Concussed Raiders return to practice


Concussed Raiders return to practice

ALAMEDA -- Starting middle linebacker Rolando McClain and reserve cornerbackkickoff returner Coye Francies, both of whom suffered concussions against Miami, were practicing Thursday.And while there were on the field for the non-contact practice, lending credence to the notion they might play against Pittsburgh, it does not mean they have been totally cleared to play as part of the NFL's concussion protocol.Also, there was no sign of either right tackle Khalif Barnes (groin) or cornerback Shawntae Spencer (right foot).McClain, Francies, Barnes and Spencer were the only four Raiders players to not practice on Wednesday.

Raiders sign talented but troubled ex-Panthers cornerback


Raiders sign talented but troubled ex-Panthers cornerback

The Raiders signed cornerback Daryl Worley on Monday afternoon, in a move that adds talent and starting experience to the position group.

Worley also comes with baggage. The Philadelphia Eagles released him on April 15 following an incident near the team facility where he was reportedly arrested on suspicion of DUI and was tased by police after becoming confrontational. He was arrested after being found passed out in a vehicle blocking a highway.

He has been charged with six offenses, including DUI, resisting arrest and weapons charges. He has a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 1.

The Eagles let Worley go just weeks after acquiring him in trade from Carolina for receiver Torrey Smith. 

The 23-year old has been a solid player in two seasons since being selected in the third round of the 2016 NFL draft. He has 25 starts to his credit, with 152 tackles, three interceptions and 19 passes defensed in 31 games played.

The West Virginia alum – he played with Karl Joseph in the Mountaineers secondary – could feature prominently among the Raiders top three cornerbacks alongside Gareon Conley and Rashaan Melvin.

Leon Hall and Shareece Wright highlight the team’s backup options.

Worley’s regular-season availability could be in jeopardy. He could face punishment from the NFL in addition to criminal charges. The league could suspend him if found in violation of the league’s substance abuse or personal conduct policies. Time will tell if the league levies punitive action.

This signing should not eliminate the prospect of taking a defensive back high in this NFL draft. Denzel Ward and Minkah Fitzpatrick are considered options at No. 10 overall.

Raiders exercise Amari Cooper's fifth-year option

Raiders exercise Amari Cooper's fifth-year option

Amari Cooper’s rookie contract has been extended.

The Raiders exercised their fifth-year option on 2015’s No. 4 overall pick, the team announced on Monday, keeping the receiver under contract through the 2019 season. The Silver and Black plan on keep Cooper around far longer than that, with an eye toward a long-term extension down the road.

“We really like Amari,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said Friday.

McKenzie wouldn’t commit to exercising his fifth-year option during his pre-draft press conference, though exercising it was never in doubt.

Cooper will make $13.9 million in 2019, a sum that stems from averaging the top 10 salaries among players at his position. The option is guaranteed for injury only right now, but becomes fully guaranteed on the third day of the 2019 league year.

Cooper has been excellent early in his NFL career, with 2,903 yards and 18 touchdowns in three professional seasons. Last year was his worst, with just 680 yards and effectiveness lost due to injury.

Cooper is just 23 years old, with a bright future ahead if he can stay healthy.

Head coach Jon Gruden has said Cooper will be the passing game’s primary weapon in his new offensive scheme.

"He has to get healthy and stay healthy," Gruden said. "We need him to be the player he was the first two years. I've said it earlier. We're going to make him the main vein of our passing offense and move him around a lot. "…We are really excited about him. I think he's entering the prime of his career. "