Nate Hobbs

Zamir White Expected To Be Raiders’ RB Starter; Jack Jones ‘Set’ As Starting CB

One of the more eventful days in running back history, transactionally speaking, occurred March 11. More than a third of the league either signed a veteran starter or lost one, with several clubs in both camps. The Raiders ended up only in the first section, losing Josh Jacobs to the Packers hours into the legal tampering period.

More moves affecting 2023 starters occurred soon after, as the Raiders added primary Vikings first-stringer Alexander Mattison a week into free agency. While Mattison worked as Minnesota’s initial Dalvin Cook replacement last year, the Raiders might not be readying a competition to fill the spot Jacobs held for five years.

[RELATED: Raiders’ Josh Jacobs Offer Not Close To Packers’ Proposal]

The Raiders brought in Mattison as a player who will work as a sidekick to Zamir White, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal’s Vincent Bonsignore. White filled in for Jacobs as the Las Vegas starter over the final four games last season. He totaled 100-plus rushing yards in two of those tilts. Two seasons remain on White’s rookie contract, giving him a path to take over as a multiyear option for the Raiders.

The Vikings released Mattison one year into a two-year contract; the Raiders gave him a one-year, $2MM deal. The former third-round pick’s run as Cook’s replacement did not go well. While the Vikings look to have picked the right offseason to jettison Cook, their run game ranked 29th. Mattison averaged 3.9 yards per carry and did not score a rushing touchdown. The Vikings joined the Raiders in investing a 2022 Day 3 pick on a back (Ty Chandler), and Jacobs’ Green Bay arrival led Aaron Jones to Minneapolis. Mattison, 25, fared better as a Cook spot starter in prior years; the Raiders will give him a chance to mix in behind White, who is going into his age-25 season.

Elsewhere on the Las Vegas depth chart, Bonsignore adds Jack Jones is “set” as a starting cornerback. The ex-Patriots draftee is on track to work as one of the Raiders’ boundary starters, with a competition in the works for the role alongside he and slot cog Nate Hobbs. Considering where Jones stood prior to the Raiders claiming him, a route to a clear-cut starting role is interesting.

Jones undoubtedly benefited from ownership’s decision to remove Antonio Pierce‘s interim tag. Pierce coached Jones at both Long Beach Poly High and then at Arizona State. Jones, 26, ran into off-field trouble in college and in the NFL. An arrest for trying to bring a loaded gun onto a plane overshadowed Jones’ 2023 offseason, and the 2022 fourth-round pick fell out of favor with Bill Belichick late last season. The Patriots waived Jones after he had missed curfew in Germany.

The Raiders upped the talented corner’s usage rate shortly after the November waiver claim, using him as a starter over the final three games. Jones delivered a memorable stretch, which included pick-sixes in back-to-back games. A 2022 starter who encountered speedbumps last year — which also featured an IR stint following a September hamstring injury — Jones is on steadier ground with his second NFL team.

The team let Amik Robertson walk (to the Lions) in free agency and did not draft a corner until Round 4. The Raiders used fourth- and seventh-round picks at the position, but the team is planning to have Jones and Hobbs as locked-in starters. Jakorian Bennett and the reacquired Brandon Facyson may be the early leaders for the other boundary CB job, Bonsignore adds, with the rookies (Decamerion Richardson, M.J. Devonshire) in the mix now as well.

49ers Pursued Raiders CB Nate Hobbs At Deadline

The 49ers made multiple inquiries on some big-ticket defenders before the trade deadline, discussing Brian Burns with the Panthers and Jaylon Johnson with the Bears. Chase Young ended up being San Francisco’s addition, but the team still tried to bolster its secondary last month.

Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs became a 49ers target, according to’s Adam Caplan. This came at a rather interesting point on the Raiders’ timeline, as the team was hours away from firing Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler. Mark Davis made the unusual call to let the soon-to-be-fired staffers manage the trade deadline — one that included Davante Adams interest — before letting them go. Prior to the Oct. 31 deadline, however, the ex-Patriots staffers informed the 49ers they were not interested in trading Hobbs.

