Oakland Raiders Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey Charged With DUI

The Oakland Raiders have made few moves during the free agency period, due to the limited cap space available. Still, they didn't lose a ton of players this time around, which itself is an improvement over a season ago.

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Oakland Raiders Wide Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey Charged With Drunk Driving

The Oakland Raiders thought Darrius Heyward-Bey had turned a corner. Unfortunately, he just crashed right into a signpost.

Matier and Ross filed this report for the San Francisco Chronicle, and Heyward-Bey has run afoul of the law.

San Francisco’s district attorney has charged Oakland Raiders wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey with drunken driving following his early morning arrest on the Bay Bridge last month by the California Highway Patrol.

According to CHP spokesman Tony Tam, the Raiders first-round draft pick of 2009 was driving his 2012 Range Rover on the lower deck about 2 a.m. April 7 when an officer spotted him speeding and weaving in his lane.

Heyward-Bey, 25, was pulled over and given a field sobriety test, which he failed, the CHP said. He was cited for alleged drunken driving and later released.

Heyward-Bey has never been on steady footing with the Raiders and particularly their fans. Some say he was drafted too high in the 2009 NFL Draft (seventh overall) and he justified those concerns with a subsequent lack of production due to dropped passes or injuries. He did step up his game in 2011 though, managing to haul in 64 receptions for 975 yards.

It was looking like he was finally developing into the receiver the Raiders had hoped he'd be. But now there are lots of questions as to whether he can keep on being that receiver for the near future.

To talk about DHB with Raiders fans, head on over to Silver and Black Pride.

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Oakland Raiders Safety Tyvon Branch Expected to Sign Franchise Tag

The Oakland Raiders currently have two players who have not signed tenders that were placed on them this off season. Strong safety Tyvon Branch was given the franchise tag, and fullback Marcel Reece was given an exclusive rights tender. However, today, profootballtalk.com is reporting that the Raiders starting strong safety, Tyvon Branch, will sign his franchise tag.

There had been rumors recently that the Raiders were going to attempt and sign Branch to a long term deal, however, nothing has materialized since then. Branch is with out a doubt the Raiders best player in their secondary. He has consistently produced for the Raiders and for the past two seasons, has been knocking on the door of the Pro Bowl. This could be one of Branch's strongest years as he will have the opportunity to play under a head coach whose specialty is in training defensive secondary players. Signing the franchise tag should ensure that Branch will be present during hte most crucial of off season workouts, and will make it more likely that he has a big season in 2012.

While it is good to know that Branch has signed his franchise tag and will be ready to play in 2012, this story is far from over. Branch is a valuable piece for the Raiders who could be a starter for years to come. If the Raiders wish to continue building a player, holding on to guys like Branch will be a pivotal part of that process. If the Raiders want to upgrade their team next off season, a key part to that plan will be to ensure that players like Branch are signed long term so that Reggie McKenzie can focus on other positions.


Oakland Raiders Interested in Former Packers Starter Ryan Grant

The Oakland Raiders lost a major part of their offense this off season when former back up running back Michael Bush signed a free agent contract with the Chicago Bears. Since then, the Raiders traded for running back Mike Goodson, leaving the Raiders with starter Darren McFadden, back ups Mike Goodson and Taiwan Jones as well as stud full back Marcel Reese.

While Goodson provides a quality back up to the Raiders, he does not fill the same role that the Bush did during his time with the Raiders. Goodson is a speedy back, closer to the style of running that Taiwan Jones does. The Raiders are still in need of a big bodied bruising back to take care of short yardage situations and to eat clock late in games. Earlier this week, Cedric Benson expressed an interest in replacing Bush in Oakland. Now, however, it appears as though the Raiders are more interested in former Packers starter, Ryan Grant.

Grant is a solid running back, but he has struggled to find success after getting injured during the Packers Super Bowl season. Since then, he has lost a large amount of playing time to James Starks. While Grant does not have the off the field issues that Benson has had, he also has not had the same kind of recent success that Benson has had. Either way though, it will be hard for anyone to complain about signing a former starting running as your back up.


Oakland Raiders Sign Matt Leinart: What Does it Mean for Terrelle Pryor?

The Oakland Raiders signed veteran back up and former USC Trojan Matt Leinart to a contract this week, making him the fourth quarterback on the Oakland Raiders roster. With Carson Palmer clearly the starter and Rhett Bomar clearly a camp arm, the only question that remains with regards to the Leinart signing, is what it means for the guy that the Raiders used a third round pick on in the 2011 supplementary draft. Most agree that a team expects a third round pick to be ready to back up, if not push for a starting spot by their second season. Instead, the Raiders have brought in Leinard to compete with Terrelle Pryor.

One could easily see the signing of Matt Leinart as an indictment on the future of Terrelle Pryor as an NFL quarterback. However, when you take all of the facts into consideration, there is really only one conclusion that can be drawn from the signing, that is the conclusion that Terrelle Pryor is simply not ready to be an NFL back up. Last season, the Raiders experienced first hand how important it is to have a back up who is ready to lead a team at the drop of a dime. Considering Terrelle Pryor's serious lack of playing time in the NFL (he has never even played in the pre-season), it is not surprising that the Raiders did not want to rely on him in a pinch.

Matt Leinart, on the other hand, makes a ton of sense as a back up. He played under the Raiders new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp in Houston last season, meaning he can hit the ground running with the Raiders offense, spending his time building a rapport with his new receivers instead of spending time trying to learn a new offense. In addition to his relationship with Knapp, Leinart also has a relationship with Carson Palmer. Both are USC alums and Leinart was Palmer's back up early in his career at USC.

The signing gives the Raiders a back up that they would be confident sending into the game on little to no notice should Palmer get injured while also adding another NFL veteran to the squad for Pryor to learn from. This is the year that Pryor will need to show the Raides coaching staff that he is capable of being an NFL quarterback. If after this season, the Raiders are not comfortable with him being the number two man, then the Raider Nation should start worrying about whether or not Pryor is capable of playing quarterback in the NFL or if he should be moved to another position.


Oakland Raiders Sign Former Bills Offensive Lineman

The Oakland Raiders have added another player to the team. Less than a week after drafting an offensive lineman with their first pick in the 2012 NFL draft, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie added another offensive lineman to the squad. This time, with the signing of the first ever Chinese American to be drafted in the NFL in Ed Wang.

Wang was drafted in the 5th round of the 2010 NFL draft by the Buffalo Bills. He played in six games with the Bills his rookie season, but was released in 2011 due to s thumb injury. Now that he is healthy and ready to play again, the Raiders have brought him in as a back up tackle to add depth to a rather thin offensive line unit.

With rookie Tony Bergstrom likely to start off his NFL career at the guard position, the Raiders needed more depth at tackle. With Wang, McKenzie hopes the Raiders have found a solid back up and potentially another guy who could push Khalif Barnes for the starting right tackle position. The Raiders already have 2011 third round pick Joe Barksdale competing at that position, but the Raiders can use all the help they can get. Another body means another possible player to take over the Raiders weakest position on the offensive like at right tackle.


