Roy Helu

Raiders Release Roy Helu

MONDAY, 5:08pm: The Raiders have officially released Helu with an injury settlement, according to Scott Bair of

SUNDAY, 7:56pm: Helu will be out until midseason following hip surgeries, tweets Adam Caplan of, who confirms that the Raiders are still trying to work out an injury settlement.

FRIDAY, 4:38pm: Oakland has not released Helu yet, according to Bair (Twitter link). The team instead placed him on injured reserve, but an injury settlement is likely on the way.

3:45pm: The Raiders have released Roy Helu, as Scott Bair of tweets. The move will make room on the roster for defensive tackle Derrick Lott. Roy Helu (vertical)

The 27-year-old Helu rushed for only 216 yards in Washington in 2014, but was a focal point of the club’s passing attack, catching 42 balls for nearly 500 yards. He drew interest from several teams around the league last offseason, many of whom presumably wanted him to a fill their third-down back role. The Patriots, Jets, and Giants all pursued Helu, but he ultimately signed with Oakland. Unfortunately, he did not do enough for the Raiders to warrant them fulfilling the backend of his two-year, $4MM pact ($1MM fully guaranteed). In 2015, Helu rushed 17 times for 39 yards and added nine catches for 75 yards.

Lott, a Chattanooga alum, was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Titans in 2015. After spending the entirety of last year bouncing on and off the Buccaneers’ practice squad, he agreed to terms with the Eagles in late May. A couple of weeks ago, however, Philly cut him loose.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Mathis, Helu, Raiders

Here’s a look at the AFC West..

  • There was a lot of speculation about where guard Evan Mathis would wind up but, at the end of the day, his aim was to sign with a winner, Mike Klis of 9NEWS writes. “The No. 1 priority in finding a new place to play was playing for a contender,” Mathis said. “The Broncos weren’t in the mix early on. They were kind of the darkhorse in the race. They emerged here late and I just couldn’t turn down that opportunity.”
  • Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio told reporters that Roy Helu is “running short of time” to earn his role on the team, Scott Bair of tweets. It would be surprising if Helu didn’t make the Raiders’ 53-man roster, but his spot might not be a sure thing at this stage. Helu signed a a two-year, $4MM pact with Oakland this offseason. That deal includes $1MM fully guaranteed.
  • Del Rio said the Raiders think that new addition Taylor Mays could fit in well in a safety-in-box role, Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The Raiders signed the former second-round pick to a no-risk deal earlier this week. In five NFL seasons with the 49ers and Bengals, Mays has made 84 tackles, recorded one sack, and recovered a pair of fumbles.

Raiders Sign Roy Helu

WEDNESDAY, 6:08pm: The Raiders (on Twitter) announced that Helu’s deal has been signed.

TUESDAY, 8:01pm: Although they’ve been tied to DeMarco Murray throughout the day, the Raiders have added a lower-profile running back, agreeing to terms with Roy Helu, tweets Adam Caplan of ESPN. It’s a two-year, $4MM pact, according to Josina Anderson of ESPN (Twitter link).

The 26-year-old Helu rushed for only 216 yards in Washington last year, but was a focal point of the club’s passing attack, catching 42 balls for nearly 500 yards. He drew interest from several teams around the league, many of whom presumably wanted him to a fill their third-down back role. The Patriots and Jets both pursued Helu, as did the Giants before signing Shane Vereen.

In Oakland, Helu will be offered the chance to play 20 minutes from his home, as Zac Boyer of the Washington Times notes (via Twitter). With Maurice Jones-Drew having announced his retirement, the Raiders will count on Helu and Latavius Murray to round out their running back position. I’d guess Murray will act as the starter with Helu in his familiar passing-down role, but maybe Helu was offered a larger share of playing time in Oakland.

Helu earned a base salary of $1.431MM in 2014, so his new deal will indicate a pay bump of more than $500K.

