Jalen Richard

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/14/21

Today’s minor moves:

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

Washington Football Team

Minor NFL Transactions:  12/6/21

Today’s minor moves:

Atlanta Falcons

Carolina Panthers

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: OL Trent Scott

Cleveland Browns

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

New York Jets

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Raiders Rework Jalen Richard’s Deal

The Raiders agreed to a reworked contract with Jalen Richard (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). By shifting a portion of his base salary into bonuses, the running back will open up an additional $1.06MM in cap room for Las Vegas. 

The move will also kick some of Richard’s cap hit into 2022, the final year of his two-year, $7MM deal. Most of that sum is non-guaranteed, however, so it’s not a given that he’ll return next year.

Richard is in his sixth season with the Raiders. His best work came in 2018, when he registered a total of 866 yards from scrimmage. He wasn’t able to match that production in 2019 or 2020, combining for only 729 yards from scrimmage in 29 games. This year, the newly-turned 28-year-old was supposed to open the year as a primary backup to Josh Jacobs. Instead, he’s spent the bulk of the year sidelined with a foot injury.

Richard currently sits fourth on the Raiders’ RB depth chart, behind Jacobs, Kenyan Drake, and Peyton Barber. He has just eight rushing yards so far this year, but he’ll hope for a larger share of the workload this Sunday against the Giants.

Raiders Place CBs Trayvon Mullen, Damon Arnette On IR

Injuries are set to deplete the Raiders’ cornerback group. Las Vegas will be without Trayvon Mullen and Damon Arnette for at least the next three games, with both having been placed on IR Saturday.

A foot injury left Mullen sidelined this week, while Arnette is dealing with a groin issue. The Raiders ruled both out for Week 5. This stalls a nice start for Mullen. For Arnette, this represents another setback in an underwhelming start to his career.

A second-round pick in 2019, Mullen became part of the Raiders’ Clemson-heavy draft that year. Mullen reprised his role as a starter this season, being a first-unit player in new DC Gus Bradley‘s defense. Pro Football Focus graded Mullen as a top-25 corner through four games, with the third-year defender joining Casey Hayward and Nate Hobbs in an atypically strong Raiders coverage corps.

One of this Raider regime’s surprise first-round picks, Arnette has not seen the field much in his second season. The Ohio State product has played just 60 defensive snaps through four games. While the Raiders tried him as a starter for much of his 2020 season, Arnette suffered a thumb injury during his rookie training camp and then aggravated the issue later. He played nine games last season. Thus far in 2021, Arnette has joined fellow Jon GrudenMike Mayock first-rounder Clelin Ferrell as a seldom-used backup.

The Raiders also activated running back Jalen Richard and cornerback Keisean Nixon from IR. Set to begin his sixth season with the Raiders, Richard returned to practice last week. It will be interesting to see how the Raiders use Richard, given Kenyan Drake‘s presence, but the shifty reserve’s re-emergence should at least help for depth purposes. Peyton Barber is set to miss time with turf toe.

Raiders Designate Jalen Richard For Return

The Raiders have designated running back Jalen Richard for return. Meanwhile, fellow RB Josh Jacobs joined the team for practice on Thursday, a sign that he could take the field against the Chargers this week. 

Richard has spent five seasons with the Raiders, including a 2018 campaign where he finished with 866 yards from scrimmage. He hasn’t been able to match that production over the past two years, combining for only 729 yards from scrimmage in 29 games. Still, the 27-year-old was supposed to open the year as a primary backup to Jacobs. Instead, he’s been sidelined for the last couple of months with a foot injury.

Jacobs, meanwhile, has not been seen since the season opener against the Ravens. Instead of putting him on IR and ruling him out for three games, they’ve tasked Kenyan Drake and Peyton Barber with handling the workload. The two-time 1,000-yard rusher scored two touchdowns in that game with 40 all-purpose yards.

Drake has yet to flourish in their stead, but Barber delivered last week with 111 rushing yards to help top the Dolphins.

Raiders Place LB Nick Morrow, RB Jalen Richard On IR

The Raiders are placing four players on IR. Running back Jalen Richard, linebacker Nick Morrow, and defensive backs Keisean Nixon and Javin White will be shelved for at least the first three weeks of the season, per NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero (via Twitter). To take the open roster spots, the team has signed offensive lineman Jermaine Eluemunor and re-signed both tight end Derek Carrier and safety Dallin Leavitt. (via ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez on Twitter).

Richard has spent five seasons with the Raiders, including a 2018 campaign where he finished with 866 yards from scrimmage. He hasn’t been able to match that production over the past two years, combining for only 729 yards from scrimmage in 29 games. The 27-year-old is expected to be a primary backup to Josh Jacobs for another season in 2021.

Morrow had a career year for the Raiders in 2020, finishing with career-highs across the board. The linebacker has been dealing with a foot injury since late August, and he was expected to be sidelined for the start of the regular season. The team brought in some reinforcement at the position today when they signed veteran K.J. Wright.

Nixon has appeared in 29 games for the Raiders over the past two years, turning into one of the team’s special teams stalwarts. White, a 2020 undrafted free agent out of UNLV, got into four games with the Raiders as a rookie.

Raiders RB Jalen Richard To Miss Time

Raiders RB Jalen Richard recently suffered a serious foot injury and will miss an indefinite amount of time, as Tashan Reed of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). It’s been a tough summer for Richard, who was parked on the reserve/COVID-19 list for the first few practices of training camp.

We heard at the end of June that Richard, 27, could be on the roster bubble, and his lack of availability in camp won’t necessarily help his standing on the club. The fact that he is the Raiders’ RB3 and carries a $3.5MM cap number for 2021 and a minimal dead money charge is also working against him.

On the other hand, Theo Riddick’s recent retirement certainly helped Richard’s chances of sticking around, and the backs behind him on the depth chart include two rookie UDFAs — Trey Ragas and B.J. Emmons — and Bo Scarbrough, who has appeared in just seven games in his NFL career.

It was a bit surprising when the Raiders gave Kenyan Drake a pricey free agent contract given the presence of Josh Jacobs, but assuming he can get healthy, Richard is a luxury Vegas can probably afford. He is a useful change-of-pace back, having averaged 5.1 yards per carry in his career, and he has proven that he can be a real receiving threat as well (179 catches in five pro seasons).

Minor NFL Transactions: 7/29/21

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

Arizona Cardinals

Houston Texans

  • Signed: WR Jordan Veasy

Indianapolis Colts

Las Vegas Raiders

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

Philadelphia Eagles

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: OT Chidi Okeke
  • Waived: OT Calvin Ashley

Tennessee Titans

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: LB Bud Dupree; Dupree remains on Tennessee’s active/PUP list as well

Washington Football Team

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.