Oakland Raiders Minicamp And OTA Dates Announced

OTAs are unofficial offseason workouts for NFL players that are used as the bridge between NFL training camp and the previous season. There are usually up to a dozen OTAs for each football team. The Oakland Raiders announced that this year's OTAs will take place on over several weeks, starting with the week of May 14th-15th, continuing on through May 17th, moving on to May 21st and 22nd, then a break again before starting up on May 24th, then concluding on June 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th.

The Raiders will also have their minicamps taking place during this time, with one for the rookies and another for everyone. The rookie minicamp takes place during a three-day span of May 11th, 12th and 13th; the next minicamp takes place on June 12th, 13th and 14th.

Talk about the minicamp and OTA dates with Raiders fans at Silver and Black Pride.

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Oakland Raiders Receiving Interest From Cedric Benson

The Oakland Raiders need a backup to Darren McFadden in the worst possible way now that Michael Bush has departed the team via free agency and Taiwan Jones remains an inconsistent second runner due to health concerns.

Luckily, it looks as if one player might be interested in the spot. John Clayton reported on NFL Live that former Cincinnati Bengals running back and current free agent Cedric Benson is interested in the spot. (Thanks to CincyJungle for the tip.)

Benson has been a workhorse for Cincinnati, rushing for over 1000 yards the past three seasons. They could use more of that production, particularly considering McFadden's recent health issues. Benson would be a luxury for the Raiders to have in the backfield and could help make things easier for whoever wins the starting quarterback job in Oakland.

To talk about Benson with Raiders fans, head on over to Silver and Black Pride. To learn more about Benson from Bengals fans, go to Cincy Jungle.

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Oakland Raiders Sign Matt Leinart, Free Agent Quarterback

The Oakland Raiders are reuniting two USC Trojans on the same bench and hoping one of them pans out.

Leinart has had a checkered NFL career. In his four years with the Arizona Cardinals he completed around 57% of his passes his first season but saw those numbers dip to 53.6 and 51.7% the next two seasons. He threw only 13 touchdowns in 29 games played compared to 20 interceptions.

Leinart was released by the Cardinals after losing the starting job to Derek Anderson following Warner's retirement in 2010. Leinart played well in the limited time he had with the Texans, completing 10 of 13 passes in two games played with a 110 passer rating. However, an injury to Leinart in one of his starts fractured his collarbone, he was replaced by T.J. Yates, and he was eventually released.

Leinart figures to battle his former USC teammate Carson Palmer for the starting spot this fall.

Talk about Leinart with Raiders fans over at Silver and Black Pride. Learn more about Leinart's stint at Battle Red Blog.

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Raiders To Bring In Veteran QB Jim Sorgi For Workout On Tuesday

According to a tweet from Adam Caplan, veteran quarterback Jim Sorgi will work out for the Raiders on Tuesday. Caplan cited Sorgi's agent as his source.

Sorgi will battle Rhett Bomar and Terrelle Pryor for the third-string quarterback spot behind incumbent starter Carson Palmer and recently signed Matt Leinart.

Bomar and Pryor are both inexperienced and last year's backup, Kyle Boller, is an unrestricted free agent and has not been signed , so bringing in Sorgi as a possible veteran would make sense if the Raiders pulled the trigger.

Sorgi, 31, is known around football as Peyton Manning's longtime backup but he hasn't played since 2009. In six years backing up Manning, Sorgi only threw 156 passes for 929 yards with six touchdowns and one interception. Sorgi has never started a game in the NFL and had a career-high five appearances in 2005 where he went 42 for 61 for 444 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.

For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.


Oakland Raiders Set To Sign Matt Leinart To Compete For Backup Role, According To Report

Today, Adam Schefter sent out this tweet regarding the Raiders and Matt Leinart:

Leinart is a California guy and a former Heisman Trophy winner, just like current Raiders QB Carson Palmer, and was Palmer's successor at USC. Leinart played briefly for the Houston Texans last year filling in for the injured Matt Schaub, but suffered an injury himself and gave way to T.J. Yates, who led Houston to the playoffs. However, Leinart was performing well in the game in which he was injured, and Houston appeared to be in good hands with him at the helm.

Not long ago, the Raiders intimated that they were open to Terrelle Pryor being the primary backup quarterback, but even if Pryor is up to the task, a little competiton never hurt anyone, especially when that competition is a Heisman winner. Leinart would be a capable enough backup that the team would avoid the nightmare that ensued when Jason Campbell went down, with Kyle Boller proving that he wasn't cut out for the job. Leinart and Pryor would give the Raiders good depth at the position plus a luxury each team strives for- a franchise QB, a veteran backup, and a young developmental quarterback of the future.


2012 NFL Free Agents: WR Duke Calhoun Signs With Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders saw some talent that they liked at their voluntary veteran mini-camp earlier this week, so much so they have decided to sign free agent wide receiver Duke Calhoun to the Silver and Black.

Via the Oakland Raiders on Twitter:

Originally undrafted in 2010 out of the University of Memphis, Calhoun was picked up by the New York Giants during the college free-agency period, spending 2010 on the squad. He saw action in seven games, but caught just one pass for a total of four yards.

Calhoun played in 49 games with 26 starts at Memphis, finishing with 212 catches for 2,981 yards along with 19 touchdowns. He holds a number of Memphis school records, including 10 games with at least 100 yards receiving, as well as the fact that he caught at least one ball in every game he played.

He will competete for a roster spot with guys like Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford and Louis Murphy, so he will certainly have an uphill battle to make the squad.

For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.


Oakland Raiders Re-Sign Safety Matt Giordano

According to several reports, the Oakland Raiders have re-signed safety Matt Giordano.

New Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie previously worked in the Green Bay Packers personnel department in Green Bay in 2009, the same year that Giordano spent with the Packers.

The seven-year veteran will compete in his second straight year in a Raiders jersey this season. Giordano started in nine games for the Raiders last season, totaling 70 tackles and led the team with five interceptions.

In 2010 and 2009, with the Saints and Packers respectively, Giordano appeared in a total of 14 games, not starting in any of them. His stand-out performance in 2011 proved that he can be a valuable contributor on defense if given the opportunity to play.

Giordano, a Fresno-native, will continue his professional career in Northern California. He played college football at Cal before being drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in 2005.

To discuss the Raiders and their free agency moves, hit up Silver and Black Pride.


Oakland Raiders Sign CS-Fullerton Basketball Player Andre Hardy As Tight End

Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is really trying to max the talent on his team this time around. I'm not sure signing a Big West college basketball player as a potential tight end is what Raider Nation had in mind in terms of turning the team around.

The Raiders really don't have any tight ends that they can be certain will be their starter on Opening Day. So Oakland signed Andre Hardy today, perhaps to fill in depth.

Here's more information from the Raiders.com news release.

A native of San Diego, Hardy transferred to Cal State Fullerton after playing two seasons of basketball at Oral Roberts. His father, Andre, played parts of three seasons in the NFL as a running back with Philadelphia, Seattle and San Francisco.

The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Hardy was selected as the Big West Conference Newcomer of the Year as a junior after averaging 10.6 points and a team-high 8.5 rebounds per game. He played in 16 games as a senior.