FA Rumors: Carter, Helu, Gresham, McCain

Free agent linebacker Bruce Carter is drawing interest on the open market, and he’ll first visit the Buccaneers, according to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link). If he doesn’t sign with Tampa, he’ll head to Houston to meet with the Texans, tweets Ian Rapoport of

Here’s more from the free agent front…

  • The Buccaneers will meet with center Stefen Wisniewski, per Adam Caplan of ESPN (via Twitter). Tampa just signed center Evan Dietrich-Smith last offseason so Wisniewski could be viewed as a guard.
  • Cornerback Tramon Williams will visit with the Saints tonight, tweets Adam Schefter of ESPN. The veteran CB is wrighing a return to Green Bay and has also drawn other interest.
  • Running back Roy Helu probably won’t be returning to Washington, per John Keim of (Twitter link), but he does have other suitors, including the Patriots, Raiders, and Jets (link).
  • The Patriots are interested in another free agent running back, C.J. Spiller, tweets Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, but their interest isn’t considered serious.
  • As we’ve heard earlier, the Raiders want to sign tight end Jermaine Gresham, Caplan (via Twitter) would be surprised if a deal doesn’t get done.
  • The Vikings were hoping to meet with cornerback Brice McCain, but he’s meeting with a mystery team and taking a physical, reports Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link).

East Notes: Graham, Ellis, Pouncey, Helu

News out of the AFC and NFC East..

  • The Giants thought they had Brandon Graham before he re-signed with the Eagles, Jeff McLane of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets. He was prepared to make the move to a 4-3 team like the Giants, but he changed his mind and the Eagles found a way to keep him.
  • Jets free agent defensive lineman Kenrick Ellis is picking up a decent amount of interest and six teams are talking to him, Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports tweets. The Jets want him back but Ellis wants to scan the market first.
  • A source tells Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald (on Twitter) that the Patriots are one of three teams in on free agent running back Roy Helu.
  • The Dolphins and Mike Pouncey have yet to discuss an extension/new deal, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald tweets. Miami has understandably been busy in recent days.
  • A half a dozen teams are seriously monitoring Chiefs safety Ron Parker and the Giants are among them, Jordan Raanan of the Star-Ledger tweets. We learned earlier today that the Dolphins are among the teams with interest in Parker. The Jets also have interest in Parker and he could be on the Eagles’ radar now that they missed on Devin McCourty.

NFC East Rumors: McCourty, Williams, Graham, Helu

The Eagles have already brought in Byron Maxwell, but are interested in continuing to add to their secondary and are pushing to sign safety Devin McCourty, writes Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports (via Twitter). No front-runner has emerged for McCourty’s services, but the Eagles’ backup options could be Ron Parker and Rahim Moore (via Twitter).

Here are some other notes from around the NFC East:

  • Maxwell and a safety would be great, but the Eagles could still be looking for another corner to complete the secondary. Eliot Shorr-Parks of believes Tramon Williams could be an option for the team (via Twitter).
  • The Giants also need help in the secondary, and checked in on Buster Skrine as a possible replacement for Walter Thurmond as a nickel cornerback, reports Dan Graziano of ESPN (via Twitter). Skrine, however, will likely be too expensive for the team.
  • The Giants have serious interest in pass rusher Brandon Graham to pair with Jason Pierre-Paul, writes Jordan Raanan of, piggybacking on Graziano’s report from earlier (via Twitter). Pass rushing is thought to be a priority for the Giants this offseason. The team is also targeting Dan Williams for the defensive line and are a third contender with the Eagles and Patriots for McCourty, according to Graziano (via Twitter).
  • When it comes to running back, Raanan writes that the Giants have interest in Roy Helu and Antone Smith. With Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams in the fold, both players are thought to be good complements to give the running game some versatility.
  • As for Helu, Washington has remained in contact with him through the offseason, according to John Keim of ESPN (via Twitter). Keim writes that five other teams have also expressed some interest in him.


NFC Mailbags: Newton, Lions, McCarthy, Giants

We checked out’s AFC mailbags earlier this morning. Let’s now shift our focus to the NFC…

  • If quarterbacks like Matt Ryan and Joe Flacco can average $20MM annually, David Newton believes Cam Newton could certainly be included in that group. Ultimately, the writer believes the Panthers quarterback will receive a contract totaling about $100MM.
  • Kicker Matt Prater and defensive back Rashean Mathis want to return to the Lions next season, according to Michael Rothstein. There has been some contact between the organization and the agents for the team’s multiple free agents, but the writer cautions that nothing’s been “locked down.”
  • Despite Mike McCarthy‘s interest in the personnel aspect of the league, the Packers head coach does not want to be the team’s general manager, writes Rob Demovsky. The writer says the coach’s recent shuffling of the coaching staff indicates that he’d like to get involved in other areas of coaching.
  • Dan Graziano doesn’t see any incentive for the Giants to pursue Ray Rice over any other running back.
  • Considering the linebacker’s age and injury history, John Keim can’t envision Washington investing too much money in Brian Orakpo. Meanwhile, the writer could see the team bringing back quarterback Colt McCoy, tight end Niles Paul, and “perhaps” running back Roy Helu and wideout Leonard Hankerson. Santana Moss is among the players Keim would be surprised to see return.

