Raiders Rumors

Raiders Trying Penn At RT

Raiders Restructure Donald Penn’s Contract

It sounds like Donald Penn will be sticking with the Raiders. Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports (via Twitter) that the two sides have agreed to a restructured contract. We heard last week that the organization wanted the offensive lineman to take a pay cut, and they’d consider trading the veteran if he refused.

According to Gehlken, Penn agreed to a deal with “team-friendly parameters.” In exchange, the lineman will receive more guaranteed money over the next two years. The 35-year-old was set to earn a $6MM salary in 2018 (including $3MM in guaranteed money), as well as up to $1.75MM in per-game roster bonuses. These numbers stem from the two-year, $21MM extension he signed last year following a hold out. The deal runs through the 2019 season.

The 12-year veteran appeared in 14 games for the Raiders last season, the first time in his career that he failed to appear in all 16 regular season contests. Pro Football Focus ultimately ranked him 23rd among eligible tackles, proving that the veteran still has something left in the tank. The team seemingly selected a successor in first-rounder Kolton Miller during this past year’s draft, but the Raiders are hoping to slot both players into the starting lineup.

Of course, Penn still has to return to the field to make that a reality. He ended last season on the injured reserve with a foot injury, and he’s currently sitting on the Raiders’ physically unable to perform list following offseason surgery.

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Raiders Not Waiting On Donald To Sign Mack

  • Despite common speculation, the Raiders do not appear to be waiting on the Rams to sign Donald before they lock up Khalil Mack, Florio opines. That theory would make some sense if the Raiders and Mack were actively negotiating, but they haven’t talked since February, so it seems unlikely that they would wait on Donald before starting from square one late in the offseason. The notion of waiting on Donald seems especially unlikely, Florio adds, when considering that Donald waited until the last minute before reporting to the team last season.

Jaguars To Add CB Kenneth Acker

The Jaguars made a move to add some potential depth to their cornerback contingent on Saturday, agreeing to terms with Kenneth Acker, John Reid of the Florida Times-Union reports (on Twitter).

Jacksonville will also bring in cornerback Bryce Canady, per Reid. To make room on their 90-man roster, the Jags are releasing cornerback Dexter McDougle and waiving Charlie Miller.

A former 49ers and Chiefs cornerback, Acker previously signed with the Colts in April but was cut in May. He logged multiple visits as well, meeting with the Seahawks in the spring and, per ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan (on Twitter), the Raiders more recently. The Raiders viewed Acker as a possible safety but did not sign him.

A sixth-round 49ers pick in 2014, Acker spent time as a depth piece for the Chiefs the past two seasons. He started in two games with Kansas City, which acquired him via trade prior to the 2016 season. Acker’s most notable work came as a full-time starter for the 2015 49ers.

The Jags were McDougle’s fourth team. The former Jets third-round pick played sparingly for the Saints and Eagles last season. McDougle, who signed an extension with the Eagles prior to last season, latched on with the Jags via reserve/futures contract in January.

Jacksonville obviously has its starting spots locked down, with Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye forming perhaps the league’s top corner tandem, but its depth is somewhat uncertain. Aaron Colvin‘s Texans defection led to a D.J. Hayden signing. Tyler Patmon and some lower-profile veterans comprise the rest of this corner corps. So, Acker has a reasonable chance of sticking around into the regular season.

DRC Didn’t Work Out For Raiders

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie indeed worked out for the Seahawks this week, but it doesn’t sound like he auditioned for the Raiders (as was previously reported). The free agent cornerback told ESPN’s Josina Anderson that Oakland simply inquired on whether he was in shape, “like a lot of other teams” (Twitter link). DRC added that he hasn’t scheduled a workout with Oakland.

While a former Pro Bowler is usually a welcome addition to any roster, the Raiders didn’t necessarily seem like an ideal fit for the 32-year-old. After all, the team has a relatively crowded cornerback depth chart. Gareon ConleyRashaan Melvin, and Daryl Worley are projected to be the team’s top corners, while Shareece WrightDexter McDonald, fourth-rounder Nick Nelson, and Leon Hall are in play for backup roles.

Of course, DRC’s production also slipped last season. His 77.2 overall score from Pro Football Focus was his lowest since 2012, and he ultimately finished as the league’s 58th-ranked cornerback. He settled into more of a reserve role with the Giants, finishing the campaign with 48 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and one pass defended in 15 games (five starts).

