Raiders Rumors

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/1/21

Today’s minor moves:

Las Vegas Raiders

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This Date In Transactions History: Cowboys’ Darren McFadden Retires From NFL

Four years ago today, Darren McFadden announced his retirement from the NFL. He was still just 30 years old, but McFadden felt that his best days were behind him. "<strong

[RELATED: Cowboys Place Steele On Reserve/COVID-19 List]

Today, I am announcing that I am retiring from the NFL. I have been extremely privileged to play in the league for a long time,” McFadden wrote in a statement. “And now that time for me is done.”

McFadden was limited to just one game and one carry (for negative two yards) in 2017. And, even in the wake of Ezekiel Elliott‘s suspension, he wasn’t healthy enough to take on the workload. Instead, it was Alfred Morris who jumped to the top of the depth chart, with support from RB2 Rod Smith.

This was a familiar refrain for McFadden, who couldn’t stay healthy after being drafted No. 4 overall by the Raiders in 2008. His best Oakland season came in 2010 when he ran for 1,157 yards plus 507 yards receiving. Unfortunately, out of seven seasons with the Raiders, he was only able to turn in one 16-game slate.

McFadden went on to have a late career re-emergence with Dallas, eclipsing 1,000 yards in 2015. Then, he lost most of 2016 and basically all of ’17 to injury.

The ex-Razorback’s blend of size and speed (6’1″; 4.33-second 40-yard-dash at the combine) never translated into superstardom, but he did manage a ten-year run — more than most get in the NFL. He also left the game with a pair of 1,000-yard seasons to his credit and nearly $50MM in lifetime NFL earnings.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Have Not Begun HC Search

Generally speaking, one of the benefits of parting ways with a head coach in the middle of the season is that it gives a club a head start on the search for its next HC. The Raiders, though, do not plan on capitalizing on that opportunity. Las Vegas is currently being run by interim head coach Rich Bisaccia after Jon Gruden‘s resignation in October, but Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports hears that team owner Mark Davis has not started the search for Gruden’s permanent replacement and may not do so until after the season.

It has been something of a difficult year for Davis. The Raiders got out to a 5-2 start, but the Gruden resignation — circumstances surrounding which infuriated Davis — and the departures of 2020 first-rounders Henry Ruggs and Damon Arnette cast a pall over the organization. Still, Davis has been pleased with how his club has responded to the adversity, and after a big win over the Cowboys on Thanksgiving snapped a three-game losing streak and put the Raiders back into the AFC playoff picture, he is not keen to focus on anything other than wins and losses at the moment.

One source told La Canfora that Davis, “isn’t ready to go there yet. He’s not ready to launch a coaching search. That’s not where he is.”

Davis can probably afford to be patient here. The Las Vegas coaching gig is a highly desirable one, so even if he waits until the end of the season to begin his HC search in earnest, Davis still has a good chance to land his top choice, whoever that happens to be. Indeed, La Canfora reports that interested candidates have proactively reached out to the organization, only to be rebuffed.

In addition to making a call on the next head coach, Davis will also need to decide GM Mike Mayock‘s fate. The most recent news on the matter indicated that Mayock — who reported to Gruden in the club’s previous, unorthodox power structure — has a legitimate chance to retain his job, though it’s fair to wonder whether a top-tier head coach will want to partner with a holdover general manager.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Who Will Win The AFC West?

The race for the AFC West is far from over. There is no team with a losing record in the division, setting for up an exciting final stretch of the regular season.

The Chiefs (7-4) began the season as clear favorites to win the division, but they’ve failed to create the distance they’d hoped for between themselves and their divisional foes. Kansas City’s first five games were defined by shootouts in which its defense struggled to contribute to team success, leading to an opening record of 2-3. After the Chiefs’ 27-3 loss to the Titans in Week 7, their defense seems to have found its footing. The Chris Jones-led unit is allowing 11.75 points per game since then en route to a four-game win streak.

In Los Angeles, Justin Herbert has benefitted from having healthy weapons in running back Austin Ekeler and receivers Keenan Allen and Mike Williams, an improvement from the 6-4 Chargers’ injury-riddled 2020 season. Much like the Chiefs, though, the Chargers’ defense has struggled to turn that success into wins as they’ve only managed to hold two opponents under 20 points this season.

