider Family for 30 years. Rising from a training camp driver to president of the entire organization. His efforts in helping to build the most magnificent stadium in the sports and entertainment capital of the world will never be forgotten. I wish Marc, his wife Amy, daughter Ali, and sons Bernie and Zach all the best in whatever the future holds. Once a Raider always a Raider.”

Badain has been with the Raiders in some capacity since 1991. In 2013, after Amy Trask resigned, he was named interim president. Then, in 2015, the interim label was removed. Badain mostly served the business side where he helped orchestrate the team’s move to Las Vegas.

Given the Raiders’ history of internal drama, there could be more to the story. For now, all we know is that Badain is out, with team EVP Dan Ventrelle replacing him in an interim capacity.

Raiders RB Coach Kirby Wilson Retires

Raiders running backs coach Kirby Wilson has retired (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Wilson exits after several decades on the sidelines — 15+ years in the college ranks and roughly 20 years in the pros.

Wilson’s first NFL coaching job came with the Patriots in 1997, during Pete Carroll’s tenure. Then, when Carroll went to USC, he brought Wilson along with him to coach the wide receivers. Wilson went back to the NFL in 2002, served as a running backs coach for seven teams across 19 seasons. The Raiders picked him up in 2019, putting him with Jon Gruden for the second time in his career.

His retirement comes as something of a surprise, given that he was a candidate for the Seahawks’ offensive coordinator post just a few months ago. Carroll ultimately went with the younger Shane Waldron.

With training camp just a few short weeks away, the Raiders will look to fill the role quickly.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2021 Cap Space For All 32 NFL Teams

There are still plenty of quality free agents left on the board as we look ahead to training camp. Cornerback Steven Nelson, tackle Russell Okung, and longtime Legion of Boom leader Richard Sherman headline the list, along with accomplished edge rushers like Justin Houston, Melvin Ingram, and Olivier Vernon. That list will only grow larger, of course, as more teams shed veterans to redirect their funds elsewhere.

With that in mind, here’s a look at every NFL team’s cap situation, starting with the league-leading Jaguars:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars — $32.7MM
  2. Denver Broncos — $28.9MM
  3. New York Jets — $28.5MM
  4. Cleveland Browns — $20.6MM
  5. Los Angeles Chargers — $19.9MM
  6. Detroit Lions — $17.9MM
  7. San Francisco 49ers — $17.8MM
  8. Cincinnati Bengals — $17.4MM
  9. Washington Football Team — $16.7MM
  10. Indianapolis Colts— $14.3MM
  11. Carolina Panthers— $14.3MM
  12. Minnesota Vikings — $13.5MM
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers — $13.1MM
  14. New England Patriots — $13.1MM
  15. New Orleans Saints — $11.4MM
  16. Arizona Cardinals — $11.3MM
  17. Buffalo Bills — $10.5MM
  18. Baltimore Ravens — $8.8MM
  19. Atlanta Falcons — $8.6MM
  20. Seattle Seahawks — $8.3MM
  21. Tennessee Titans — $8.3MM
  22. Kansas City Chiefs — $7.9MM
  23. Los Angeles Rams — $7MM
  24. Chicago Bears — $6MM
  25. Dallas Cowboys — $6MM
  26. Miami Dolphins — $5.3MM
  27. Green Bay Packers — $5MM
  28. Houston Texans — $5MM
  29. Las Vegas Raiders — $3.3MM
  30. Philadelphia Eagles — $3.2MM
  31. New York Giants — $2.4MM
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — $489K

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders' Richie Incognito Not Lock To Start

The Raiders are tracking to have two starters from their 2020 Week 1 offensive line setup back, with Kolton Miller signed long-term and Richie Incognito back on a lower-cost deal. But spillover from another training camp battle may affect Incognito’s standing. Denzelle Good and John Simpson will vie for the starting right guard spot, but Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed of The Athletic note Raiders coaches have informed the team’s guards the loser of this competition may still wind up replacing Incognito at left guard (subscription required). Incognito, 38, played well in 2019 but missed 14 games due to an Achilles injury last season. The Raiders cut him in March but re-signed him weeks later on a one-year, $2.12MM deal. Good replaced Incognito last year, and the Raiders are hoping Simpson — a 2020 fourth-round pick out of Clemson — can win the right guard competition.

Here is more on the Raiders’ O-line and the latest from some other offensive fronts around the league:

  • Elsewhere on Las Vegas’ O-line, the center spot may not be much of a competition. Despite offseason addition Nick Martin having started four full seasons with the Texans, the former second-round pick appears to be clearly behind former UDFA Andre James, according to The Athletic. After trading Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson to the Cardinals, the Raiders gave James an extension. James has played 116 offensive snaps as a pro; all came in 2019.

