Rodney Hudson

Raiders Notes: Davis, Mayock, Hudson

As a result of Jon Gruden‘s resignation, the Raiders will, of course, have plenty of difficult decisions to make this offseason, including how to fill their head coaching position. As Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes, owner Mark Davis will assemble a small group of advisors to assist him with his HC search, which should yield a number of high-level candidates. Popular names from recent coaching cycles like Chiefs OC Eric Bieniemy, Bills DC Leslie Frazier, and Iowa State HC Matt Campbell are just a few of the possibilities.

Davis will also discuss with his advisors whether GM Mike Mayock — who will now have a 51% say in roster decisions — should remain with the club. If Davis is able to lure a sought-after head coach, such a person may not want to partner with a holdover GM, but Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal believes Davis will legitimately consider retaining Mayock (Twitter link).

More out of Las Vegas:

  • We recently explored the topic of how much money remained under Gruden’s contract with the Raiders and if Gruden would be entitled to any of that amount. The assumption was that Gruden and Davis had worked out some sort of severance package, but according to Rapoport, a settlement has not yet been reached. Ben Volin of the Boston Globe confirms that the contract was heavily backloaded, and that Gruden has received less than 30% of the $100MM to which he would have otherwise been entitled.
  • Per Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, Davis — who Rapoport says delivered an upbeat, positive message to his club on Wednesday — is nonetheless furious with the league office for what he believes is a hit job. Davis reportedly thinks that the league office was intent on forcing Gruden out, and that it was responsible for the leaked emails to the New York Times and Wall Street Journal that triggered his resignation.
  • Davis’ ire is enflamed by the fact that those emails stemmed from an investigation into a different team (the Washington Football Team) that went back over a decade, an investigation that has not resulted in any punishment for WFT executives or officials. The NFL has denied involved in the NYT and WSJ stories, but Davis is said to be mulling a lawsuit.
  • For what it’s worth, Volin believes the leaked emails were indeed a hit job, but not one ordered by the league office. On Thursday, the NYT and WSJ independently published stories detailing embarrassing emails that the league’s No. 2 exec, attorney Jeff Pash, sent to former WFT president Bruce Allen. While those emails were not as provocative as the ones Gruden sent to Allen, it is unlikely that the league would intentionally shame one of its own top officials. Instead, the leaks might have come from someone connected to the WFT investigation who was unsatisfied with the results.
  • The Raiders saw significant turnover on the O-line this offseason, and as a result of veteran departures, injuries, and poor performance, the unit has been a disappointment in 2021. Former center Rodney Hudson, who was traded to the Cardinals in March, actually requested his release after Gabe Jackson and Trent Brown were traded, as Vic Tafur of The Athletic writes. Ultimately, Vegas — which was apparently shocked by the request — was able to swing a deal with Arizona, but it would probably like to have its Pro Bowl pivot back in the Silver-and-Black.

Cardinals Place C Rodney Hudson On IR

More tough news for the Cardinals. They were set to be without Rodney Hudson this week, but the team placed its starting center on IR Saturday, sidelining him for at least three games.

Hudson is battling rib and shoulder injuries. The Pro Bowl blocker will miss Cardinals games against the Browns, Texans and Packers. Arizona’s quest to remain unbeaten in Cleveland keeps becoming more difficult. Hudson, Chandler Jones, defensive lineman Zach Allen, HC Kliff Kingsbury and QBs coach Cam Turner are out. The latter four are sidelined after testing positive for COVID-19.

Acquired via trade from the Raiders this offseason, Hudson has been one of the NFL’s top centers for several seasons. He represented Arizona’s top O-line add this year and joined J.J. Watt and A.J. Green as Pro Bowlers brought in this offseason. Veteran backup Max Garcia is set to start in Hudson’s place.

The Cardinals will receive some reinforcements, with defensive lineman Jordan Phillips coming off IR. A higher-end 2020 free agency addition, Phillips returned to practice earlier this week. He will return to game action after nearly a year away. The former Dolphins and Bills interior D-lineman went on IR with a hamstring injury midway through last season and suffered a back injury during this year’s training camp.

In addition to Phillips, the Cards activated tackle Joshua Miles from IR and flexed tight end Ross Travis, linebacker Joe Walker and O-lineman Danny Isidora to their 53-man roster for Week 6.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Broncos, Cards, Hicks, Hawks

The Bears briefly entertained the prospect of trading standout defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, but they reconsidered and brought the former All-Pro back for his sixth season in Chicago. Shortly after free agency began, the Bears gave Hicks permission to find a trade partner. Nothing materialized, but the Chargers were monitoring this situation through the preseason, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (ESPN+ link). Hicks, 31, has a history with Bolts HC Brandon Staley, who was on the Bears’ defensive staff — as outside linebackers coach — under Vic Fangio from 2017-18. The 11th-year veteran’s contract expires at season’s end. Should the Bears falter against a tough October schedule, Hicks could be a name to watch as the Nov. 2 trade deadline approaches. The $7MM-plus left on his 2021 salary would be a difficult accommodation for most teams, but that number will drop closer to $5MM by the deadline. A groin injury sidelined Hicks in Week 5, but he remains on the Bears’ active roster.