Playing both inside and outside during his career, Hobbs has been the closest thing the Raiders have had to an anchor at corner over the past several years. The team has not been able to settle on corners recently, cycling through veterans after cutting 2020 first-rounder Damon Arnette. Neither Rock Ya-Sin (a 2022 trade acquisition) nor Anthony Averett (free agency) were re-signed this offseason, and the team has already bailed on two of its 2023 pickups — Duke Shelley, Marcus Peters. The Raiders waived Peters on Monday, and Vic Tafur of The Athletic indicates the team nearly cut the 30-year-old defender earlier this season (subscription required). An issue with inconsistent Peters effort likely led to the decision to move on, per Tafur.

Pro Football Focus rates Hobbs as Las Vegas’ top corner, slotting the third-year cover man 36th at the position. After yielding a 120.2 passer rating as the closest defender last season, Hobbs’ 2023 number comes in at 95.2. The Raiders have Hobbs signed through 2024. Pierce has since reunited with Jack Jones, whom he coached at Arizona State; Jones’ rookie deal runs through 2025. This could be the pairing the Raiders roll with beyond this season, though the team will likely still pursue more help at the position.

At the trade deadline, the 49ers were mired in a three-game losing streak. Injuries to standout starters impacted that swoon. The team has since moved Ambry Thomas into a regular role alongside Charvarius Ward and Deommodore Lenoir. Thomas has been a full-timer for the past three games — all wins. A 2021 third-round pick, Thomas carries a 90.1 passer rating-against mark. PFF slots Thomas 11th overall

The 49ers have each of their top three corners signed beyond this season, and they are in better shape — thanks partially to the Young addition, which cost only a compensatory third-rounder — than they were heading into the deadline. The Bears opted to hold onto Johnson, though they discussed him with a few teams after an 11th-hour decision to allow the contract-year cover man to find a trade partner. After keeping him out of trades, the Raiders will be eligible to enter extension talks with Hobbs in January. With a new GM-HC combo likely coming in during the 2024 offseason, the current cogs’ futures largely remain cloudy.

Raiders Notes: Hobbs, Pass Rush, Jacobs

Let’s round up a few notes on the NFL’s Sin City franchise:

  • Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs, a fifth-round pick in 2021, earned nine starts in his first professional season and started all 11 contests he appeared in last year (he missed six games with a broken hand). Working primarily as a boundary corner, the Illinois product regressed a bit from his strong rookie campaign, when he spent most of his time in the slot. Per Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed of The Athletic (subscription required), Hobbs would like to return to nickelback, where he apparently feels more comfortable. However, Tyler Hall, who played in seven games (three starts) for Las Vegas in 2022 after joining the club’s taxi squad in October, is expected to push Hobbs for that role.
  • During this year’s predraft process, we learned that the Raiders were eyeing Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson and believed that Wilson (or a similar player) could ease some of the burden on Chandler Jones, thereby making Jones more productive after the veteran underwhelmed during his first season in Vegas. Of course, the club ended up selecting Wilson with the No. 7 overall pick, and as Albert Breer of writes, the Raiders hope that Wilson’s presence will allow both the 33-year-old Jones and soon-to-be 26-year-old Maxx Crosby to see less time on the field. The coaching staff envisions a rotation among the three players to keep everyone fresh, healthy, and productive. Indeed, Wilson himself saw his final college season cut short due to a Lisfranc injury, though he is expected to be cleared in time for training camp.
  • The Raiders also want to create more of a rotation for their running backs. Assuming franchise-tagged RB Josh Jacobs does not hold out — both he and the club are reportedly motivated to strike an accord on a multiyear deal prior to the July 17 deadline — he will obviously be the feature back. But as Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal writes, the team wants to expand the roles of 2022 draftees Zamir White and Brittain Brown in an effort to ease Jacobs’ workload and, perhaps, to begin preparing for a Jacobs departure in 2024.