The Raiders (6-5) have been a team of streaks this season. They began the year 3-0 with impressive wins over the Ravens and Steelers. They then lost two, won two, and lost three in a row through their next seven games with concerning losses to the currently reeling Bears and Giants. Las Vegas rebounded with an impressive Thanksgiving Day win in Dallas. The Raiders’ current winning record is all the more impressive when you consider the off-the-field controversies that have rocked the franchise.

The Raiders cut promising second-year receiver Henry Ruggs after he was arrested for his role in a fatal car accident. Their other 2020 first-round pick, Damon Arnette, is also gone after appearing in a video which showed him threatening a person with a gun. All of this after former head coach Jon Gruden was forced to resign in the wake of an email scandal that revealed the coach’s use of derogatory and offensive language. Las Vegas currently sits in third in the division at 6-5.

Over their first eight games of the season, the Broncos (5-5) were fairly easy to decipher. They beat teams currently under .500 — the Giants, Jaguars, Jets and the Football Team — but they could not get past teams currently over .500 (Ravens, Steelers, Raiders, Browns). They did buck this trend in their past two games by beating the Cowboys (7-4) and losing to the Eagles (4-6). They certainly hope that trend is over, as the Lions represent the only team they face over the rest of the season with a sub-.500 record. Offseason pickup Teddy Bridgewater leads an offense that has seen the return of Pro Bowler Courtland Sutton, though Denver’s latest run of injury misfortune involved second-year receiver Jerry Jeudy missing most of the season’s first half. The running game has been split pretty evenly between seven-year veteran Melvin Gordon and second-round rookie Javonte Williams.

With seven weeks remaining in the regular season, potential for divisional chaos remains. The Chiefs don’t have any remaining opponents currently under .500. The Raiders are set to play just one — the Washington Football Team. The Bolts potentially have a softer route, with two teams remaining under .500 in the Giants and Texans. In addition, there’s plenty of divisional play left to ensue before the playoff field forms.

So who do you see taking control of the AFC West? Do the Chiefs regain their supremacy and claim the division for the sixth straight year? Or do any of the other contenders take advantage of Kansas City’s four early-season losses? Vote in our latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Raiders’ Darren Waller

After initial speculation that Darren Waller‘s season might be over due to the knee injury he sustained during the Raiders’ Thanksgiving Day win in Dallas, the team has received good news on its top pass-catching weapon.

Waller only suffered a strain to the IT band in his knee, according to Ian Rapoport and Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network (on Twitter). Indeed, no major damage is believed to have occurred here, ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler tweets.

Waller may need to miss some time to recover, though even this is not certain just yet. Even if Waller needs to sit next week, this update represents good news for a Las Vegas team hoping to have something to play for as this season winds down.

The former reclamation project is on pace for his third straight 1,000-yard season, and given the turmoil the Raiders have gone through this year, he serves as a key constant for the team going into a pivotal stretch. Waller has racked up 53 receptions this season, turning them into 643 yards and two touchdowns.

Before leaving Thursday’s game early, Waller had only missed one game this season — against Philadelphia in Week 7. He initially left his team’s Thanksgiving game with a back ailment but returned before ultimately being forced out because of his knee. The Raiders managed to win without notable Waller assistance, halting their three-game skid.

With Waller out, Las Vegas would stand to look to Foster Moreau and Daniel Helm to cover the tight end position. The Raiders will look forward to a speedy Waller recovery, as they sit one game back behind the division-leading Chiefs and a half-game back of the Chargers in the competitive AFC West.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/24/21

Here are Wednesday’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Tennessee Titans

Minor NFL Transactions:  11/22/21

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Green Bay Packers

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: CB Jordan Brown

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Giants

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/20/21

We’ll keep track of today’s stream of minor moves right here:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

Seattle Seahawks

  • Promoted: CB Gavin Heslop

Tennessee Titans

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/18/21

Here are Thursday’s practice squad moves, with the list being updated throughout the day:

Detroit Lions

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

San Francisco 49ers

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 11/17/21

Today’s practice squad transactions:

Arizona Cardinals

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

  • Released: DB Bryan Mills

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Tennessee Titans