There's only real question: Can Hardy really play good football? He hasn't played football since high school, as Cal State Fullerton doesn't have a college football team. However, what probably impresses Hardy the most is his measurables: 6'5", 250 pounds with a 79 inch wingspan and a 4.7 40 time. All the physical capability matches up with an NFL tight end, so why not experiment there?

To discuss the Raiders and their free agency moves, hit up Silver and Black Pride.

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Oakland Raiders Will Not Trade Up in Draft With Future Picks Says Reggie McKenzie

Oakland Raiders former owner Al Davis never hesitated to trade future draft picks for players or to trade up in the draft. The most notable such trade recently was when Davis traded a first round pick for Richard Seymour. Then, after his passing, the Raiders continued in the Al Davis tradition by trading potentially two first round picks, and at best, a first and a second round pick in order to get quarterback Carson Palmer.

Well, it looks as though the days of trading future picks are over. Reggie McKenzie told fans not to expect the Raiders to trade up in this year's draft, as he is not opposed easing into the first draft not run by Al Davis. In general though, McKenzie stated that he would not often be trading future draft picks, and especially future high round draft picks.

This should not come as a surprise considering the success the Green Bay Packers have had in the draft while McKenzie was there. Now, with the new CBA restricting rookie contracts, draft picks have become even more valuable. No longer do teams need to be concerned with drastically overpaying a kid who has never suited up in the NFL. With so much of the risk taken out of the draft and a general manager who has a knack for judging young talent, the Raiders would be smart to start holding on to their draft picks more often.


Oakland Raiders are Open to Terrelle Pryor as a Number Two Quarterback

The Oakland Raiders have addressed many of their most crucial needs this off season through the free agent market by signing three corner backs, a pass rushing defensive end and an offensive lineman. They have not, however, addressed the position that arguably had the most detrimental impact on the team last season. That position, of course, is the back up quarterback position.

When Jason Campbell went down for the season, it seemed like the Raiders just could not recover. Back up Kyle Boller showed that he may not have been the best of choices as a back up and looked terrible in the time he played in replacement of Campbell. Then, the Raiders overpaid and traded for Carson Palmer, despite the fact that Palmer had not played at all that season and was not in football shape. While Palmer had promising moments, he struggled to find consistency, and the Raiders once again failed to make the playoffs despite looking almost like guaranteed to get in before Campbell went down.

Well, as it turns out, the Raiders may not have addressed the back up quarterback position because they think the number two guy is already on the roster. In a pre draft press conference, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said that Pryor is a viable candidate for the position and that the coaching staff will need to see what Pryor can do before deciding whether to look for a number two or a number three quarterback in the free agent market.

This is big for two reasons. First, the fact that the Raiders are willing to wait on such an important position means that Pryor may be more viable as an NFL quarterback than many believe he is. Pryor does not have any NFL game film for McKenzie to have looked at, so the only thing McKenzie had to judge him on was his college game film. McKenzie has been touted as an expert at evaluating young talent, and the fact that he is willing to wait and see what his coaches think of Pryor before signing a quarterback could mean that he saw a potential back up in that college game film.

The other reason this is significant is because the way the Raiders address the need for depth at quarterback will be a direct commentary on what the new coaching staff thinks of Pryor. If the Raiders go out and sign someone like Matt Leinart, at the least it means Pryor is not ready, and it could mean that he never will be. If they go sign a clear third quarterback, then Raiders fans might be able to start getting a little bit excited about the prospect of Terrelle Pryor.


Dave Tollefson's Return To The Raiders Is A Long Time Coming

The Oakland Raiders have signed defensive end Dave Tollefson to a 2-year deal that is reportedly worth $2.5 million with $1.5 million guaranteed.

Tollefson most recently played with the Super Bowl champion New York Giants in 2011. He joined the Giants as a practice squad member in 2007 and received his first start last year, when the Giants were depleted by injuries. During the 2011 season, Tollefson picked up five sacks, doubling his career total.

The contract with Oakland represents a homecoming of sorts for Tollefson. The Raiders signed the defensive end to a futures contract in 2007, during which time he played with the Berlin Thunder and the Frankfurt Galaxy for NFL Europa, where he played well. When the Raiders waived Tollefson that year, the Giants picked him up for their practice squad.

Tollefson marks the third member of the 2011 Super Bowl champs to come to the Bay Area during the offseason. The San Francisco 49ers signed wide receiver Mario Manningham and running back Brandon Jacobs.

For all news and information regarding the Oakland Raiders, please visit Silver and Black Pride.


Dave Tollefson Signs With Raiders For $2.5 Million Over 2 Years, According To Report

Free agent defensive end Dave Tollefson met with the Oakland Raiders this past Tuesday, but reports indicated that he left town without a contract. The rumors were that Tollefson was also going to meet with the Tennessee Titans. As of Friday night, it appears as though the Raiders got their man.

On Friday evening, Brian McIntyre of Mac's Football Blog tweeted out information about the former New York Giants player's new deal with the Raiders. The deal is apparently a 2-year contract that will have him playing for the Raiders for $2.5 million total, with a maximum value of $3 million. Of that money, only $1.5 million is guaranteed.

It appears that the Raiders got a deal on Tollefson, who is coming off a season with the Super Bowl champions and will hopefully go a long way toward adding depth to the Oakland pass rush.

For all news and information regarding the Oakland Raiders, please visit Silver and Black Pride.


Oakland Raiders Coach Dennis Allen Says Over 90% of Raiders at Camp, Eager to Play

The Oakland Raiders began their first set of voluntary workouts in the Dennis Allen era this week. Ordinarily, the first set of voluntary workouts, where the coaches cannot even be on the field when the players are, does not result in a high attendance rate. However, given the fact that the Raiders have a new head coach and new offensive and defensive schemes, the Raiders came out in massive numbers. In an interview, Allen said that while it was not 100% attendance, it was definitely above 90%.

Here are some other tid bits from the interview:

On the work being done with the strength and conditioning coaches - "I’ve been real pleased with it, the guys are really working hard, the strength coaches come up here every day and give me an update on how everybody is doing and I’ve been real pleased with the work we’ve got done so far."

On impressions from his first few days with the new team - "Well, I think the thing that I would look at with these guys, I would say these guys are eager, they’re eager for change, they’re eager for getting an opportunity to get started, they’re looking forward to a clean slate, and I’ve been pleased with their eagerness to work."

On the injuries for Darren McFadden, Matt Shaughnessy and Jacoby Ford - "I can’t necessarily answer that question because I haven’t seen that with my own eyes, but based on the reports that I’m getting, these guys are, if they’re not fully 100 percent they’re pretty close and they’re ready to go."

On the Raiders recent history of injury problems - "We don’t look at anything as a fluke around here. We’re always trying to evaluate anything within the program and see if there’s anything we can do to make that better. We’re looking at, OK, if we have a lot of hamstring injuries, what can we do from a strength and conditioning standpoint to correct that? What we do from a chiropractic standpoint to correct that? From a training room standpoint, what can we do? Is there something a field maintenance standpoint we can do? We’re going to look at everything within the organization that we can to try and help our players stay healthy to give us the best chance to win."