This Date In Transactions History: Raiders Trade Eric Dickerson To Falcons

While Eric Dickerson is best remembered in Rams and Colts uniforms, the Hall of Fame running back finished his career with two other franchises. Those teams made a deal on this date 28 years ago.

The then-Los Angeles Raiders, who had acquired Dickerson in 1992, traded the veteran back to the Falcons on July 7, 1993. The Falcons sent the Raiders a conditional sixth-round pick for Dickerson. The 10-year vet had visited Atlanta earlier that summer, and the teams soon agreed to a trade that would send him to his fourth and final NFL team. This move came after some key running back developments for both teams.

Dickerson was traded three times in his career, not counting the Rams trading up one spot to acquire him at No. 2 overall in the 1983 draft. The SMU product spent four-plus seasons with the Rams, who traded him to the Colts for a monster haul midway through the 1987 season due to a contract dispute. Dickerson delivered the fifth, sixth and seventh 1,000-yard rushing seasons while in Indianapolis, where he won the fourth and final rushing titles of his career (in 1988), but the Colts sent him to the Raiders for fourth- and eighth-round picks in April 1992.

After missing 11 games between the 1990 and ’91 seasons, Dickerson played all 16 in his lone Raiders season. He ended up leading the 1992 Raiders in rushing, with 729 yards, and reduced Marcus Allen to a minimal role (67 carries in 16 games). Embroiled in a feud with Al Davis, Allen signed with the Chiefs in June 1993. After rostering two first-ballot Hall of Fame running backs in 1992, two summer 1993 transactions led to the Raiders pivoting to younger players at the position.

The Falcons ranked 27th in rushing in 1992, despite having drafted Tony Smith in the first round, and totaled just three rushing touchdowns as a team. Smith was the player the Falcons selected with the pick they obtained from the Packers in that year’s Brett Favre deal. Smith did not receive an NFL carry after that rookie season. Dickerson, however, did not provide much of a stopgap. He played in just four Falcons games (two starts) and amassed 91 rushing yards. Erric Pegram, a 1991 sixth-round pick, ended up surpassing 1,000 rushing yards for Atlanta that year.

Dickerson’s final NFL snaps came with Atlanta, but he nearly joined Favre in Green Bay. Atlanta attempted to trade the aging back to Green Bay in October 1993, but a post-trade physical revealed a bulging disk in Dickerson’s neck and led the Packers to nix the deal. Dickerson retired shortly after the trade fell through.

He ended his career as the NFL’s No. 2 all-time leading rusher, with 13,259 yards. While Dickerson has fallen to ninth on that list, his 2,105 rushing yards (in 1984) remain the league’s single-season standard. It will be interesting to see if the NFL’s move to a 17-game season will lead to that record falling in the near future.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders RB Jalen Richard On Roster Bubble?

The Raiders added Kenyan Drake to their running backs room earlier this offseason, and that could end up costing another Raiders RB their roster spot. As Tashan Reed and Vic Tafur of The Athletic write, five-year veteran Jalen Richard finds himself on the roster bubble heading into training camp.

The 2016 undrafted free agent out of Southern Miss was an immediate contributor, and by his junior season, Richard was leading the team’s running backs in yards from scrimmage (866). However, the organization added Josh Jacobs in the first round of the 2019 draft, and Richard has seen a reduced role over the past few years. This culminated in a 2020 campaign where the 27-year-old finished with a career-low 261 yards from scrimmage.

As the writers note, the Raiders could roster four or five running backs, so it’s not like Richard will lose his spot due to a roster crunch. Rather, Richard is set to make more than $3MM in 2021, and the front office could cut Richard, allocate that cash elsewhere, and rely on lower-price backups. Any of Theo Riddick, Trey Ragas, Garrett Groshek are cheaper alternatives who could push Richard for a roster spot.

Further, Richard made a name for himself thanks to his pass-catching ability, but Drake is expected to serve as the primary receiving back in 2021. Even quarterback Derek Carr discussed the similarities between the two running backs.

“I think Kenyan is a great player,” Carr said. “Super fast, super explosive. I don’t know if we were missing it, but I think he adds a dimension of just another threat. Him and Jalen Richard are similar. Very similar, but Drake [has] a receiver background.”

Richard doesn’t have a clear pathway to playing time, and with a modest hit against the cap, there’s a chance he could find himself playing elsewhere come the start of the regular season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

This Date In Transactions History: Raiders Extend OL Gabe Jackson

Four years ago today, it looked like Gabe Jackson could be playing for the Raiders for the rest of his career. Of course, as we’ve learned many times, we shouldn’t assume that a player will stick with a team for the entirety of his extension.

On June 29, 2017, the Raiders inked the offensive lineman to a five-year, $56MM deal, a pact that included $26MM in guaranteed money. The deal was expected to keep Jackson with the team through at least the 2022 campaign.