Raiders Activate CB Nate Hobbs

The Raiders have activated cornerback Nate Hobbs from injured reserve, the team announced. In a corresponding move, Las Vegas placed G Lester Cotton on IR.

Hobbs, a 2021 fifth-rounder, had started each of the Raiders’ first five games this season after earning nine starts in his rookie campaign. As a rookie, the Illinois product tallied 74 tackles, a sack, and an interception, and while he yielded a healthy 82.3% completion rate on passes thrown in his direction, Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics nonetheless deemed him one of the NFL’s best corners in 2021. PFF had him graded as the 29th-best CB in the league this year before he went on IR with a broken hand in mid-October.

Hobbs’ return is especially timely for Las Vegas, which was recently forced to place another starting corner, Anthony Averett, on injured reserve for the second time this season. Averett has not played especially well in his seven games of action, but the fact that the Raiders have not had their top three corners — Rock Ya-Sin, Averett, and Hobbs — on the field together after Week 1 is obviously suboptimal. The team is near the bottom of the league in terms of total defense and passing yards allowed per game, which is a major reason for its 4-7 record.

However, Josh McDaniels‘ troops have shown some moxie in winning their last two contests, both of which went to overtime. Getting Hobbs back should at least help stabilize the club’s secondary as it looks to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.

Cotton, meanwhile, has bounced between the Raiders’ active roster, taxi squad, and the unemployment line since signing with the team as a UDFA in 2019. Thanks to Las Vegas’ uncertain OL situation this year, he saw significant action in the first two weeks of the season, taking 90 snaps at right guard and earning his first career start in Week 2. Since then, he has played exclusively on special teams and has participated in just a handful of snaps per game.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/23/22

Today’s minor moves around the league:

Atlanta Falcons

Buffalo Bills

Dallas Cowboys

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New York Giants

Thanksgiving will mark McKinley’s Cowboys debut after he signed to Dallas’ practice squad last week. The veteran will seek to be more productive in his reunion with Dan Quinn than his previous stops following the end of his Falcons tenure, while providing depth to a Cowboys edge group which has produced a league-leading 42 sacks this season.

Hobbs returning to the fold in the near future will be a welcomed sight for the Raiders’ secondary. The 2021 fifth-rounder was a full-time starter through the first five weeks of the season before landing on IR with a broken hand. Vegas has struggled against the pass, allowing more than 247 yards per game through the air in 2022. The team has three weeks to activate him before he becomes ineligible to play again this season.

Raiders Place CB Nate Hobbs On IR

Nate Hobbs played with a broken hand against the Chiefs in Week 5, but the Raiders will shut him down for a chunk of their midseason schedule. Hobbs is now on IR.

The Raiders already have one of their Week 1 starting cornerbacks — Anthony Averett — on their IR list. Averett will be eligible to return from Las Vegas’ IR in Week 7, though it is not yet known if he will be ready to do so. Averett encountered a similar injury to Hobbs, suffering a broken thumb in his Raiders debut.

This stalls Hobbs’ strong start to his career. The 2021 fifth-round pick became a Week 1 starter last season and has been a Raider regular ever since. An Illinois alum, Hobbs made nine starts for the Raiders as a rookie. Pro Football Focus rated the slot corner as one of the top-performing corners in 2021; he rates 29th through five games this year. Hobbs’ emergence helped the Raiders feel comfortable enough at the position to unload 2019 second-round pick Trayvon Mullen on roster-cutdown day, but Las Vegas is suddenly thin at this position.

Rock Ya-Sin is now the only Raiders Week 1 cornerback starter left standing, though Averett should be expected to return at some point during Hobbs’ four-game shutdown. The Raiders have used 2020 fourth-round pick Amik Robertson as a primary starter in Averett’s absence, and he will presumably continue to work with the first-stringers sans Hobbs. Las Vegas used Sam Webb, a rookie UDFA out of Division II Missouri Western, on 24 defensive snaps in Kansas City.

