Raiders Rumors

Raiders Sign QB Josh Johnson

One of Jon Gruden‘s final draft picks as Buccaneers head coach was a fifth-round selection of Josh Johnson in 2008, and the quarterback still being active opened the door to a reunion now that Gruden is coaching again.

The Raiders signed Johnson on Monday, according to agent Doug Hendrickson (Twitter link). An Oakland native, Johnson will return to his hometown and rejoin a Gruden staff to continue a nomadic career.

While Johnson has not thrown a pass in a game since 2011, he’s remained on rosters as a backup. Most recently, the Texans added him after Deshaun Watson‘s injury. Johnson’s rookie year came under Gruden, but he didn’t throw his first NFL pass until 2009.

The 31-year-old signal-caller could be in line to become Oakland’s third-string quarterback, behind Derek Carr and Connor Cook.

AFC Contract Details: Crabtree, Williamson

Here are figures on some of the recent contracts signed around the NFL, with all links going to Twitter unless noted otherwise.

Patterson Not A Fit For Jon Gruden?

John Elway said at the Combine the team planned to keep Menelik Watson, despite his struggles with performance and injuries last season. The 2017 UFA acquisition followed Donald Stephenson as a disappointing mid-level UFA add, but at this point, Denver would be pursuing another lower-tier free agent since the top talents on this market have signed. Of PFR’s top 10 UFA tackles, only LaAdrian Waddle, Cameron Fleming and Sam Young remain unsigned. Waddle is meeting with the Patriots, and Fleming is visiting the Cowboys on Monday. The Broncos signed Watson after middling results with the Raiders, and Oakland’s other two right tackles in that span — Austin Howard and Marshall Newhouse — are now available. The Broncos have tried draft choices Michael Schofield and Ty Sambrailo here as well and could bring in competition through that avenue again, but the team looks like it’s examining veterans right now.

  • The Raiders agreeing to ship Cordarrelle Patterson to the Patriots freed up $3.25MM in cap space, but the primary reason for the trade was Patterson not being a fit for what Jon Gruden is eyeing, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets. Patterson signed a two-year deal with the Raiders last year. The Raiders have reshuffled their receiving corps but are now in deed of more depth at that position.

Raiders Trade Cordarrelle Patterson To Patriots

The Raiders will be parting ways with Cordarrelle Patterson and sending the former All-Pro kick returner to the Patriots, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets. Barstool Sports first reported the deal. The Raiders have since announced the deal.

The AFC teams will exchange late-round picks in this deal, Field Yates of tweets. Ian Rapoport of confirms as such, reporting (via Twitter) the Raiders will receive a fifth-rounder and send out a sixth-round choice. Oakland previously did not possess a fifth-round pick in this year’s draft.

Patterson has one more year remaining on his contract, and he’ll be changing teams for the second straight offseason. The Patriots will receive a player who has two first-team All-Pro honors to his credit, those coming during the former first-round pick’s time with the Vikings.

The sixth-year wideout stands to count $3.25MM against the cap this season. He worked as an auxiliary Raiders pass-catcher and gadget player during his one season in Oakland, accumulating 430 yards from scrimmage and scoring twice — both on runs. He averaged 9.3 yards per tote on 13 attempts.

Dion Lewis served as New England’s primary kick returner last season. He’s since signed with the Titans to leave that role vacant, and a franchise that’s valued special teams immensely under Bill Belichick will acquire a dangerous return man to fill Lewis’ spot. Patterson has not served as a punt returner much in his career, so it’s likely the 6-foot-2 cog will be installed on the Pats’ kick-return unit and potentially have a role as a backup wide receiver.

The 2013 first-rounder has not lived up to expectations as a receiver, but he landed on the 2013 and ’16 All-Pro teams for his return work. Patterson has six career kick-return scores, with three of those coming as a rookie.

Oakland has rearranged its wide receiving corps this offseason, jettisoning its No. 2 and No. 4 WRs from a season ago. Although, Jordy Nelson replaced Michael Crabtree. The team may be in need of some depth to take Patterson’s place. Seth Roberts is due back after receiving a $2MM roster bonus late this week. His $2.25MM base salary is now fully guaranteed.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Meet With DT Clinton McDonald

The Raiders have met with free agent defensive tackle Clinton McDonald, according to veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link).

McDonald, who is now entering his age-32 campaign, has spent the past four seasons as a rotational lineman with the Buccaneers. In 2017, McDonald split time with high-profile free agent addition Chris Baker, managing five sacks and 18 tackles from the interior. However, Pro Football Focus graded McDonald as a bottom-10 defensive tackle among 121 qualifiers.