On his time with the New Orleans Saints and Bounty Gate - "What I’m going to say about it is, No. 1, I’m proud of the success that we were able to have there, and No.2 , I’ve moved on, and I’m really a lot more interested in what’s happening with the Oakland Raiders and trying to prepare ourselves for the upcoming season. What’s happened in the past, I’ve really moved on."


Oakland Raiders Preseason Schedule 2012

The Oakland Raiders announced their four-game preseason schedule, which includes a national television appearance against the Cowboys on Monday Night Football. For more chatter on the schedule, head over to Silver & Black Pride.


Darren McFadden is Feeling Good, Ready to Pick Up Where He Left Off

Darren McFadden was having a career year in 2011. He started the campaign off by setting a record for the most yards by an Oakland running back in the season opener with 150 yards against the Denver Broncos. And after only six games (he was injured on his second carry of the seventh game), McFadden has already piled up over 600 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Then, in that seventh game against the Kansas City Chiefs, McFadden suffered a season ending Lisfranc foot injury.

Now, nearly six months later, McFadden says his foot is feeling good and he is ready to get back to playing football. When asked about whether or not he would approach the game differently given his injury issues, McFadden made his stance clear. He is going to continue running at full speed and with reckless abandon, as he has always done. He has no intent on allowing fear of being injured to interfere with the way he plays the game.

McFadden has shown that he can be one of the best and most dynamic running backs in the NFL if he stays healthy. Now that the Raiders have lost their back up running back, Michael Bush, to the Chicago Bears, that talent is something the Raiders will need a lot of next season if they want to end their playoff drought.


Dave Tollefson Leaves Oakland Without a Contract, But Wants to Play for the Raiders

The Oakland Raiders hosted free agent defensive end Dave Tollefson on Tuesday, but were unable to sign the Super Bowl-winning 29-year-old. However, it appears as though he could still very well end up wearing the Silver and Black next season. In a phone interview, Tollefson told the press he hopes to work out a contract with the Oakland Raiders despite the fact that he is going to visit with the Tennessee Titans.

Tollefson is a Bay Area native who hails from Walnut Creek and went to Ygnacio Valley High School. Prior to becoming a free agent, Tollefson was a backup on one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. While he was not a starter, Tollefson was a solid backup for the New York Giants the past few years and would make an excellent addition to the Raiders.

The Raiders do have a solid defensive line, but an injury to starter Matt Shaughnessy last season showed that Oakland could use some solid depth along the defensive line. In addition, Tollefson, who is a pass-rushing defensive end, could be asked to play standing up at the outside linebacker position on occassion when the Raiders use the 3-4 defensive front.

If the Raiders can land Tollefson, it would make Reggie McKenzie 5-5 on signing players that he invited to come visit Oakland. So far, McKenzie is living up to everything the Raiders thought he was when they asked him to take over as the general manager. It will be exciting to see what he does in the draft later this month.


Oakland Raiders Attempting to Extend Tyvon Branch's Contract

Earlier this off season, the Raiders used their franchise tag on starting strong safety Tyvon Branch. There were some who felt as though the Raiders did not have any players worth placing the franchise tag on, and if they were to use it, that they should have used it on Michael Bush. Reggie McKenzie obviously disagrees.

Rotoworld has reported that the Raiders are currently in discussions with Branch to extend his deal in order to ensure that he will be with the Raiders for more than just one more year. I highly doubt that McKenzie is a fly by the seat of your pants kind of general manager, so this was likely part of his plan all along. By placing the tag on Branch, it allowed McKenzie to guarantee that he would be the starting SS for the Raiders next season, and allowed McKenzie to focus on improving on other areas of the roster rather than spending the beginning of free agency attempting to prevent Branch from bolting for more money.

However, by placing the tag on Branch, McKenzie also limited his ability to do much in free agency due to the rather large cap hit that the franchise tag placed on the team. This goes to show even further how highly McKenzie values Branch. He was willing to work with less money on the free agent market so that he could rest easy that Branch would be coming back.

This was yet another smart move by McKenzie in my opinion. Branch is a very underrated player for the Raiders. He is a very solid tackler and a true ball hawk. Whenever a play ends, you are almost guaranteed to see Branch within five yards of the tackle. He is young and getting better, and I truly believe he will be in the Pro Bowl in the next few years.


Oakland Raiders Allowed To Begin Voluntary Workouts Under Dennis Allen

Monday, April 2, is a big day for the Oakland Raiders as they will begin the first voluntary workouts under new head coach Dennis Allen. The current collective bargaining agreement allows teams with a new coaching staff to begin their voluntary workouts on April 2, while teams with returning staffs can begin workouts April 16.

All teams have specific limitations on the workouts through which they can put players in the coming weeks. For teams with new head coaches, the team can run nine weeks in a 12-week period, with at least eight of the weeks running consecutively. Programs cannot exceed four workouts per player in a week and will be limited to weekdays.

There will be three phases to the workouts, all spelled out in the CBA. Phase one will cover the first two weeks, with players limited to strength and conditioning or injury rehab. The phase will only allow onto the field full-time or part-time strength and condition coaches that otherwise have no other coaching responsibilities. No footballs can be used, except that quarterbacks may elect to throw to receivers provided they are not covered by any other player. The players cannot wear helmets during phase one.

Phase two covers the next three weeks of the offseason workout program. All coaches are allowed onto the field and on-field workouts can include individual player instruction and drills. However, there can be no live contact or team offense versus team defense drills and players cannot wear helmets during this phase.

Phase three covers the next four weeks of the workout program, which can include up to ten days of organized team activities. This provides a chance for more instruction and helmets, but players cannot wear any pads, including shells.

Given all this, the Raiders will get a jump start on the physical conditioning, but the implementation of the offense will not officially begin for a couple weeks. It will be interesting to see if any teams try and skirt these specific time-frame rules, and if so, what kind of punishment they receive.


Oakland Raiders Free Agency: McKenzie Signs Former Colts Linebacker Phillip Weaver

Reggie McKenzie has struck again. This time, addressing the need at outside linebacker with the signing of former Indianapolis Colts starter, Philip Wheeler. A four year veteran, Wheeler is known for his solid play in the run game, despite the fact that he was primarily a pass rusher in college. This fills a big need for the Raiders as they were short one starter at the linebacker position and have been attempting to address a poor run defense for years now.

McKenzie continues to make smart moves in the free agent market. He is signing players who address specific needs without overspending. Now, the Raiders can enter the draft without needing to find a starter with their picks. There are still positions that could use an upgrade, but McKenzie has ensured that every starting position on the Raiders has a player who is capable of playing at a starters level.

As the new general manager of the Raiders, McKenzie was dealt a rather poor hand. Drastically over the cap and with no first or second round picks available to him, McKenzie has made smart move after smart move. Now, with the draft coming up, McKenzie has the flexibility to make picks based on the players available as opposed to the positions of need. If he can pluck a starter out of the five picks the Raiders now possess, we could be looking at a much better team next season.


Oakland Raiders Are $3.4 Million Under The Salary Cap, Should Be Able To Sign Draftees

The Oakland Raiders have had a pretty quiet offseason in regards to signings, though things did pick up a little on Friday, when the team signed outside linebacker Phillip Wheeler to a one-year deal and traded Bruce Campbell for Mike Goodson from the Carolina Panthers. The team had to release Kamerion Wimbley to effectively be under the cap, and now are hoping to have enough to get their 2012 NFL Draft haul signed up.

