New Raiders cornerback Sean Smith thinks DJ Hayden can still turn his career around. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
DJ Hayden is entering perhaps his final season with the Raiders.
The 2013 first-round pick hasn’t lived up to his No. 12 overall pick status and the team declined to pick up his fifth-year option earlier this month, which would’ve guaranteed him about $8 million in salary for the 2017 season.
Early indications from the team’s opening OTA session Tuesday is he’ll get first crack at the nickel spot, which can spend a lot of time on the field given today’s offenses. Continue Reading
Raiders pass rusher Bruce Irvin and Khalil Mack balance each other’s play and personality. (AP photos)
Khalil Mack’s play on the field speaks volumes, but the All-Pro pass rusher remains a soft-spoken individual.
The third-year star from Buffalo is pleasant as they come, but isn’t one for loud and boisterous words. He’s a growing voice for a defense — following the retirements of Charles Woodson and Justin Tuck — that will need one, but any vocal leadership role won’t come as quickly as his explosive 15 ½ sack season last year.
“C-Wood wanted me to prepare and get ready for that role, but at the same time, just taking it day by day and slowly, slowly seeing what happens,” Mack said last month when offseason workouts began.
Contrast that against one of the defense’s new additions — Mack’s flip side pass rusher Bruce Irvin. Continue Reading
Raiders owner Mark Davis thinks a move to a neutral site place like Las Vegas could unite the Raiders’ fan base.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has a unique view of his team’s potential relocation to Las Vegas: he thinks it could unite Raiders fans.
“It’s a new market. It has the potential to be a really exciting market,” Davis said on NFL Network from the NFL’s owners meetings in Charlotte. “The Raider fans in Northern California were getting upset a little bit when we talked about going to Los Angeles, and the LA fans get a little ticked off at the fans in Northern California.
“So it seems like Las Vegas is a neutral site that everybody has kind of bought into and it will unite the Raider Nation more than divide it. So I’m excited about that.” Continue Reading
Raiders running back Latavius Murray wants to return to the Pro Bowl on his own terms this season. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)
Latavius Murray made the trip to Hawaii for the Pro Bowl last season, but it didn’t leave him fully satisfied.
Murray was added to the Pro Bowl roster only after the Carolina Panthers advanced to the Super Bowl and a replacement was needed for their running back Jonathan Stewart.
“I want to get there next year on my own terms and on no one else’s,” Murray said Tuesday at the start of OTAs. “It was a great experience. I had a lot of fun and I’m definitely stoked I got the chance to go, but I want to make it on my own terms and what I do on the field.” Continue Reading
Raiders defensive lineman Mario Edwards didn’t join in for team drills when OTAs began Tuesday. (Raiders.com photo)
Mario Edwards Jr. was on the field when the Raiders opened their first organized team activity Tuesday, but the second-year defensive end left the field when team drills began.
Edwards, who has said on social media that he’s been cleared to play, is returning from a neck injury suffered in Week 15 of last season. He stretched with the team, but left the field and went to the weight room when practiced ramped up.
The team has remained mum on his status, with coach Jack Del Rio falling back on his personal policy to not speak about injured players except for during the season when the league requires teams to provide updates. Continue Reading
Raiders linebacker Cory James signed on Friday. (The Denver Post/ Andy Cross)
The Raiders announced Friday that sixth round linebacker Corey James of Colorado State has been signed to his rookie contract. With that, only third-round pick Shilique Calhoun has yet to sign his deal.
James and his fellow rookies participated in a rookie mini-camp last weekend with the group of undrafted free agents and players in on a tryout basis, five of which were signed.
Next up is the team’s first OTA session on Tuesday, which is the first full-team session of the year open to the media.
Second-round draft pick Jihad Ward signed a contract Wednesday with the Raiders, the team announced.
Roster moves announced by the Raiders Monday . . .
ALAMEDA _ The Oakland Raiders have signed the following five undrafted free agents following their participation in the team’s rookie mini-camp on a tryout basis, the club announced Monday. Continue Reading
New Raiders defensive end Damontre Moore will get a fresh start in Oakland after having some off-the-field issues in New York. (AP photo)
Jack Del Rio said Friday that defensive end Damontre Moore will get a fresh start with the Raiders, who are confident they can bring out the best in the once-promising pass rusher.
Moore signed as a free agent on Monday. He spent his first 2-plus seasons with the New York Giants, and had 8 ½ sacks in 2014-15 as a role player before being waived late last season. He was picked up by the Miami Dolphins and they waived him on May 2.
Moore’s time in New York reportedly ended after an altercation with teammate Cullen Jenkins and there were reports that it wasn’t the only time he had disagreements with teammates. Continue Reading
Raiders’ fourth-round pick Connor Cook is reunited in Alameda with former Michigan State teammate Shilique Calhoun. (AP photo)
Former Michigan State teammates Shilique Calhoun and Connor Cook were reunited when the Raiders selected them in the third and fourth rounds, respectively.
Calhoun, an outside linebacker, was quick to voice his support for Cook, the Spartans’ quarterback who fell to the fourth round reportedly over concerns about his leadership and likability among his teammates.
“I think Connor is a great leader,” Calhoun said. “He was a great leader at Michigan State. We won ball games because of Connor. Coming in here, he gets a new chance to go ahead and show everybody what he’s about. But all that stuff is outside of the facilities. There’s nothing that’s in-house. You can’t focus on that too much. It doesn’t matter for us. We know what kind of guy he is and we’re going to move forward.” Continue Reading