Here is the latest from the West divisions:

  • Staying on the trade front, the Broncos received inquiries on their two contract-year corners — Kyle Fuller and Bryce Callahan — along with Ronald Darby. The veteran defenders came up in talks leading up to the season, but new Denver GM George Paton set a fairly high asking price. The Broncos sought a third- or fourth-round pick in a deal for one of their vets, Fowler adds, scuttling talks. The Saints made a strong push for Fuller, which came months after New Orleans’ aggressive pursuit of Denver’s No. 9 overall pick — which was used to take Patrick Surtain II. While Denver has made multiple deadline deals in recent years, involving receivers Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, it would likely take a tumble out of contention for the team to deal from its corner surplus.
  • The Cardinals are likely to be without Chandler Jones as they attempt to move their unbeaten run to 6-0. While vaccinated players who test positive for COVID-19 can return after two negative tests 24 hours apart, Kliff Kingsbury said Jones is experiencing symptoms and that it would be “a stretch” for him to play against the Browns, via SI.com’s Howard Balzer (on Twitter). Jones is vaccinated. News of the veteran pass rusher’s positive test circulated Tuesday, creating a narrow window for him to recover in time.
  • Arizona will also be without center Rodney Hudson. The acclaimed O-lineman is battling a rib injury, and Kingsbury declared him out Wednesday. Seventh-year pro Max Garcia will step in for the Cards’ Pro Bowl snapper.
  • Blake Bortles auditioned for the Seahawks on Tuesday, but Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times notes they are not expected to sign him (Twitter link). Seattle instead re-signed Danny Etling, who was with the team from August 2020 to August of ’21. Etling is currently on the Seahawks’ practice squad. Bortles has not been able to land a steady gig since the 2019 season, when he backed up Jared Goff with the Rams.
  • Pete Carroll said Tre Flowers did not request to be waived, Condotta adds (via Twitter). The Flowers transaction went through Wednesday, so a claim would surface by Thursday afternoon — if a team is to claim the fourth-year cornerback. The Seahawks have used former second-round pick Sidney Jones in Flowers’ place in the past two games.

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

Cardinals Extend Rodney Hudson

The Cardinals furnished Rodney Hudson with a new deal after he was shipped from the Raiders to the Cardinals, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Originally believed to be a restructure, the center actually inked a brand new three-year, $30MMM contract. 

[RELATED: Larry Fitzgerald Expected To Retire?]

Originally, Hudson was set to count for $9.9MM in 2021. Now, he has two additional years worth $20.1MM with $16MM in total guarantees. For the Cardinals, that means a much more palatable $2.86MM cap charge for 2021. Meanwhile, the trade left the Raiders with a $7MM+ dead money charge.

Hudson, a three-time Pro Bowler, joins D.J. Humphries and Justin Pugh on the Cardinals offensive line. Last year, he graded out as the eighth-best center in the NFL per Pro Football Focus. Hudson came with a contract to match his resume, but the cost of a third-round pick was well worth it for the Cardinals. He’s now set to take over for Mason Cole, who finished just 31st on PFF’s list.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cardinals C Rodney Hudson Restructures Contract

The Cardinals have done some work today to open extra cap space. Veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer writes that center Rodney Hudson has restructured his contract.

[RELATED: Cardinals LB Jordan Hicks Takes Pay Cut]

Arizona traded for Hudson and his hefty $9.9MM cap charge earlier this month, and it always seemed inevitable that the veteran would work with the organization to reduce that number. Balzer notes that $8.8MM of the lineman’s compensation was converted into a signing bonus, thus reducing Hudson’s salary to $1.1MM. The team also added three voidable years to the contract, meaning the new signing bonus can be prorated over five years. As a result, Hudson’s 2021 cap charge was reduced to $2.86MM.

Hudson also had his 2022 workout bonus converted into base salary, increasing that latter number to $10.85MM. As a result, the lineman’s new cap charge is $12.61MM.

Earlier this month, the Cardinals sent a third-round pick to the Raiders for Hudson and a seventh-rounder. He will now join the likes of D.J. Humphries and Justin Pugh on a talented offensive line in Arizona. Pro Football Focus graded Hudson as its No. 8 overall center last season, and the veteran has three Pro Bowl appearances on his resume.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Trade C Rodney Hudson To Cardinals

The Raiders found a taker for Rodney Hudson. A day after the Pro Bowl center surfaced as a cap casualty, the Raiders sought to trade him. The Cardinals will acquire the veteran snapper.

Hudson will be shipped to Arizona in a pick-swap deal, per Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). This will represent a significant upgrade at the center spot for the Cardinals while giving the Raiders something in return for a player they appeared prepared to cut. The Cards announced the move.

Instead of releasing Hudson, the Raiders are set to receive a Day 2 pick in a trade. The Cardinals will send a third-round pick for Hudson and a seventh-rounder, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The Cards were rumored to be targeting centers. They will now acquire one of the best in the business.