Oakland has made a flurry of free agent signings this week, and the club’s defensive line was not forgotten. Defensive tackle Justin Ellis was re-signed on a three-year deal, while former 49ers end Tank Carradine was also added. The Raiders did lose Denico Autry, however, so McDonald could help fill out the club’s interior.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Host WR Ryan Grant

The Raiders are the next team up on receiver Ryan Grant‘s free agent tour, per Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).

Grant agreed to a four-year deal with the Ravens on the first day of the free agent period, but that contract was voided due to a failed physical. Baltimore immediately signed fellow free agent pass-catcher Michael Crabtree, leading to speculation that the Ravens aren’t being fully truthful about their assessment of Grant’s health.

Oakland cut Crabtree from its roster earlier this week, but added veteran wideout Jordy Nelson on a two-year deal. Fellow receiver Seth Roberts is also going to stick around in Oakland, as he received a $2MM roster bonus and saw his entire 2018 base salary become guaranteed today, tweets Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review Journal. Grant would join Crabtree, Roberts, Amari Cooper, Cordarrelle Patterson, and others in a suddenly crowded Raiders receiver room.

Grant, a former fifth-round pick, broke out with 45 receptions for 573 yards and four touchdowns with Washington in 2017. Pro Football Focus ultimately ranked Grant 57th among 116 NFL wide receivers. The Redskins had previously expressed interest in retaining Grant, so it’s possible a reunion can be forged, while Grant has also met with the Colts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Retain Marshawn Lynch

Oakland’s Doug Martin signing was not a precursor to a big shakeup in its backfield. The Raiders are going to retain Marshawn Lynch, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

He will receive his $1MM roster bonus due on Sunday, Rapoport reports, and appears almost certain to return as the team’s feature back.

Lynch signed a two-year deal with the Raiders, with most of the guaranteed money coming to the running back in Year 1. Jon Gruden provided a public challenge to the soon-to-be 32-year-old running back last month, indicating he needed a “full-time Lynch.” It’s looking like Bay Area fans will have a chance to see at least one more season of Lynch suiting up for his hometown team.

Although Lynch was plagued by injuries during his final year with the Seahawks, leading to his retirement/2016 sabbatical, he played in 15 Raiders games last year. He was not allowed to play in all 16 because of a suspension. While Lynch was reportedly a problem for previous Raiders coaches, he’ll have a strong chance to keep his starting job.

He rushed for 891 yards and seven touchdowns last season, with his 4.3 yards per carry eclipsing the 3.8 mark of his final Seattle slate. Lynch, though, came on strong late in the season, rushing for at least 95 yards three times in the Raiders’ final five games after failing to do that previously for the team.

Lynch, Martin, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are the top Raiders backs. The latter two are signed to rookie deals but have impressed in spurts in the past. Coming off back-to-back seasons of 2.9 yards per tote, Martin may have to show he’s worthy of another chance with Lynch now being given the green light to stay with Gruden-led team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Interested In LB Emmanuel Lamur

Another team with ties to the Bengals staff that drafted Emmanuel Lamur is considering signing the veteran linebacker.

The Raiders have discussed adding Lamur despite having already signed outside linebacker Kyle Wilber on Saturday, Adam Caplan of tweets. Oakland has made several investments to help several areas on its defense, and Lamur has a key connection to the new Raiders staff.

New defensive coordinator Paul Guenther coached Lamur while in Cincinnati. Lamur spent the past two seasons with the Vikings, following former Bengals DC Mike Zimmer to Minneapolis. With Lamur having strictly served as Vikings depth during his stay in the Twin Cities, he likely would not cost much for the Raiders to add.

Oakland has already agreed to deals with Wilber and Tahir Whitehead, helping reshape a linebacking corps that has been fluid during Reggie McKenzie‘s GM run.

Raiders Sign LB Kyle Wilber

Kyle Wilber has found a new home. The Raiders announced that they have signed the free agent linebacker.

The 2012 fourth-round pick had spent his entire six-year career with the Cowboys, and he’s missed only a single regular season game over the past two seasons. The 28-year-old finished last season with 10 tackles and one forced fumble in 16 games. His best season came back in 2013, when he had 44 tackles and a pair of sacks.

Wilber will have plenty of competition for playing time, as the Raiders seemingly have their starters in Bruce IrvinMarquel Lee, and Tahir Whitehead. Wilber will compete with Cory JamesNicholas MorrowShilique Calhoun, and Brady Sheldon for playing time. Wilber will probably most contribute on special teams.