Jason LaCanfora of the NFL Network had a post with the most updated numbers in regards to the salary cap, and it shows the Raiders likely do have room to get those picks under contract, with perhaps a little adjusting here or there:

Oakland Raiders
Current contracts: 46
Previous year carryover: $3,077,427.00
Adjustments: ($18,400.00)
Adjusted cap: $123,659,027.00
Team cap: $120,229,061.00
Cap room: $3,429,966.00
Team cash: $97,027,929.00

Emphasis mine on the cap room. With the rookie wage scale and the fact that the Raiders have traded away their picks in the first, second, third and fourth rounds, the team will be able to get its rookie class signed. In fact, they don't even have the least amount of cap space in the NFL, which is somewhat surprising to some.

They do have picks in the third- and fourth-round now, with the NFL having awarded them compensatory picks. They'll try to make 'em count, without having to worry (much) about cap room the rest of the season.


RB Mike Goodson Traded To Oakland Raiders, According to Report

According to multiple reports on Twitter, former Carolina Panthers running back Mike Goodson has been traded to the Oakland Raiders, helping shore up their backfield after the departure of Michael Bush.

UPDATE (12:43): Raiders Trade G/T Bruce Campbell To Panthers For Mike Goodson

Per Jeff Haseley on Twitter:

Goodson missed almost all of 2011, but had a solid 2010 for the Carolina Panthers, coming in second in receptions on the team while carrying the ball 103 times for 452 yards after DeAngelo Williams was limited to 6 games due to injury.

The third year back out of Texas A&M will be a nice backup for Darren McFadden along with Taiwan Jones, helping replace departed backs Michael Bush and Rock Cartwright on the Silver and Black. As for Goodson himself, he's certainly excited to be coming to be Bay:

For more on the Raiders, check out Silver and Black Pride.


2012 NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders Receive 3rd, 4th, 5th Round Compensatory Picks

It's not a bad day at all to be an Oakland Raiders fan. They're going to get more young players to draft, and they won't have to wait until the fifth round anymore!

Oakland ended up with three more picks from the compensatory rounds. The Raiders will receive the 95th pick from the third round, the 129th pick from the fourth round, and the 168th pick from the fifth round. The third round pick is now the first pick the Raiders have in this year's draft, as opposed to the fifth round pick the Raiders originally possessed. The Raiders also have a sixth rounder.

That is better than their counterparts the 49ers, who received no draft picks at all. On the other hand, San Francisco already has a full draft board available to them, so it's not like they ever needed any compensatory picks like Oakland did.

To discuss the situation with Raiders fans, head to Silver and Black Pride.


Oakland Raiders Off-Season: Changes Coming for Stefan Wisniewski and Raiders O-Line

Oakland Raiders new general manager, Reggie McKenzie, did not wait long before he began addressing what he believed were the biggest areas of concern for the Raiders heading into the off-season. Shortly after free agency began, McKenzie signed thee cornerbacks and an offensive guard to shore up the Raiders secondary and offensive line. He then cut incumbant right guard Cooper Carlisle in order to re-sign him to a much more affordable contract, while also re-signing tackle Khalif Barnes.

Now, McKenzie has revealed exactly how the Raiders coaching staff plans on organizing the offensive line for the 2012 season. In an interview with Jerry McDonald of the Bay Area News Group, McKenzie discussed the fact that he believes the coaching staff plans to play newly acquired guard Mike Brisiel at the right guard position, move Cooper Carlisle to the left guard position and move former starting left guard, Stefan Wisniewski inside to start at center.

This move came as somewhat of a shock to me at first, however, the more I think about it, the more sense it makes. I would have prefered to have kept Wisniewski at left guard where he played so well alongside left tackle Jared Veldheer, started Briesel at right guard and go find a new starter at center. However, given the Raiders cap situation, it is understandable that McKenzie preferred moving Young Wiz to center because it is cheaper to go out and find another guard than it is to go and find a new center.

In addition, with the Raiders moving to a zone blocking scheme, veteran guard Cooper Carlisle has added value. Carlisle is a veteran with lots of experience as a starting offensive lineman. However, the last couple of seasons have seen Carlisle in decline. While Carlisle can play in either type of blocking scheme, zone or power, he has always excelled at zone blocking. Thus, while he was struggling in the power blocking scheme, he should be more than serviceable as a zone blocking guard, and of course, his willingness to re-sign for a much reduced salary made him all the more valuable as an option.

With these moves, change is in the cards for the entire interior line of the Oakland Raiders. Brisiel will be playing for a new team and Carlisle and Wisniewski will be playing new positions (Carlisle has always played right guard up to this point). However, it is Young Wiz who is in for the biggest change. A move from guard to center may not seem like that big of a deal, but it truly is. In only his second year in the NFL, Wisniewski will be taking on much more responsibility at the center position. The center is the quarterback of the offensive line. They are responsible for recognizing the defensive line up and calling out blocking assignments at the line of scrimage and in general, being the leader of the offensive line. After left tackle, which is widely considered to be the most important offensive line position thanks to Lawrence Taylor, center is easily the most important position on the line.

Though I did not recognize it at first, McKenzie's decision on how to structure the Raiders offensive line was somewhat brilliant. By signing one guy and moving two others, the Raiders will have a greatly upgraded offensive line. There is solidity at both guard positions as Carlisle and Brisiel excel in the zone blocking scheme. And at center, the Raiders now have a very intellegent and talented young player who could anchor the offensive line for years to come. Despite being given very little to work with, McKenzie is showing that he was the right hire as the Raiders newest general manager. Rather than sitting back and claiming the cap issues and lack of draft picks have prevented him from making any improvements this season, McKenzie has made some incredibly smart moves that upgrade the team while keeping the Raiders in good shape with regards to the cap.


Oakland Raiders Looking To Add Linebacker, Manny Lawson A Possible Target

The Oakland Raiders have various holes to fill on their roster, and they have multiple options through free agency and the upcoming NFL Draft to do so. One of those spots is outside linebacker, where there are just a few remaining options left on the market. Recently-hired general manager Reggie McKenzie recently discussed his team and what spots they will look to upgrade. The Contra Costa Times has the update:

Q: Highest priority right now? Next position to fill?

McKenzie: One thing I don't have is a starting outside linebacker. I would like to try to find me a guy that can play there. Other than that, we've got a guy that can line up and start at every position. Now we just need some competition and depth in case this guy gets hurt or can't cut it. That's where I am now. But I'm looking for an outside linebacker.

The Raiders have very little money to spend -- McKenzie suggests the team is down to $2 million or so in the same article -- and there are still other areas to fill.

Manny Lawson has been a popular name and this update suggests he has received plenty of attention this spring, but he will not come cheap. Still, though, Oakland may be able to get creative and bring him to the Bay if they have a big enough interest.

For more on the team and to discuss their free agency options, be sure to visit Silver and Black Pride.