NFC East Notes: Dez, Eagles, Washington

Suggesting that reports about the Cowboys‘ off-field concerns about Dez Bryant are exaggerated, team owner Jerry Jones tells Todd Archer of that “nobody in the world” knows about his concerns for a potential Bryant contract extension besides Jones and executive VP Stephen Jones. As Jones puts it, there are concerns for any pricey, long-term deal, not just Bryant’s.

“I don’t know that I’ve ever signed a contract that I didn’t have things to worry about, but nobody talked about them,” Jones said. “You can’t make business decisions, especially multi-million dollar business decisions without having a nice little worry list over on the right. Everybody does. So it’s wrong to say that that is an issue. That’s not an issue relative to overall getting it done. We just want to get it done.”

Here’s more from around the NFC East:

  • Eagles general manager Howie Roseman received praise from head coach Chip Kelly, who says Roseman does “an outstanding job” managing the cap, as Sheil Kapadia of details. More importantly, Roseman got an endorsement from owner Jeffrey Lurie, who said the GM has done a great job, and will be back for 2015, per Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
  • Speaking today to reporters, including Geoff Mosher of (Twitter link), Kelly said it will be a priority for the team to retain running back LeSean McCoy, wideout Jeremy Maclin, and outside linebacker Brandon Graham this offseason. Meanwhile, as McLane tweets (Twitter link), Trent Cole said he’d be willing to rework his contract to return to the Eagles.
  • Washington wide receiver Santana Moss will turn 36 in the summer, and doesn’t have a contract for 2015, but he thinks he can still play in the NFL, and will attempt to continue his career, preferably in Washington, writes Tarik El-Bashir of
  • Quarterback Robert Griffin III would also like to stick with Washington, despite an up and down 2014 season, says Mike Jones of the Washington Post. Unlike Moss, Griffin is under contract for another year, but he has been cited as a potential trade candidate, given his seemingly shaky relationship with head coach Jay Gruden.
  • Washington running back Roy Helu believes there’s a 50/50 chance he re-signs with the team, telling John Keim of (Twitter link) that he’s excited about the possibility of hitting the open market.
  • Washington will take a few days before making any decisions one way or the other on the members of Gruden’s staff, including defensive coordinator Jim Haslett, Jones writes for the Post.

NFC East Notes: Benn, Helu, Garrett, Giants

Eagles‘ wideout Arrelious Benn was far from guaranteed a roster spot, but he is working as hard as possible to make the team, writes Geoff Mosher of Benn showed that he can contribute on special teams by blocking a punt in their preseason game against the Patriots. He also caught a touchdown in the game, on a ball that was intended for another receiver but came loose in the air as Ifeanyi Momah fell to the ground in the end zone.

Here are some other notes from around the NFC East:

  • Cowboys‘ head coach Jason Garrett has been a popular choice to the question of first coach to be fired in 2014, but Todd Archer of doesn’t see owner Jerry Jones pulling the trigger during the season. Despite being listed with 2/1 odds according to Bovada, Archer believes the team is more likely to ride out the season with Garrett without a potential successor.
  • Redskins‘ running backs have struggled in pass protection drills, with Roy Helu, Lache Seastruck, and starter Alfred Morris each having their own problems, writes John Keim of The drill is supposed to favor the defense, however, and Helu still has the edge on the role of third-down back. “It’s a somewhat superficial drill,” Helu said. “But it’s a harder drill than game situations. The first thing we have to do is be physical because it’s one-on-one and second we are going to win with technique.” 
  • The Giants had a lot of problems with their quarterback play in 2013, but there is currently a competition going on for the backup spot on the team, writes Dan Graziano of Curtis Painter will take the backup reps this week, after Ryan Nassib was given them previously.

Redskins Notes: Allen, Moss, Helu

The Redskins have promoted general manager Bruce Allen to the role of team president, the team announced today (via Twitter). Allen will remain in his previous role, as well.

The 57-year-old was hired in late 2009 after spending 13 years with the Buccaneers and Raiders. According to Zac Boyer of the Washington Times, it is unclear how much his role will change, but a team spokesman said that he “oversees the organization.”

Let’s take a look at some more Redskins notes…