The 2014 third-round was an immediate contributor after joining the organization, and up to the signing of the extension, Jackson had started 44 of his 45 regular season appearances. The Mississippi State product didn’t always grade out as one of the best offensive guards; in 2016, he was only ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 22nd-best player at his position. However, Jackson provided the offensive line with more consistency and continuity, something that was especially important after the organization inked quarterback Derek Carr to a massive extension only weeks before.

With the signing, the Raiders locked themselves into two of the highest-paid offensive guards in the NFL, as the team had previously signed Kelechi Osemele to a five-year, $58.5MM contract. Jackson’s $56MM pact ranked behind only two offensive guards: Bengals’ Kevin Zeitler (five years, $60MM) and Osemele. Jackson was also second to Zeitler’s $31.5MM in guarantees.

After signing the extension, Jackson didn’t see a sudden turnaround in production, as PFF still ranked him as a middling offensive guard. However, Jackson did see a turnaround in his reliability…in other words, he started to miss more and more time due to injuries. He missed nine games for the Raiders between the 2017 and 2019 seasons, and the front office started shopping the lineman during the 2020 draft.

They didn’t find a taker for Jackson, and the veteran managed to appear in all 16 games for the Raiders in 2020, making it the first time the lineman had accomplished that feat since 2016. Still, the Raiders were hoping to somewhat revamp their offensive line this offseason, and we learned in early March that the Raiders were planning on releasing Jackson after he refused a pay cut.

However, Las Vegas found a trade partner at the last second, and the team shipped Jackson to the Seahawks for a fifth-round pick (which eventually transformed into Illinois cornerback Nate Hobbs). The Seahawks subsequently extended Jackson to a three-year, $22.58MM deal.

The Raiders did manage to get 55 starts out of Jackson after he signed his new deal, including 40 starts that were played under the extension. Still, the Raiders were surely expecting more when they inked the lineman on this date in 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Raiders, Jefferson, Broncos, Massie

During an appearance on HBO’s The Shop: Uninterrupted, Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady discussed his reactions to a potential 2020 free agent suitor pulling out of the sweepstakes to stick with their incumbent signal-caller.

“There was a story, in free agency, one of the teams, they were interested and all of sudden they weren’t interested at the very end,” Brady said. “I was sitting there thinking, you’re stick with that [expletive]? Are you serious?

“When I look back I’m like, there’s no [expletive] way I would’ve went to that team. But they said they didn’t want me. I know what that means, I know what that feels like.”

There’s been plenty of speculation about the mystery team and quarterback that Brady was referring to, and Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com cites multiple league sources who believe the future Hall of Famer was referring to the Raiders and Derek Carr. Las Vegas had been mentioned as a potential Brady suitor during the 2020 offseason, but the organization dropped out of the sweepstakes after balking at Brady’s long list of requests. As Florio notes, Brady had his chance at payback last season, when he tossed four touchdowns in a 45-20 Tampa Bay victory over Las Vegas.

Unless Brady unexpectedly reveals who he was talking about, we’ll never truly know if it was the Raiders. Plenty of other teams and quarterbacks have been mentioned, including the Bears/Mitch Trubisky and the Titans/Ryan Tannehill. The 49ers and former teammate Jimmy Garoppolo have been a popular suggestion, but considering Brady’s lifelong affinity for San Francisco (and his declaration that he was never going to sign with that team in the first place), we can probably cross them off the list.

Here’s more out of the AFC West…

  • Quinton Jefferson has played all over the defensive line during his five-year career, but despite the Raiders depth at defensive tackle, the team is still planning to play their free agent acquisition at his natural position. The 28-year-old will be teaming up with the Raiders main offseason acquisition, defensive tackle Yannick Ngakoue, and Jefferson is excited to form a two-headed monster with his good friend and former college teammate. “Yannick is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL right now and he brings that intensity,” Jefferson told The Athletic’s Vic Tafur. “He is going to bring some pressure and help relieve Maxx (Crosby), free Maxx up so that other teams can’t key on one guy. And then hopefully I can bring some interior pressure as well, so we should have a good mix out there. I am excited to see how that all comes together.”
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post explores several Broncos players who find themselves on the roster bubble prior to training camp and the preseason. Atop his list is defensive tackle McTelvin Agim, a 2020 third-round pick who was limited to only 110 defensive snaps as a rookie. O’Halloran notes that it’s troubling that the young defensive lineman wasn’t working with the starters during minicamp despite the absences of Mike Purcell and Shelby Harris. Offensive tackle Calvin Anderson, running back Royce Freeman, safety Trey Marshall, and linebacker Derrek Tuszka also earned spots on the list.
  • The Broncos brought in both Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming to compete for the starting right tackle spot, and ESPN’s Jeff Legwold believes Massie will get the first shot at the gig. Massie certainly has the advantage when it comes to experience; the 31-year-old has started 110 of his 118 career games, including each of his eight games in 2020. Meanwhile, Fleming has mostly served as backup throughout his career (91 games, 42 starts), although he did start a career-high 16 games for the Giants last season.

