Raiders

Asomugha's Raiders contract voids

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Asomugha's Raiders contract voids

Jan. 9, 2011GUTIERREZ ARCHIVERAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOPaul GutierrezCSNCalifornia.com

The offseason market for shutdown cornerbacks in the NFL just got more intriguing. And expensive. Nnamdi Asomughas massive contract option for 2011 has voided as the four-time Pro Bowler will be a free agent and the Raiders will not be able to use their franchise tag on him.In short, neither Asomugha nor Raiders owner Al Davis voided the contract; it essentially voided itself due to the player not meeting certain incentives.The contract is voided, but we have to wait on the (new) CBA to know the exact ramifications, Raiders senior executive John Herrera told CSNCalifornia.com.The lack of a new CBA threatens a lockout by owners next season as well as potentially defining free agents.ESPN reported the contract voiding Sunday morning.Since Asomugha signed that record (for a defensive back) three-year, 45.3-million contract, with 28.5 million guaranteed, in 2009, it had been reported that the third-year option, if picked up by the Raiders, guaranteed him 16.875-million or the average salary of the top-five paid quarterbacks in the NFL, whichever figure was higher.But the ESPN report, citing an NFL Players Association document, quoted a clause in the contract voiding it if Asomugha did not achieve certain incentives in 2010 -- which he did not. As such, there was a corresponding stipulation by Oakland it would then not designate him as its franchise player.According to the document, Asomugha had to play in more defensive plays this past season than he did in 2009. A badly sprained ankle on Halloween forced him to miss two games and he was used sparingly down the stretch.
Also, incentives could have been reached had he had more interceptions, fumble recoveries or sacks in 2010. Of the three categories, he had only one interception in 2009. Asomugha was shut out across the board this season.Less than a week after the Raiders season finale 31-10 victory at AFC West division champion Kansas City, fans are up in arms.NEWS: Ravens knock Kansas City from playoffs 30-7
Many were already upset at Davis for his decision Tuesday to not pick up the two-year, 5-million option on Tom Cables contract to return as coach after leading the Raiders to an 8-8 season, their first finish with fewer than 11 losses since 2002.Davis was not pleased with going .500, though, and told CSN California, If thats the world you live in, when asked if 8-8 was a good finish following the win at Kansas City.With Asomugha now set to become a free agent, he joins other Raiders mainstays such as fellow DBs Michael Huff and Stanford Routt, offensive linemen Robert Gallery, Langston Walker and Mario Henderson, defensive linemen Richard Seymour and John Henderson, tight end Zach Miller, linebacker Thomas Howard, wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins and running back Michael Bush on the free-agent market, per a new CBA.
Looks like nnamdi is hittin the market....so he's a free agent, I'm a free agent, and routt is a free agent. This is gonna be interesting, Huff Tweeted.Of course I wanna be back....I love the raidernation.
It is hard to imagine the Raiders paying up to 17 million for Asomugha when they have so many other concerns and with a relative lack of on-field success since they used their first-round pick, No. 31 overall, on him out of Cal in 2003.And it is hard to imagine Asomugha settling for a significant hometown discount to return to Oakland, given where Davis has already set the salary bar.Still, Asomugha is considered, along with the New York Jets Darrelle Revis, the top cover corner in the game, what with teams often shying away from his side of the field.After a rough start to his career, and learning at the knee of Hall of Famer Rod Woodson, Asomugha blossomed with eight interceptions in 2006, including a 24-yard touchdown return against Pittsburghs Ben Roethlisberger.Since then, Asomugha had one interception in 2007, 2008 and 2009, respectively.Emails to Asomugha and his agent, Tom Condon, have not been answered.

How John Pagano plans to impact Raiders defense: ‘There is always room for change’

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USATSI

How John Pagano plans to impact Raiders defense: ‘There is always room for change’

ALAMEDA – John Pagano can’t implement his scheme in a week. He can’t import his plays and preferences cultivated during five seasons as Chargers defensive coordinator. Full offseason programs and training camps are required for that.

Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. was fired on Tuesday. Pagano will call his first Raiders game five days later against Denver at Oakland Coliseum. The Raiders’ assistant head coach – defense believes he can impact how the Silver and Black does business.

“There’s always room for change and there’s always room for doing things better,” Pagano said Thursday. “Without telling you our game plan, it’s about how we go out and execute the call, bottom line.”

Head coach Jack Del Rio said the Raiders weren’t playing fast enough. They weren’t creating enough turnovers, weren’t doing well enough on third down and weren’t regularly affecting the quarterback due to a lack of both rush and coverage.

