Mario Edwards Jr. (97) used social media to announce he was cleared to play. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
ALAMEDA _ Mario Edwards Jr. indicated Friday he’s good to go in 2016, which makes it the second time in two weeks Raider fans can breathe a sigh of relief regarding two of last season’s promising rookie class.
Edwards, who injured his neck late last season against Green Bay on a tackling attempt of running back Eddy Lacy, has been working out but awaiting medical clearance for football.
What little information the Raiders released regarding Edwards came from general manager Reggie McKenzie, who alluded to it possibly being “congenital” in February and said the defensive end was awaiting clearance medically.
Both coach Jack Del Rio and McKenzie were tight-lipped regarding Edwards during media availability from the NFL draft. The Raiders used two of their first three picks on defensive linemen _ Jihad Ward of Illinois and Shilique Calhoun of Michigan State. Continue Reading
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr made the NFL Network’s list of the Top 100 Players. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
This first bit of news is a couple days old (sorry, Warriors duties have and will be calling for a little bit here), but still wanted to get this posted.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is on his way up and one point of evidence came when he made his debut on the NFL Network’s Top 100 Players list for 2016.
Carr, who will enter his third NFL season this fall for Oakland, was the first player unveiled, coming in right at No. 100. Here’s how he reacted to the news: Continue Reading
Raiders’ tight end Clive Walford reportedly injured his knee in an ATV accident.. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)
Raiders tight end Clive Walford suffered a knee injury in an ATV accident earlier this offseason and will miss some spring practices, Fox Sports reported Tuesday.
Walford, the Raiders’ third-round pick in 2015, is expected to participate at training camp during the summer, according to Fox, which also reported his injury “may not be as bad as originally thought” when he was injured weeks ago.
Walford caught 28 passes for 329 yards and three touchdowns during his rookie season last year and was expected to fill a larger role in Oakland’s passing offense in 2016 after sharing time with Mychal Rivera. There was even a recent ESPN report that Rivera was on the trade block
because of Walford’s emergence.
ALAMEDA _ The Raiders declined a fifth-year option Monday on cornerback DJ Hayden, making the 2013 first-round draft pick a free agent in 2017.
If the Raiders had exercised the option, Hayden, as the No. 12 pick in the first round, would have earned just over $8 million for the 2017 season. The Raiders made no announcement but a source familiar with the situation confirmed Hayden’s name was not submitted to the NFL as having been retained for a fifth year.
Hayden played in all 16 games for the first time in 2015, starting 13, with one interception and eight passes defensed. He has played in 34 games over three seasons with 23 starts and three interceptions after being the Raiders’ top pick out of Houston.
This season, in what will be a contract year, Hayden will likely compete with Neiko Thorpe to be the third cornerback behind free agent acquisition Sean Smith and 2015 surprise David Amerson, who was claimed on waivers from Washington and was the Raiders’ top cornerback.
The Raiders received grades mostly in the B range for their draft that opened with the selection of safety Karl Joseph. (West Virginia athletics photo)
The Raiders drafted seven players — one in each round after dealing their own fifth-round pick — over the three days of this weekend’s NFL Draft.
It started with safety Karl Joseph on Thursday, continued with DE Jihad Ward, LB Shilique Calhoun, QB Connor Cook, RB DeAndre Washington, LB Cory James and OL Vadal Alexander over the next two days.
The draft addressed two of the most pressing needs by grabbing a starting safety and a change of pace running back. The Ward pick will have to be evaluated later to see if he can make an immediate impact — you need that from a second round pick. Calhoun seems like a nice addition as an extra pass rusher. Cook could give you a decent backup quarterback and somebody to step in if something were to happen to Derek Carr, James is probably going to be a special teams player who may see the field on defense if he develops quickly and Alexander is good value in the seventh round. That’s my view, but let’s take a look at what the national media is saying. Continue Reading
The Raiders have until Monday to decide on exercising D.J. Hayden’s fifth-year option. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)
The Raiders must decide by Monday if they will pick up the fifth-year contract option on cornerback D.J. Hayden.
In all actuality, it’s not much of a decision. The Raiders would owe Hayden $8.026 million if they exercised the option to lock him up for the 2017 season. If they decline, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent following the 2016 season.
Hayden’s productive level as the team’s 2012 first-round pick has come nowhere near matching even the nearly $3.3 million he’s slated to receive this year so an $8 million option is almost assuredly off the table. Continue Reading
Michigan State’s Connor Cook was the Raiders fourth round pick.
Round (overall): Fourth round (No. 100)
College: Michigan State
College highlights: 2015 Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award winning, Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and All-Big Ten first-team selection. Career record as a starter of 34-5 and went 2-0 in Big Ten championship games. Michigan State’s all-time leader in touchdown passes (71), passing yards (9,194) and total offense (9,403). Continue Reading
The Raiders took OL Vadal Alexander in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. (LSU Athletics photo)
The Raiders wrapped Day 3 of the NFL draft by selecting offensive lineman Vadal Alexander of Louisiana State in the seventh round.
The 6-foot-6, 329-pound Alexander was the 234th overall pick and a player who came into the week projected as high as a second- or third-round pick.
“I’m surprised I lasted this long,” Alexander said. “It’s something I wasn’t expecting, but God has a plan. I’m a firm believer in my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Everything happens for a reason in my mind, but I absolutely am surprised that I lasted this long.” Continue Reading
The Raiders took linebacker Cory James in the sixth round. (The Denver Post/ Andy Cross)
The Raiders grabbed a linebacker in the sixth round, taking Colorado State’s Cory James with the No. 194 pick.
James spent part of his senior season as a middle linebacker, but it was his role as a pass-rushing outside linebacker that he had more success with 22 sacks in his first three seasons. James had two sacks, 10 tackles for loss and 65 tackles last season while playing in the middle.
“I feel like that versatility really helped, even with special teams,” James said on a media conference call. “I have pretty decent speed, so I feel like on special teams I could help the Raiders out.” Continue Reading
The Raiders hope to have found their backup running back in Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington. (Texas Tech athletics photo)
The Raiders addressed their need for a reserve running back by taking Texas Tech’s DeAndre Washington in the fifth round Saturday.
The 5-foot-8, 204-pound Washington rushed for 1,492 yards and 14 touchdowns for the Red Raiders, plus caught 41 passes for 385 yards in Tech’s pass happy offense.
“We actually ran the ball quite a bunch,” Washington said on a media conference call. “Playmakers make plays at the end of the day. I’m excited to be a part of this Oakland offense and look forward to doing big things.” Continue Reading