The team has some interesting options on its practice squad as well, and Hobbs’ ailment could lead to Nickell Robey-Coleman‘s 2022 debut. The Raiders signed the veteran slot corner just before the season began. The team also has Javelin Guidry, a former Jets slot player, on its P-squad. Robey-Coleman, 30, has played 127 career games and worked as the top slot corner for multiple franchises.

The Raiders also added former Chargers contributor Tevaughn Campbell to their taxi squad Monday. The Bolts used Campbell as a fill-in starter at points, trotting him out as a first-stringer 11 times from 2020-21. The former UDFA reached an injury settlement with the Chargers last month, allowing him to move off their IR list and into free agency.

AFC West Rumors: James, Waller, Hobbs, Waitman

Back in June of 2021, Ravens offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James filed a grievance against the Broncos seeking $15MM consisting of his 2021 and 2022 salaries of $10MM and $5MM, respectively. James has reportedly settled with his former team and will receive $1.09MM, according to Charean Williams of NBC Sports.

The grievance stems from a torn Achilles that James suffered while working out away from the Broncos’ facility during the 2021 offseason. He missed out on a $9.85MM guaranteed salary that Denver claimed was only guaranteed for injuries sustained at the team facility.

James has not played since the injury and is currently listed as the backup to Baltimore’s starting left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Ravens fans are hoping not to have to see James come in, but, historically, Stanley has only played in two games since signing a contract extension in October of 2020.

Here are a few more rumors from the AFC West, starting with two rumors out of Sin City:

  • Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels told reporters that star tight end Darren Waller returned to practice today, according to Paul Gutierrez of ESPN. Waller had missed six practices since mid-August due to a hamstring injury. Adding Waller back to the mix gives Las Vegas a dangerous array of pass catchers with Waller and receivers Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow.
  • After the trade yesterday that sent former second-round pick Trayvon Mullen to Arizona and with Darius Phillips not making the initial 53-man roster, Raiders nickel cornerback Nate Hobbs is finally set to move to an outside cornerback gig, according to Vic Tafur of The Athletic. The team’s coaches have long been boasting of their plans to move Hobbs around on defense, and they now have a prime opportunity to see what he can do on the outside of the secondary.
  • The Broncos surprised quite a few when punter Sam Martin failed to make their initial 53-man roster. Instead, Denver will move forward with former-Steelers punter Corliss Waitman. General manager George Paton attempted to defend the cut by telling reporters that the move was not a reflection of contracts but one of abilities, according to Troy Renck of Denver 7. Martin has been a starting punter since being drafted in the league back in 2013 by the Lions. He had signed a three-year, $7.05MM contract to join the Broncos and was headed into the final year of the deal set to make $2.25MM. Martin reportedly refused to take a pay cut for the 2022 season and Denver now will rely on the leg of Waitman, who holds an $825K cap hit. According to Paton, though, the $1.4MM cap room cleared by cutting Martin had nothing to do with it. Also according to Paton, Waitman, who has two games of NFL play under his belt, simply beat out the veteran kicker with 139 games of NFL experience. Broncos fans will get to judge for themselves when they see Waitman’s regular season debut in a Broncos uniform in Seattle on Monday Night Football.

AFC West Notes: Reed, Raiders, Chargers

With Bradley Chubb and Von Miller suffering injuries at various points from 2019-21, the Broncos could rarely deploy their ideal edge-rushing combination. That led to extensive Malik Reed work. The 2019 UDFA has made 34 starts over the past three seasons and racked up 13 sacks over the past two. However, the Broncos have since signed Randy Gregory, drafted Nik Bonitto in Round 2 and moved 2021 inside linebacker starter Baron Browning to the edge. This creates a crowded depth chart, which features Chubb in his fifth-year option season. Reed is also going into a contract year, and’s Jeff Legwold’s 53-man roster prediction leaves the Nevada product off the team. Reed’s status could depend on Gregory’s recovery from offseason shoulder surgery, per Legwold, with the Broncos potentially going with a special-teamer over Reed if Gregory is healthy. If the Broncos determine Reed is not on track to make their team, he would be a logical trade candidate. Reed is attached to a $2.43MM salary.