Michael Bush, Chicago Bears Agree On Four-Year Contract

It seemed for most of the offseason the running back Michael Bush was looking to get out of Oakland, and now it has finally come to pass, agreeing to a four year deal with the Chicago Bears, taking his talents from the East Bay to the Windy City.

per ChicagoBears.com on Twitter:

Bush has been playing second-fiddle to Darren McFadden most of his career in Oakland, and now assumedly will be used as a backup to Matt Forte, or some additional insurance if he gets another serious injury again. But Forte is yet to sign his franchise tag, meaning if they can't come up with a deal, the Bears might have snagged themselves a starter in disguise.

As for the Raiders, this leaves them a bit short-handed in the backfield, with Taiwan Jones likely moving up into the backup role for McFadden. Bush's deal in Chicago is worth $14 million and $7 million guaranteed, according to the Chicago Tribune.

For more on the Raiders, please head over to Silver and Black Pride. For the Bears side of the street, make sure you check out Windy City Gridiron.


BenJarvus Green-Ellis Signs With Bengals: Impact On Michael Bush, Oakland Raiders

With news breaking today that the Law Firm, a.k.a. BenJarvus Green-Ellis, has signed with the Cincinnati Bengals, Steve Corkran's speculation that Michael Bush could return to Oakland suddenly seems much more likely. Previously, it was thought that there were four suitors for Michael Bush's services -- the Bengals, the Chicago Bears, the Seattle Seahawks and the Arizona Cardinals. But, as time goes on, it appears less and less likely that Bush will sign with any of those teams.

The Cardinals were the first Bush visited in free agency. Normally, if a team wants a player, it will not let him leave without signing a contract. Since Bush did not sign with Arizona, and there has been very little talk about Bush going to Arizona, it appears there isn't a lot of mutual interest there, for whatever reason.

Now that the Bengals have signed the Law Firm, it would appear they are also out of the running for landing Bush. That leaves Seattle and Chicago. While it appears Seattle would really like to sign Bush, I do not think it is very likely they will be able to. Bush has always said he enjoyed playing in Oakland, but that he wanted the opportunity to be a starter and get paid like a starter. Given the rather large contract the Seahawks just gave Marshawn Lynch, I don't see Bush going to Seattle to be a backup.

That leaves the Chicago Bears. They have placed the franchise tag on Matt Forte and I would imagine they are attempting to work out a long-term deal with him. However, if they cannot get a long-term deal done, and they are willing to pay two significant contracts, I could see them signing Bush as a replacement for Forte after next season, and as a great backup this season. However, unless the Bears are willing to give Bush assurances that he will get a starter's share of touches down the line, this is yet another situation that doesn't appear to be what Bush has in mind.

If Bush's options are basically what he had with the Raiders, but for another team, I could easily see him coming back to Oakland. He has enjoyed his time with the Raiders, has a good relationship with some of the players and, additionally, good money says that McFadden will get hurt at some point next season allowing Bush to once again, assume the starting role, even if for only a while.


OT Khalif Barnes Re-Signed By Oakland Raiders, According to Report

According to Steve Corkran of the San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Raiders have re-signed right offensive tackle Khalif Barnes, brining back the veteran for another season in the Silver and Black.

Barnes' return will ensure that the Raiders have already locked up four of their five starters on the offensive line from last year's squad, re-joining Stefen Wisniewski, Jared Veldheerand and Cooper Carlisle.

Barnes, 29, started all 16 games for the Raiders last season, all at right offensive tacke, and appreantly impressed enough to keep him around another year. Corkran beleives that Barnes has the 'inside track' to remain the starter at that position, though may look to go younger with either Bruce Campbell or Joseph Barksdale as well.

Barnes is a seven year veteran who's also spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

For more in depth discussion and analysis of the Oakland Raiders, please make sure to head over to Silver and Black Pride to get in on the action.


Oakland Raiders Free Agents: Would Michael Bush Consider Return To Silver & Black?

The 2012 running back market has never really gotten going, leaving Oakland Raiders free-agent running back Michael Bush without a destination nine days into free agency. He has been making the rounds, handling visits with teams like the Cardinals, Bengals, Bears and possibly Seahawks. None of the meetings has resulted in a contract, and the wait continues to see where arguably the best available back ends up.

If the Oakland Raiders lose Michael Bush, as many had expected prior to free agency, they would be rather thin at the position, particularly in light of Darren McFadden's injury history. However, if the market continues to stay slow, is it possible Michael Bush could return to Oakland for 2012? Steve Corkran speculated as much, although it was simply in response to a fan tweet about what was up with Bush.

Although Darren McFadden is incredibly talented, his injuries have provided plenty of opportunities for Michael Bush to get a decent amount of carries. Bush took over the starting job this past year in week seven after McFadden injured his foot against the Chiefs. However, even before then he always received a sizable load to complement McFadden. Although the Raiders cannot afford to hand out a monster contract to Bush, paying him more than the normal backup would not be the craziest idea in the world.


Oakland Raiders 2012 Free Agency: Michael Bush’s Impending Departure Leaves Raiders Thin At RB

Since drafting Darren McFadden in 2008, the Oakland Raiders have had a two-headed rushing attack with McFadden and Michael Bush. Considering the various health issues plaguing McFadden for nearly his entire career, the Raiders have required every bit of running back depth they had. However, that luxury may be short-lived as Bush is a free agent and may seek a well-deserved starting job elsewhere. Now more than ever, running back depth will be vital for the Raiders as they will likely never be able to trust that McFadden can carry the whole load for an entire season. Even if Taiwan Jones comes back healthy, the Raiders backfield situation is dire.

With the recent news that Rock Cartwright has signed with San Francisco, the Raiders will need to stock up on backs. There are a few free agents the Raiders may wish to target who won’t break the bank, such as Mewelde Moore, Ronnie Brown, Derrick Ward, and Chester Taylor. All of them have starting experience and would be capable backups for McFadden. Ryan Grant could be a possibility as well but he might price himself out of the market, considering the Raiders’ salary cap situation.

However, the draft this year has plenty of interesting names at RB. Players who may fall to Oakland include Doug Martin (Boise State), Chris Polk (Washington), the speedy Chris Rainey (Florida), Marc Tyler (USC), and the criminally underrated Rodney Stewart (Colorado). Even if the Raiders feel they have more pressing needs in the draft, this particular edition is chock full of talented running backs and the Raiders ought to be able to pick up a talented UDFA or two to compete for a job.

Even though the rushing attack was solid last year for the Raiders, most of that was due to the efforts of Michael Bush and replacing him will be equally as important as fixing the defensive scheme and rush defense. If the Raiders fail to adequately address their rushing attack, too much pressure will be placed on the shoulders of Carson Palmer and he will make mistakes trying to win the game by himself.


2012 NFL Free Agents: Oakland Raiders Sign Shawntae Spencer, According To Reports

Many thought the Oakland Raiders would not be players on the free agent market until it calmed down a few weeks into it. That, however, does not appear to be the plan of new top man, Reggie McKenzie. The Raiders and McKenzie did a solid job of cutting salaries so that they could start making moves in free agency somewhat quickly.

After signing cornerback Ronald Bartell and right guard Mike Brisiel last week, the Raiders did not waste much time in further solidifying their inexperienced secondary by signing cornerback Shawntae Spencer, who was released by the San Francisco 49ers late last week.

