Following five seasons with the Raiders, Nicholas Morrow is heading to Chicago. The Bears are signing the linebacker, reports ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler (via Twitter).
Fowler transformed from an undrafted free agent into a serviceable linebacker during his time with the Raiders organization. Morrow ultimately spent five years with the organization, seeing time in 62 games (29 starts).
Morrow re-signed with the Raiders last offseason, but he landed on injured reserve before the regular season with a foot injury. There were some whispers that he could be activated in time for the playoffs, but the linebacker ended up sitting out the entire 2021 campaign.
That means 2020 was the last time Morrow saw the field, but he was plenty productive during that campaign. He saw time in 14 games (11 starts) that season, collecting 78 tackles, three sacks, and nine passes defended.
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.
Ailing at linebacker, the Raiders are taking a look at a longtime starter. Mark Barron, who missed all of last season, is in Las Vegas for a workout, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets.
The Broncos brought Barron aboard last year, but the former first-round pick did not play. Hamstring and pectoral injuries sidelined Barron last year, and the Broncos ended up cutting ties with him in December. This marks the first Barron connection this year.
Nicholas Morrow, Nick Kwiatkoski and Darron Lee are currently down with injuries for the Raiders. While Kwiatkoski is expected back soon, Jon Gruden expressed concern about the foot injury Morrow suffered in practice last week.
Barron has made 102 career starts. Though a chunk of those have come at safety, the 31-year-old defender has been entrenched at linebacker since he joined the Rams in 2015. Barron has played with the Buccaneers, Rams and Steelers during his career.
Teams also have until 3pm CT Tuesday to trim their rosters from 85 to 80, and the Raiders made Rasul Douglas a somewhat surprising early cut, Yates adds. The team signed Douglas in April. Las Vegas rosters fellow veteran corners Casey Hayward, Blidi Wreh-Wilson and Nevin Lawson but also houses a host of recent draftees, creating a roster crunch of sorts at this position.
Douglas, 26, is a vested veteran after spending three seasons with the Eagles and one with the Panthers. The Eagles parted ways with Douglas nearly a year ago, leading to his stopover in Charlotte. His 11 starts with the Panthers marked a career-high total. The former third-round pick contributed on Philadelphia’s Super Bowl LII-winning team four years ago, but he will need to find another new home after Monday’s Raiders decision.
Nicholas Morrow is re-signing with the Raiders after all. Alex Marvez of SiriusXM reports (via Twitter) that the linebacker is re-signing with Las Vegas. His one-year deal is worth $5MM with $4.5MM fully guaranteed, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).
We heard earlier this month that the two sides were working towards a new pact, but we hadn’t received any updates since that time. The 25-year-old defender had his best professional season in 2020, starting a career-high 11 games. Morrow also established benchmarks in tackles (78), tackles for loss (eight) and sacks (three). Pro Football Focus rated him as a top-30 off-ball ‘backer in 2020.
The Raiders have been busy adding to their linebackers corps this week, agreeing to terms on a two-year deal with Yannick Ngakoue. As our Sam Robinson previously detailed, the Raiders are also only a year removed from having spent big at the linebacker position; the organization signed Cory Littleton to a lucrative deal and gave Nick Kwiatkoski a respectable pact as well. The team has since reworked both Littleton’s and Kwiatkoski’s deals.
Considering Morrow’s career year, the Raiders surely didn’t secure his services for a song. This means the organization is committing even more money at the position, which will probably take them out of the running for a linebacker in the first round (as Jerry McDonald of the Oakland Tribune tweets).
The Raiders do not have many players left that predate Jon Gruden‘s return, but they have targeted one they would like to retain in free agency. They are in talks with Nicholas Morrow about a return, Vic Tafur of The Athletic tweets.
A Division III success story who joined the team as a UDFA during Reggie McKenzie‘s GM tenure, Morrow has been a contributor at linebacker in each of his four Raiders seasons. If unsigned by March 17, he will be an unrestricted free agent. The Raiders gave Morrow a second-round RFA tender last year.
The 25-year-old defender is coming off his best season, one in which he started a career-high 11 games. Morrow also established benchmarks in tackles (78), tackles for loss (eight) and sacks (three). Pro Football Focus rated him as a top-30 off-ball ‘backer in 2020.
A Morrow re-up would be interesting, given the Raiders’ actions last year. They spent heavily at linebacker during the 2020 free agency period. They signed Cory Littleton to a lucrative deal and gave Nick Kwiatkoski a respectable pact as well. The Gruden 2.0-era Raiders have also added the likes of Tahir Whitehead, Vontaze Burfict, Brandon Marshall and Derrick Johnson. Only Whitehead played a big role among this contingent and is now elsewhere, but the franchise has been active in free agency at linebacker.
Las Vegas has Littleton and Kwiatkoski under contract in 2021; the two combine to count for more than $20MM on the Raiders’ 2021 cap sheet. It will be interesting to see if the team devotes notable funds to keeping Morrow.
Nicholas Morrow made the jump from undrafted free agency to receiving a second-round RFA tender this year. He is officially back with the Raiders after signing that tender Monday, Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets.
The fourth-year linebacker will see a salary bump from $645K to 3.26MM. The Raiders cut Tahir Whitehead but made multiple moves at linebacker, signaling a likely shift in Morrow’s role.
Morrow’s 730 snaps last season (second among Raider linebackers) ranked in the top 50 among off-ball linebackers, but the Raiders signed both Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski early in free agency. The contracts given to those two point to them being the odds-on favorites to be Las Vegas’ two three-down ‘backers. The Raiders’ top three linebackers will combine to count more than $20MM against their 2020 cap. Littleton is attached to an $11.75MM cap figure; Kwiatkoski’s cap number comes in at $7MM.
The Raiders started Morrow in eight games last season; his role increased after Vontaze Burfict‘s season-ending suspension. Morrow made a career-high 73 tackles and intercepted the first pass of his career last season. He is in line to be an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
Cioffi, a product of Jonathan Dayton High School in Springfield, N.J., stayed close to home for college and worked his way up to a starting role in his senior year at Rutgers. Cioffi led all Scarlet Knights defensive backs last season in tackles (63) and interceptions (2). Prior to the draft, he reportedly ran a 4.37 second 40-yard-dash in training.
Zamora was suspended for three games last season after videos emerged of him beating his dog. He was not invited to this year’s draft combine and that was likely the results of his off-the-field behavior. He appeared in ten games last season for Baylor, tallying 63 catches for 809 yards and ten touchdowns.