Here is the latest from the AFC West:

  • The Raiders were active at defensive tackle this offseason. They re-signed Johnathan Hankins and brought in free agents Vernon Butler, Andrew Billings, Tyler Lancaster, Kyle Peko and Bilal Nichols. The team also used fourth- and fifth-round picks (Neil Farrell Jr. and Matthew Butler) on interior D-linemen. Of this group, Nichols projects as a starter, The Athletic’s Vic Tafur and Tashan Reed note (subscription required). Hankins, who has been a Raiders first-stringer for the past four seasons, should be ticketed to keep his starter gig under new DC Patrick Graham. Among the host of veterans brought in as free agents, Nichols’ contract (two years, $11MM) would point to him having the clearest starter path. The Raiders have been linked to Ndamukong Suh, but they might not be especially interested in signing him right now.
  • Despite the Raiders changing defensive schemes and letting Casey Hayward defect to the Falcons in free agency, they are unlikely to tinker with Nate Hobbs‘ job. The second-year cornerback practiced exclusively in the slot during Las Vegas’ offseason program and will still expected to be the team’s slot defender, per Tafur and Reed. Coming into the league as a fifth-round pick, Hobbs graded as a top-10 corner as a rookie, per Pro Football Focus. Trade acquisition Rock Ya-Sin and free agent signing Anthony Averett worked as Vegas’ slot corners this summer, with starter Trayvon Mullen on the mend after a May foot surgery. Mullen missed 12 games last season, with foot trouble at the root of the absence. The recent surgery makes Mullen’s status something to monitor during camp.
  • The Chargers have taken an aggressive approach to filling offensive line needs over the past two offseasons. They gave Corey Linsley a then-record center contract and also signed guard Matt Feiler. Those moves came before the Bolts drafted Rashawn Slater in Round 1. They selected Zion Johnson in this year’s first round, and he is expected to start at right guard. That leaves right tackle vacant, with 2020’s Bryan Bulaga signing not panning out. The Bolts used Storm Norton as their primary 2021 starter, but Trey Pipkins started a game apiece at left and right tackle — due to the starters’ COVID-19 contractions — last year. Those two starts elevated the former third-round pick’s status in the Chargers building, Daniel Popper of The Athletic notes. Pipkins’ progress will be put to the test when he battles Norton for the right tackle gig in camp.

Raiders’ Nate Hobbs Charged With DUI

Raiders cornerback Nate Hobbs was arrested early Monday morning on DUI charges (Twitter link via’s Tom Pelissero). According to police, Hobbs was found sleeping in his vehicle sometime after 4am and failed an adminstered field sobriety test.

[RELATED: Raiders Place Waller On Reserve List]

The Raiders have yet to comment on the matter, though interim head coach Rich Bisaccia told reporters that the team is gathering information on the incident. Given what happened with Henry Ruggs earlier this year, the Raiders won’t be taking this lightly. Just ask cornerback Damon Arnettethe former first-round pick was released soon after Ruggs for a slew of off-the-field flags, including a lawsuit stemming from a car crash.

Hobbs, 22, has started in nine of his 15 games this year, including yesterday’s win over the Colts. The Raiders are in control of their own destiny as they prepare for the Bolts, but Hobbs’ availability is now in doubt.

If Hobbs is held out of this week’s game, they’ll may turn to backup Amik Robertson at nickelback. Brandon Facyson, Roderic Teamer Jr., Desmond Trufant, Keisean Nixon, and Jordan Brown make up the rest of the Raiders’ CB group.

NFL COVID List Updates: 12/25-12/26/21

We’ve compiled a list of players who were placed on or activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list on Christmas and today. In some instances, players activated from the list remain on IR:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Jacksonville Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Placed on practice squad/COVID-19 list: WR Steven Sims

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team