Spencer is a solid corner who will be a welcomed addition to the Raiders thin secondary. He is a physical player who is also a good run defender. It is yet another signing that makes a ton of sense for the Raiders. Spencer has been a quality player for the 49ers. However, a recent spate of injuries along with an increasingly crowded secondary meant that he was expendable. It also meant that he would not command a lot of money on the open market. The contract is only for one year, limiting any risk the Raiders are taking with signing a guy who has injury issues.

All in all, McKenzie is doing a very good job of attacking the areas of need for the Raiders right away. Since the Raiders do not have a lot of money to spend in free agency, and even less options in the draft, McKenzie is not taking any chances and is ensuring that the spots that need an upgrade the most are getting them, even if they are just modest upgrades.

By the way, for those of you keeping track at home, the score is now Raiders: 1 Niners: 1. While the Raiders got their red and gold on by signing the former Niner, the Niners had already gotten a taste of Silver and Black when they signed free agent Rock Cartwright.


2012 NFL Free Agents: James Davis Works Out For Raiders, Plans Workout With 49ers

The Oakland Raiders began the search for possible running back depth options as they worked out former Browns, and Redskins running back James Davis. The former Clemson running back was a sixth round pick of the Browns back in 2009 and has been a limited producer in the NFL. He had 19 carries and four receptions in 2010, but spent 2011 bouncing between the Texans and Lions practice squads.

The Raiders are in need of running back help as they try to figure out the post-Michael Bush era. Darren McFadden will remain their starting running back, but given his injury history, depth is needed. The Raiders are hoping for big things from Taiwan Jones as a complement to McFadden, but he is only a second year back. At this point it would help to bring in some competition, even if Davis has not been the most dynamic of running backs.

The 49ers running back situation is focused on Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter, but they are on the lookout for competition for third string back Anthony Dixon. Although Dixon brings great energy to special teams, he has a bad habit of being a bit too much of a dancer for a big guy. Although he continues to stick on the roster, the team continues their search for competition.


Michael Bush Draws Interest From Seahawks, No Visit Scheduled

Editor's Note: Adam Schefter has corrected himself. The Seahawks are reportedly interested in Michael Bush, but there is no visit scheduled.

Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush continues his free agency tour as he is scheduled to visit with the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday. Given the relative dearth of quality running backs on the free agent market, Bush is taking his time figuring out his destination. He opened free agency by traveling to Arizona, and followed that up with visits to Cincinnati and Chicago.

This is an interesting pattern of visits given the depth charts of the teams involved. The Cardinals are building around Beanie Wells, but could get a lot of complementary work from Bush. Cincinnati is looking to move past Cedric Benson and Bush would get a legit shot at being the lead back. Chicago already has Matt Forte as one of the best running backs in the NFL, but there is always the possibility of a holdout in Chicago. His next visit, Seattle, recently signed Marshawn Lynch to a long-term deal.

It is interesting that Bush is considering options where he would either be competing with a fairly solid incumbent, or has little to no chance of being the starter. He did not finish with a fantastic YPC in 2011 (3.8), but he showed signs that he could be a workhorse back if needed.


Raiders Free Agent Samson Satele Arrested In Hawaii For Disorderly Conduct

According to a report form the San Jose Mercury News, Oakland Raiders free agent center Samson Satele was arrested in his native Hawaii on a charge of disorderly conduct Sunday morning, as first reported by the Star-Advertiser.

Satele was arrested around 4 a.m. at an Aiea, Hawaii shopping center that has multiple late-night restaurants and bars. The 27-year-old Satele was released from jail after posting $500 bail at around 4:50 a.m according to report. Satele lives in Hawaii during the offseason.

Although the charge is only a petty misdemeanor Satele is still scheduled to show up in court on April 18. No further information available.

The Raiders, under new general manager Reggie McKenzie and new coach Dennis Allen, are still re-working their offensive line and it's not known what their plans are at center.

For more news and notes on the Silver and Black, make sure to check out Silver and Black Pride.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


Shawntae Spencer, Former San Francisco 49ers Cornerback, Visits Oakland Raiders

The Oakland Raiders may not have a ton of money to spend in free agency, but that does not mean they will not look to be active and find a few bargains out on the market. The Raiders need to improve their secondary if they hope to make a playoff run in 2012 and they are entertaining any and all options, both through free agency and in the later rounds of the draft.

Veteran cornerback Shawntae Spencer may be a bit injury prone, but he is still a very capable player in the NFL should be be healthy. After being released by the San Francisco 49ers earlier in the week to clear cap space, Spencer visited with the Raiders on Friday.

Spencer would be an intriguing fit in Oakland. While he could be a valuable piece to the secondary, he is awfully injury prone and isn't getting any younger. The Raiders were derailed with injuries in 2011; do they really want to keep playing with fire?

Either way, Spencer would be a low-risk, high-reward option and he likes living and playing in the Bay Area. This is definitely a story to watch for in the coming days.

For more on the Raiders, be sure to visit Silver and Black Pride.


Oakland Raiders Sign Cornerback Ron Bartell

The Oakland Raiders have been working to clear salary space in the recent weeks and the team used some of that free money to sign free agent cornerback Ron Bartell. The 22-year-old Bartell spent last season with the St. Louis Rams, but he played just one game due to injury. He will provide Oakland with some much needed depth in the secondary.

The two sides reportedly met on Thursday and worked out the details over the course of the last 24 hours. No details have been released on the contract length or value.

As for Bartell, he is known to have strong coverage skills and has started 66 games over the past seven years in St. Louis. While capable of locking a receiver down, he is not much of an interception threat, seeing as he has just eight career interceptions and none since the 2009 season.

For more on Bartell and the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.


Oakland Raiders Sign Guard Mike Brisiel

The Raiders reversed course a little bit today, and instead of releasing more players, signed veteran guard Mike Bresiel.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the move makes a lot of sense for the Raiders. As John McClain explains, "The Raiders wanted Brisiel because they know him well. Their new offensive coordinator, Greg Knapp, coached the Texans' quarterbacks the last two years. Their new offensive line coach, Frank Pollack, was the Texans' assistant line coach the last five years."

Also importantly, the Raiders have a vacancy at the position, after veteran G Cooper Carlisle. Bresiel, 29, is a well-respected offensive linemen that once finished off a game after cracking his right fibula midway through. He only missed four games after that

For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.


NFL Free Agency 2012: Raiders Release Kamerion Wimbley

The Raiders continued their roster salary cap purging Friday by informing OLB/DE Kamerion Wimbley that he'll be released. Wimbley's agent, Joe Linta, said in an email Friday that he was unable to work out a new contract with general manager Reggie McKenzie so the Raiders decided to cut Wimbley instead.

There had been speculation that the Raiders would make this move for quite a while, but apparently the team was trying to work out a deal that would keep the 28-year old in black and silver. They weren't able to come together on a number, and on the day before $4.5 million of Wimbley's contract would become guaranteed, the Raiders cut him loose.

He was one year into a five-year, $48 million deal. He'll likely have quite a few suitors on the open market, as he had Wimbley had seven sacks, 21.5 quarterback knockdowns and 9.5 hurries last season, according to STATS LLC.