Raiders QB Derek Carr Would “Welcome” Reunion With Davante Adams

Derek Carr has had a rotating cast of receivers since he joined the Raiders as a second-round pick in 2014. So, when he was recently asked about the opportunity to team up with impending free agent wideout (and former college teammate) Davante Adams in 2022, Carr was naturally on board.

[RELATED: QB Derek Carr Discusses Future With Raiders]

“I’ve learned in this business, you never shut the door on anything,” Carr said to Bri Mellon of ABC30 (via NFL.com’s Nick Shook). “I know that he’s obviously the best receiver — everyone said one of the best, he’s the best receiver in the NFL. The guy is unbelievable. He’s been one of my best friends since we were in college together. I love the guy.

“I would always welcome to play with him again. I think it would unlock some things in both of us that people haven’t seen yet. I’m always open to that and I will be recruiting very hard. When that time comes, it will be a full-court press.”

Carr was a two-time Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year during his collegiate career, and a big reason for those accolades was the presence of Adams. Carr threw for 9,187 yards between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, with Adams collecting 3,031 yards through the air (plus 38 touchdowns).

While the Raiders have done some work to improve Carr’s receiving corps (including acquiring Antonio Brown and drafting Henry Ruggs in the first round of the 2020 draft), the Raiders have still had a tight end lead the squad in receiving in each of the past three years (Jared Cook and Darren Waller (twice)). Even assuming that Ruggs is able to develop into a top-end starter, the team would surely still be in the market for some receiving help.

Considering the Packers uncertain future at quarterback, it’s only natural that front offices are dreaming of adding Adams to their offense. Of course, Green Bay could end that sentiment by extending the wideout, or they could alternatively franchise the receiver following the 2021 campaign. Still, if Aaron Rodgers is gone, Adams could push for a trade, in which case Carr and the Raiders would presumably be at the front of the line.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Nassib, Twyman, Buccaneers

In a post on Instagram, Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib announced that he was gay, making the 28-year-old the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib also made an $100K donation to the Trevor Project, a foundation which provides “crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning (LGBTQ) young people under 25.”

Support for Nassib was wide spread:

“The NFL family is proud of Carl for courageously sharing his truth today,” commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. “Representation matters. We share his hope that someday soon statements like his will no longer be newsworthy as we march toward full equality for the LGBTQ+ community. We wish Carl the best of luck this coming season.”

Our union supports Carl and his work with the Trevor Project is proof that he – like our membership – is about making his community and this world a better place not for themselves, but for others,” said NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith (via Twitter).

Raiders owner Mark Davis also showed his support for Nassib, noting that the announcement “doesn’t change my opinion of Carl as a man or as a Raider” (via Sam Farmer of the LA Times on Twitter).

Nassib joined the Raiders last offseason on a three-year, $25MM deal with $17MM guaranteed. He finished his first season in Las Vegas with 28 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and nine QB hits in 14 games (five starts).

More news from around the NFL:

  • Vikings rookie defensive tackle Jaylen Twyman was shot four times today in Washington D.C., reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Fortunately, the Pitt product is expected to make a full recovery, with agent Drew Rosenhaus noting that there were “superficial, exit wounds” and that his client was simply in the “wrong place, wrong time.” Twyman does not need surgery and x-rays were negative. Minnesota drafted the defensive lineman in the sixth round (No. 199) in this past year’s draft.
  • The Vikings also released a statement regarding the shooting: “We have been in direct contact with Jaylen and his family, and we are extremely thankful Jaylen is expected to make a full recovery. At this time we will defer any further comment to the proper authorities.”
  • Earlier this month, we learned that Buccaneers rookie Cameron Kinley had been denied a waiver to delay his commission from the U.S. Navy. “Cameron Kinley is an exceptional young man and a shining example of the type of high-character individuals that make our nation’s military the most elite in the world,” the Buccaneers said in a statement (via Rick Stroud on Twitter). “We appreciate and support the United States Naval Academy’s position with regards to Cameron’s fulfillment of his post-graduate service commitment and remain hopeful that he will one day have an opportunity to also fulfill his dreams of playing professional football.”
  • Earlier this month, former Chiefs coach Britt Reid pleaded not guilty to a DWI charge that stemmed from a crash that critically injured a young girl (per the AP). Reid was placed on administrative leave following the crash, and the team ultimately let his contract expire.