Carr offers help to Manziel, troubled former first-round pick responds

Carr offers help to Manziel, troubled former first-round pick responds

The Raiders built the cornerstone to their success with their first two picks in the 2014 NFL Draft. After taking edge rusher Khalil Mack No. 5 overall out of Buffalo, Oakland found its quarterback one round later at No. 36 overall in Derek Carr out of Fresno State. 

Fourteen picks and two quarterbacks earlier, the Browns believed they found their signal caller of the future too in Johnny Manziel. While Carr has the Raiders (10-3) back to prominence in the AFC West with 24 touchdowns and nearly 3,500 yards through the air, Manziel is out of the league this year with only 15 games and eight starts to his name. 

Before Thursday Night Football, Carr took writer Peter King around for a ride in Oakland to speak on an arrary of topics, including looking to prove doubters wrong after falling in the draft. 

"You mean getting drafted after Johnny Manziel put a chip on your shoulder?" King joked to Carr. 

"You know what's crazy is I spent obviously a lot of time around him and he's such a good dude, man. I honestly wish him the best," Carr responded. "Hopefully one day he'll reach out and I'll be able to talk to him and be a friend to him." 

"You'd love the chance to help?" King asked. 

"Absolutely, man," Carr quickly answered. "Because he's so talented. So I understand why he was drafted where he was -- super talented, could throw, could run, dynamic athlete, dynamic player.

"Obviously he had a little trouble... he's still young though, so I think, you know, hopefully he'll get another chance someday and he'll be all right." 

On Monday, Manziel responded to Carr's offer of helping his fellow 2014 draft class quarterback. "Appreciate that @derekcarrqb wish you nothing but the best and I'll gladly take you up on that offer" Manziel tweeted

Manziel's tenure for the Browns ended with eight total touchdowns and seven interceptions. He was the last Browns quarterback to win a game, beating the 49ers, 24-10, on Dec. 13 last season, as Cleveland holds an 0-13 record this year.

Raiders to sign former 49ers defensive lineman


Raiders to sign former 49ers defensive lineman

Raiders head coach Jon Gruden wanted veterans to help turn his defense around. He added a linebacker and defensive backs aplenty. Then, on Friday night, he gave the front some help.

Former 49ers defensive lineman Tank Carradine will sign with the Raiders, the 28-year old announced on his Instagram page. 

The Sacramento Bee first reported the news. 

He visited the Raiders on Thursday and was in Seattle earlier Friday, but will sign with the Silver and Black.

Carradine could help their transition to a more traditional 4-3 alignment, able to play end in the base defense. He has proven himself as a solid run defender, but believes he can be an effective pass rusher if given the opportunity.

Carradine didn’t get many pass-rushing chances with the 49ers, who generally removed him on passing downs. He has 5.5 sacks in four professional seasons. He played 37.9 percent of 49ers defensive snaps during eight games with the 49ers last season. He missed the same amount on short-term injured reserve with an ankle injury.

At 6-foot-4, 270 pounds, he has the size to be a 4-3 base end. He’ll likely have to battle Mario Edwards Jr. for snaps opposite Khalil Mack, though Bruce Irvin will take that spot in sub packages.

Carradine will be the 10th free-agent signing expected to make the roster, which means the roster turnover this summer should be significant. 

Here was his Instagram post from Friday night: 

Proud to become an Oakland Raider! Let's go #raiders#nation

A post shared by Cornellius Smith (@tank.carradine) on

Adding Rashaan Melvin the key move to Raiders' revamped secondary


Adding Rashaan Melvin the key move to Raiders' revamped secondary

The Raiders started this offseason looking to revamp their secondary around their last two first-round picks. Gareon Conley would start at one cornerback spot. Karl Joseph was penned at strong safety.

Every other job, however, was wide open and likely filled from the outside.

Safety Marcus Gilchrist came aboard Thursday, but one premium spot remained open opposite Conley. Veteran cornerback Rashaan Melvin took it Friday afternoon, agreeing on terms of a one-year $6.5 million contract.

NFL Network broke the news of a bargain compared to other cornerback free-agent deals. They aren’t attached to him long term, and Melvin can sign a bigger deal if he plays well in 2018.

The Raiders declared interest in the former Indianapolis cornerback early this week and worked toward an agreement sealed during a Friday morning visit at the team’s Alameda practice facility.

The 28-year old’s fresh off a career year, allowing just 29 receptions for 328 yards and two touchdowns on 55 targets in 2017. He had three interceptions and 13 passes defensed. Quarterbacks had a paltry 60.3 passer rating against him.

Melvin stands 6-foot-2, 196 pounds and has the athleticism to excel in Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther’s system.

Melvin bounced around before settling with the Colts, struggling to find footing in Tampa Bay, Baltimore New England and two offseason programs in Miami. He found a home in Indianapolis, and became a regular starter in 2016. His breakout 2017 season was cut short by a hand injury that kept him out the last five games.

Melvin projects to start right away. The Raiders will be thrilled if he stays healthy and retains recent form. Melvin has solid ball skills, regularly forces incompletions and thrived in tough assignments that came with being the Colts’ top cornerback.

Gilchrist’s addition, Melvin’s deal and the Friday addition of Shareece Wright fills a cupboard in the defensive backfield laid bare by design.

The Raiders cut David Amerson and now-jailed Sean Smith this offseason. TJ Carrie took a big deal in Cleveland. Reggie Nelson’s allowed to walk as a free agent.

The Raiders added three free agents to the group thus far, and could well draft another defensive back next month.

They’ll have safety Obi Melifonwu in reserve – he’ll have to earn a role after missing most of 2017 with injury – and cornerbacks Antonio Hamilton and Dexter McDonald vying for spots.

Melvin will be plenty motivated to have a big year and cash in at age 29, for what might be his last shot at a big payday.