Rodgers-Cromartie did acknowledge that he worked out with the Seahawks on Friday morning, saying the audition went “real good. They were impressed.” The connection with Seattle makes sense, especially after the team let go of slot cornerback DeAndre Elliott. If he were to join Seattle, the veteran would likely compete with Dontae Johnson, Byron Maxwell, Tre FlowersNeiko Thorpe, and Trovon Reed for backup reps.

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Latest On Raiders’ Khalil Mack

There’s no end in sight for Khalil Mack‘s holdout. The defensive end won’t report to camp in advance of the Raiders’ preseason game on Friday night, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). By staying away, Mack will be fined $814K, per the terms of the CBA. 

While fellow elite defender Aaron Donald has been in active negotiations with the Rams, the Raiders yet to present Mack with an offer. As important as Mack is to the Raiders’ front seven, the team has not given any indication that a new deal is on the horizon.

The Raiders are taking a hardline stance with Mack, but the motivation for that isn’t exactly clear. Perhaps Jon Gruden, who is taking an old-school approach to the on-field product, has similar views when it comes to the business side. Their reluctance to give Mack an extension has also opened up speculation about the team’s finances and their ability to give the three-time Pro Bowler the heavily-guaranteed deal he deserves.

The Raiders, in theory, can control Mack via the franchise tag in 2019 and again in 2020, but it’s a costly proposition that would put them at odds with the defensive end. The club’s preference is to negotiate after the 2018 season, but that’s not what Mack wants, and he may be willing to miss regular season games to express his dissatisfaction.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Could Trade LT Donald Penn

The Raiders are reportedly asking left tackle Donald Penn to accept a pay cut in advance of the 2018 season, and it’s possible Oakland could trade the veteran offensive lineman if he declines the request, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link).

That the Raiders would be open to dealing Penn shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as the club is likely attempting to generate trade interest in lieu of a release. If Penn refuses to lower his 2018 base salary, Oakland will consider cutting him, but a trade would be preferential on two fronts.

First, the Raiders would pick up some sort of compensation in exchange for Penn, something they wouldn’t do in the event of a release. And an acquiring club would take on Penn’s 2018 base salary (which includes $3MM in full guarantees), freeing up more cap space for Oakland.

Penn, 35, is scheduled to earn a $6MM salary in 2018, and is also eligible to collect up to $1.75MM in per-game roster bonuses. Those figures are the result of Penn’s 2017 training camp holdout, which ended when he agreed to a two-year, $21MM extension that runs through the 2019 campaign.

Last year, Penn started 14 games for the Raiders, grading as the NFL’s No. 12 offensive tackle per Pro Football Focus before being placed on injured reserve with a foot issue. 2017, notably, marked the first season of Penn’s career in which he failed to appear in all 16 games. If Penn is traded or released, Oakland would deploy rookie first-round pick Kolton Miller on Derek Carr‘s blindside.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/9/18

As we get set for preseason football, we’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Detroit Lions

  • Waived from injured reserve: WR Deontez Alexander

New England Patriots

Oakland Raiders

Raiders' Bryant Shows Improvement

DRC To Work Out For Seahawks, Raiders

Free agent cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will work out for the Seahawks at some point over the next few days, a source tells Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). After that, he’ll audition for the Raiders. 

DRC was originally scheduled to workout for Seattle last week, but that had to be rescheduled due to a family matter. The Seahawks should be keenly interested in DRC since they could use a slot cornerback after waiving DeAndre Elliott. Behind projected starters Justin Coleman and Shaquill Griffin, the Seahawks are also rostering Dontae Johnson, Byron Maxwell, Tre FlowersNeiko Thorpe, and Trovon Reed.

Rodgers-Cromartie’s age (32) was likely a factor in the Giants showing him the exit, but that is hardly a deterrent for Jon Gruden. And, even though the Raiders already have plenty of cornerback talent, they are apparently interested in seeing what DRC has to offer. The Raiders project to use Gareon Conley, Rashaan Melvin, and Daryl Worley as their top corners with support from the likes of Shareece Wright, Dexter McDonald, fourth-rounder Nick Nelson, and veteran Leon Hall.

It was an underwhelming 2017 campaign for Rodgers-Cromartie, who finished out as Football Focus’ 58th-ranked cornerback. He finished the season with 48 tackles, 0.5 sacks, and one pass defended in 15 games (five starts) for the Giants.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.