Initially a 2015 signee, Hudson broke out with the Raiders. The former Chiefs third-round pick has made the Pro Bowl three times and paved the way for three 1,000-yard rushing seasons while with the Raiders. He operated as the centerpiece of one of the NFL’s better offensive lines. He will now join the likes of D.J. Humphries and Justin Pugh in Arizona; the Cards also brought back right tackle Kelvin Beachum on Wednesday.

Pro Football Focus graded Hudson as its No. 8 overall center last season; Cardinals primary snapper Mason Cole came in at 31st. The 2021 season will be Hudson’s age-32 campaign.

The 10-year veteran will remain attached to the extension the Raiders signed him to in 2019; that deal runs through 2022. Las Vegas will be tagged with some dead money, upwards of $7MM, but a trade will be an obviously preferable scenario on the financial and compensation front for the Silver and Black. That said, the Raiders will have some big shoes to fill at this position.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Looking To Trade Rodney Hudson

Yesterday, we heard the Raiders were cutting Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson. Not so fast. Las Vegas is actually try to move Hudson via trade first, a source told Josina Anderson (Twitter link).

In a follow-up tweet, Anderson notes that there are talks of a trade involving a “second day pick.” A Day 2 pick would be a pretty nice haul for a player they were about to cut. This has been a trend in the NFL recently, for reports to leak that a player was getting cut only for the team to try to trade him at the last minute, sometimes successfully sometimes not. It was reported the Saints were going to cut defensive tackle Malcom Brown, and then they traded him to the Jags yesterday.

The Dolphins were set to cut Kyle Van Noy, then tried to trade him, only to ultimately release him after finding no takers. Whether Hudson is traded or released, it still represents a dramatic overhaul of the Raiders’ offensive line. This move follows Las Vegas’ cuts of Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito and its trade of Trent Brown to New England.

Hudson, 31, graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 8 overall center last season. The Raiders signed him to a three-year, $33.75MM extension in 2019. In six seasons with the team, he’s missed only four total games.

The Florida State product and former Kansas City Chief has made the Pro Bowl in three of the last five seasons and was a second-team All-Pro in 2019.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Release C Rodney Hudson

A near-full-on overhaul is taking place on the Raiders’ offensive line. They are releasing Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson on Tuesday, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

This move follows Las Vegas’ cuts of Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito and its trade of Trent Brown to New England. A Hudson release, if not designated as a post-June 1 cut, would not save the Raiders any money. It would then make sense if Las Vegas designated its longtime center a post-June 1 release.

Of the slew of moves on the Raiders’ O-line, this one qualifies as the most surprising. A 2015 Oakland signee, Hudson has made three Pro Bowls as a Raider and has become one of the NFL’s top centers. They signed him to a three-year, $33.75MM extension in 2019. The former Chiefs third-round pick figures to generate immediate interest, having proven productive and durable. Hudson has missed just four games in six Raiders seasons.

Hudson, 31, graded as Pro Football Focus’ No. 8 overall center last season. He led the way in Josh Jacobs‘ back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and has been with the franchise long enough to pave the way for Latavius Murray‘s 1,000-yard slate in 2015. He lasted less than two weeks as the Raiders’ longest-tenured offensive linemen, following Jackson out the door.

Of the Raiders’ Week 1 starting O-line from last season, only Kolton Miller remains with the team. This release also effectively makes Derek Carr the last man standing from Reggie McKenzie‘s GM tenure.

The Raiders tacking on two void years to Hudson’s extension would increase the dead-money hit to $15MM, were Hudson not designated a post-June 1 release. The latter scenario would save the Raiders $6.4MM against their 2021 cap. Thus far, the Raiders have not replaced any of their departed starters up front. Even the player who replaced Incognito for most of last season, Denzelle Good, is a free agent. This certainly becomes one of the NFL’s most interesting position groups.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Remove 4 O-Linemen From Reserve/COVID-19 List

Oct 25: Saturday’s COVID-19 tests for Miller, Good, Hudson, and Jackson came back negative, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). All four will be available for the Raiders’ battle with the Bucs this afternoon.

Oct. 24: As of Saturday afternoon, the NFL has avoided another major schedule issue. Sunday afternoon’s Raiders-Buccaneers game is a go, and the hosts could well be better equipped to pull an upset.

The Raiders removed offensive linemen Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson from their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday. The team had placed its other four starting O-linemen on the list because they were deemed high-risk close contacts of Trent Brown, who tested positive for the coronavirus this week.

Brown will miss Sunday’s game, but his blocking mates are on track to play. However, they will not be officially cleared to do so until their Saturday coronavirus tests come back clean, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The team will obtain that information Sunday. Its four non-Brown O-line starters receiving clearance will certainly help Las Vegas’ cause against a Tampa Bay defense ranked first in DVOA through six games.

Recently signed defensive lineman David Irving is also set to make his Raiders debut. Reinstated from an 18-plus-month suspension just last week, Irving signed with the Raiders as a practice squad player. The Raiders will see what the former Cowboys starter can do beginning Sunday. Irving, 27, has not played since the 2018 season, when he saw action in only two games, and has been suspended four times by the NFL. In 2017, however, the interior pass rusher notched seven sacks in just eight games (all starts).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.