For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.


NFL Free Agency: Kamerion Wimbley Expects To Be Cut From Raiders, According To Report

As the Oakland Raiders remain busy during the offseason, unfortunately though it's been mostly cuts from their roster. That trend could likely continue Friday as NFL network's Michael Lombardi is reporting that sources close to Kamerion Wimbley have let him know that he is likely to be cut from the Silver and Black sometime on Friday:

Per Michael Lombardi on Twitter:

Wimbley, the 6th year linebacker out of Florida State, has been with the Raiders for the past two seasons before playing his foirst four out in Cleveland with the Browns. He had 69 tackles and a forced fumbled for the Silver and black in 2011, and will liekly be eyed by a number of teams including intra-division rival the Kansas City Chiefs and possibly the Seattle Seahawks.

For more news and notes on the Oakland Raiders, please make sure you check out Silver and Black Pride to get in on the action.

Check out the SB Nation Channel on YouTube


2012 Oakland Raiders Free Agency: Quarterback Position Requires More Depth

With the news that Jason Campbell is now a Chicago Bear, the Raiders QB depth chart consists of Carson Palmer and Terrelle Pryor. Pryor has only had half a season to acclimate to the pro game and will have to learn a new system over the offseason. He probably isn't ready to be counted on as Palmer's full time backup. Therefore, the Raiders may have to look to free agency or the draft to find a capable backup for this season.

When one scours the list of free agent quarterbacks this season, they all seem to fall into one of three categories: 1) really expensive, 2) washed up or 3) terrible. Donovan McNabb and Rex Grossman are some of the luminaries available currently. The Raiders may be best served looking at someone who wasn't ever given a fair shake, like Brady Quinn or Dennis Dixon. They will come cheaply but have had enough starting experience that they wouldn't have the deer-in-the-headlights type of failure that we saw with Kyle Boller.

Conversely, the Raiders may decide that the draft is the way to go. There are a number of notable quarterbacks who performed admirably in college but saw their stock drop after their season was over. Nick Foles, Case Keenum and Kellen Moore fall under this category. Quarterback really shouldn't be a priority for the Raiders in this particular draft but if they fail to land a capable backup QB in free agency then they may have no other choice.

Carson Palmer is clearly the best starting quarterback the Raiders have enjoyed since Rich Gannon, but with his injury history and somewhat advanced age acquiring a backup in whatever way possible must be a priority for them.


Oakland Raiders Release John Henderson, Cooper Carlisle As Salary Cap Purge Continues

Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie is not messing around in his attempts to change the culture of the Raiders. McKenzie joined a franchise that was mired in a financial mess due to an array of poor contract decisions. Eventually the team was going to have to pay the piper for some of these decisions and McKenzie is bringing the piper with him.

The Raiders continued their salary purge as they released defensive tackle John Henderson with a failed physical designation and right guard Cooper Carlisle. Henderson is not a surprising move given his salary and injury issues. He played well when healthy, but given his health it was not worth the price. It was simply a matter of either reworking his contract or releasing him.

The Cooper Carlisle release comes as a little bit of a surprise. The 34-year old guard is older and is seeing his skills decline to a certain extent, but he is not quite as overpaid as Henderson. It gets interesting because he excels in the zone blocking scheme that is favored by new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. There is a chance he is brought back at a lower salary, but the Raiders do not seem in a hurry to make it happen.

For now, the Raiders are simply getting their financial house in order. They can still be players in free agency, but they are looking to clear significant space to prevent a repeat of what led to this current purge.


2012 NFL Free Agents: Oakland Raiders RB Michael Bush To Vist With Bears, Bengals

A day after visiting the Arizona Cardinals, now former Oakland Raiders running back Michael Bush continues his free agency tour. NFL Network's Adam Caplan tweeted that Bush is visiting the Chicago Bears on Wednesday and plans to swing over to Cincinnati to visit the Bengals on Thursday. The Bengals have been connected with Bush for several weeks now, while the Bears are a relatively new addition to the conversation.

For the Oakland Raiders, they could be left in a dicey situation if/when Bush walks. They cannot really afford to bring him back, but they need some kind of significant insurance for injury-prone Darren McFadden. While McFadden is one of the most talented running backs in the league, his inability to stay consistently healthy has been a significant headache for the Raiders. The Raiders drafted Taiwan Jones, but it remains to be seen if he can be a sufficient complement to McFadden.

In the meantime, the Raiders continue to sit and spend more time renegotiating with current players, rather than adding new players. GM Reggie McKenzie is cutting through much of the financial excess of the Raiders to clean things up and move forward. Even with all the talent on hand, it could lead to some lean times in 2012 if the Raiders do not fill some holes on both sides of the ball.


NFL Free Agency 2012: Jason Campbell Signs With Bears On One-Year Deal

Per multiple reports, former Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell has signed with the Chicago Bears.

Campbell is a former first-round pick by the Redskins in 2005 out of Auburn and had played fairly well last year for the Raiders before going out with with an injury. In 2011, he passed for 1,170 yards, 6 touchdowns to 4 interceptions and led the Raiders to a 4-2 start, but after he was hurt, the Raiders traded for Carson Palmer. The rest is history.

It should be a good fit for him in Chicago, backing up the oft-injured Jay Cutler, and should the Bears require Campbell's services, he'll be throwing to newly acquired WR Brandon Marshall.

For more on the Raiders, head over to Silver and Black Pride.


NFL Free Agents 2012: Michael Bush To Visit Arizona Cardinals, According To Report

Sources have confirmed to SB Nation Bay Area that Oakland Raiders free agent running back Michael Bush flew down to Arizona today to conduct a workout and interview with the Arizona Cardinals. The Raiders free agent back is one of the more highly sought after running backs on the market following the wave of running back franchise tags.

While Michael Bush is a guy the Raiders might love to retain, the salary numbers make it incredibly difficult. The Raiders managed to get back under the salary cap by the start of the new league year, but it is just barely so. Bush has been connected with a variety of teams, with some folks thinking the Cincinnati Bengals might look to use him to replace Cedric Benson. The Cardinals have a host of running backs, so this is an intriguing possibility for them. Of course, give the banged-up nature of their backs, adding a guy like Michael Bush could be right up their alley.

For the Raiders, losing Bush would mean hoping for health from Darren McFadden, which has been a frequent issue in his career. Taiwan Jones showed some explosiveness, but the Raiders likely need to add some kind of significant depth behind McFadden.


Oakland Raiders To Release Kevin Boss

The Oakland Raiders have to dump a lot of salary cap this offseason to meet requirements of the new cap. And they're going to have to get rid of a lot of players if they plan on meeting things.

Jason La Canfora of NFL.com has the latest report that has the Raiders parting ways with their starting tight end.

Boss caught only 28 passes with the Raiders last year, down from 35 catches in 2010 and 42 catches in 2009 with the Giants. So his production has been down in his newest spot, so it's not the biggest cap casualty the Raiders would have had to deal with. Boss has been underutilized in Oakland, and it makes sense to move on from him.

Could Boss end up back with the Giants, who are now in need of a tight end? It's quite possible.

To discuss the thought of Boss being released by the Raiders, head on over to Silver and Black Pride.

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