That’s why Norton had to go.

Pagano’s first objective, which must get accomplished in a few days, is getting the Raiders to play with confidence. Then he can add some design wrinkles with some of his personality.

“You have to have that ability of going out there, knowing your assignment and playing faster,” Pagano said. “It’s not to say that there have been times where we’ve simplified things, but taking the thinking out of the game and making them react is, I think, most important. Going out there and playing fast and that’s doing the little extra things, the attention to details of studying and getting those things processed. See ball, go get ball.”

That last sentence sums up how Pagano wants his guys to play. He’s a quality play caller and creative blitzer with a knack making simple plays look complex. He can find and exploit opposing weak links. His defenses have always been good creating pressure and turnovers alike. The Raiders need more of both.

To do that Pagano wants to relieve a player’s mental burden and keep them focused on using talent well.

“The one thing I’ve always stressed and always been about is technique, fundamentals and unbelievable effort,” Pagano said. “I think those three things can get you home.”

The Raiders haven’t been home much as a defense. They’re tied for last with 14 sacks. They’re dead last with six turnovers. They’ve gone 10 games without an interception, the longest single-season drought in NFL history.

A lack of big defensive plays has killed the Raiders this season. It obviously increases points allowed. Good field position has been hard to come by. The offense has to earn everything the hard way. That’s a recipe for losing football, a maddening turn after the Raiders finished second with 30 takeaways last year.

Pagano has a chart listing “MOPs,” short for missed opportunities. There have been many, especially in a secondary he oversaw before this week.

“I talked to these guys this week about we need to do simple better,” Pagano said. “What is simple? It’s fundamentals of covering. It’s tackling. It’s communicating. It’s catching the ball when it comes. We’ve had opportunities. It’s not like we’re out there struggling and straining to dive and layout for the thing. It’s hit us in the hands where we’ve had many, many opportunities.”

Missed opportunities have also plagued a pass rush featuring reigning defensive player of the year Khalil Mack. Pagano brought up a moment early in Sunday’s lost to New England, when Treyvon Hester forced a fumble near three teammates that the Patriots somehow recovered.

Pagano’s goal is to improve performance. Players must buy in to do that. Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin headline a large group close to Norton, one with enough pride and professionalism to get behind a new playcaller in Pagano, who could be here long term.

“There is a human element to this,” Pagano said. “We are family. It’s sad any time a member of your family gets dismissed or something. At the end of the day, we have the Broncos coming in here on Sunday and we have to get our minds right to go play this game. That’s something that they’ve done a great job with this week, truly focusing in on what we need to do.”

Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice

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USATSI

Irvin, Mack given a day off from Raiders practice

ALAMEDA – Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin were out at Raiders practice Wednesday for the stretching period. Both edge rushers left one-at-a-time during the individual period, which was open to the press, headed into the main building and did not return.

There was no perceived reaction, certainly no surprise, from the coaching staff or players on the field. Irvin and new defensive coordinator John Pagano were seen joking around on the field before practice began in earnest. 

Both Irvin and Mack were given a practice off. A Raiders official called it a day off/rest-type day that was not injury related. The Silver and Black typically practice in pads or shells on Wednesday, but were in jerseys and sweats in the interest of recovery.

This day off's timing did raise an eyebrow.

Wednesday marked the first practice Irvin has missed since training camp. Mack hasn’t missed one in months.

Mack and Irvin’s downtime also came a day after beloved defensive coordinator Ken Norton’s firing.

Several defensive players were upset about Norton's firing, but Mack and Irvin especially were among those loyal to Norton. Mack and Norton developed a bond after the coach was named defensive coordinator in 2015. Norton and Irvin go way back to their days together in Seattle. Irvin credits Norton for helping him get on the right path and stay there.

Neither player was happy Norton got the axe. Irvin made his displeasure clear, tweeting “BULLS***” shortly after news of Norton’s demise broke. Mack told ESPN “I like to keep my thoughts private.” Defensive stars declined comment Wednesday or didn't appear in the locker room when the media was present. 

It isn’t immediately clear if the non-injury related day off was related to Norton’s dismissal. Head coach Jack Del Rio won’t speak to the media again until Friday. New defensive coordinator John Pagano is scheduled to speak Thursday afternoon.

Del Rio addressed the media before Wednesday’s practice, and was asked how he’ll handle players unhappy with the in-season shake-up.

“I don’t try and 'handle' them,” Del Rio said. “I think the biggest thing is to understand the relationship, respect that, give him a little space and then at the end of the day, we’re going to get on with our work. But, I’m human. It wasn’t easy for me either.”