Raiders

Marshawn leads four Raiders in Top 20 of NFL's best-selling jerseys

Marshawn leads four Raiders in Top 20 of NFL's best-selling jerseys

NFL training camps have been open for less than a week and Tom Brady is already on top of the league once again.

The Patriots’ superstar quarterback ranks No. 1 in merchandise sales in a list compiled by the NFL players union.

The list is based on total sales of all officially licensed NFL player merchandise tracking year-to-date results from March 1 to May 31.

Brady, who won his record fifth Super Bowl in February, was joined at the top of the list by Dallas Cowboys teammates running back Ezekiel Elliott (No. 2) and quarterback Dak Prescott (No. 3). Two more Cowboys were also in the top 10 in wide receiver Dez Bryant (No. 6) and tight end Jason Witten (No. 10).

Colin Kaepernick came in at 39th on the list, the only player in the top 50 who’s not on a team.

Kaepernick, the starter in San Francisco’s Super Bowl appearance after the 2012 season, made waves in 2016 when he decided to sit and then kneel during the national anthem before games. He played 12 games for the 49ers last year, throwing 16 TD passes against just four interceptions. But he has yet to find a home for the upcoming season.

Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch, who returned to the league after a one-year absence, was at No. 4 and Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson rounded out the top five.

The rest of the top 10 included Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (No. 7), Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (No. 8), and Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (No. 9), who cracked the top 10 for the first time.

“It’s really an honor to not only be on this list, but be among the top 10 players,” Brown said in a statement.

“Being a part of Steelers Nation means having some of the best fan support in the league. But more than that, this list shows just how passionate fans of all players are.”

The top 50 player sales list is released quarterly by the NFLPA, via its licensing and marketing arm NFL Players Inc. It is based on overall sales of all NFL player licensed products via online and traditional retail outlets.

Top 50 Player Sales Report YTD (March 1-May 31, 2017)

1. Tom Brady, QB, New England Patriots
2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
3. Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys
4. Marshawn Lynch, RB, Oakland Raiders
5. Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks
6. Dez Bryant, WR, Dallas Cowboys
7. Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
8. Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants
9. Antonio Brown, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
10. Jason Witten, TE, Dallas Cowboys
11. Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders
12. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles
13. Von Miller, LB, Denver Broncos
14. Khalil Mack, DE, Oakland Raiders
15. Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
16. Rob Gronkowski, TE, New England Patriots
17. Amari Cooper, WR, Oakland Raiders
18. Julian Edelman, WR, New England Patriots
19. J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans
20. Richard Sherman, CB, Seattle Seahawks
21. Clay Matthews, LB, Green Bay Packers
22. Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers
23. Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh Steelers
24. James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
25. Jordy Nelson, WR, Green Bay Packers
26. Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
27. Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
28. Deshaun Watson, QB, Houston Texans
29. Luke Kuechly, LB, Carolina Panthers
30. Le’Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
31. Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks
32. Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints
33. Golden Tate, WR, Detroit Lions
34. Tyler Lockett, WR, Seattle Seahawks
35. A.J. Green, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
36. Eli Manning, QB, New York Giants
37. Demaryius Thomas, WR, Denver Broncos
38. Stefon Diggs, WR, Minnesota Vikings
39. Colin Kaepernick, QB, Free Agent
40. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
41. Kam Chancellor, S, Seattle Seahawks
42. David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
43. Harrison Smith, S, Minnesota Vikings
44. NaVorro Bowman, LB, San Francisco 49ers
45. Adrian Peterson, RB, New Orleans Saints
46. Jordan Howard, RB, Chicago Bears
47. Jarvis Landry, WR, Miami Dolphins
48. Kirk Cousins, QB, Washington Redskins
49. Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals
50. Alshon Jeffery, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

Raiders fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

Raiders fire defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr.

Ken Norton Jr.'s time with the Raiders is up.

With the team underperforming, Oakland has fired Norton as the defensive coordinator, the team announced Tuesday afternoon. John Pagano will handle the play calling duties when the Raiders take on the Broncos this Sunday.

Head coach Jack Del Rio issued the following statement regarding the news:

“After careful thought, I have made a difficult decision to part ways with Ken Norton, Jr. as defensive coordinator. I have the utmost respect for Ken as a person and as a coach, but I feel that moving John Pagano into the play-calling role will best utilize his wealth of experience. I appreciate Ken’s passion and commitment to the Raiders since coming aboard and wish him the best going forward.”

The Raiders defense under Norton this season ranks 26th in the NFL in yards allow per game (367.0), is allowing 24.7 points per game and has yet to record an interception through 10 games.

"We played under our talent level. Those things come with consequences," defensive lineman Justin Ellis told reporters shortly after the news broke.

"The axe fell on all of us. We love Coach Norton. We didn’t want to see this happen," safety Reggie Nelson said.

Norton joined Del Rio's staff prior to the 2015 season.

Raiders will face a familiar foe calling plays for Broncos

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USATI

Raiders will face a familiar foe calling plays for Broncos

ALAMEDA – The Denver Broncos shook up their coaching staff prior to Sunday’s game with the Raiders, firing offensive coordinator Mike McCoy and promoting quarterbacks coach Bill Musgrave to that spot.

The name should sound familiar to anyone who doesn’t suffer Dory-style short-term memory loss. Musgrave was the Raiders offensive coordinator in 2015 and 2016 and introduced a system still used in these parts, to far greater effect.

Musgrave orchestrated the No. 6-ranked offense last year, with 120 rushing yards and 253 passing yards per game. They were seventh with 26 points per game.

Head coach Jack Del Rio still decided to let Musgrave’s contract expire. The two didn’t always agree, and the Raiders chose to keep the coveted Downing in house with a promotion.

The offense has not maintained previous course.

All those numbers are down under new coordinator Todd Downing, largely operating with the same talent base plus receiving tight end Jared Cook.

They’re averaging 50 less yards and 5.5 fewer points, thus far.

Del Rio was asked on his 95.7-FM radio show whether he regretting making the switch. His answer was swift and direct.

“No, I do not,” Del Rio said. “And I wish (Musgrave) the best this week. Really, I do.”

Del Rio doesn’t wish him too well heading into an important matchup at Oakland Coliseum. The Broncos offense has struggled mightily this season, and will go with 2016 first-round pick Paton Lynch for the first time this season.

Del Rio insists the Raiders are going up against the system, not the new (yet familiar) play caller.

“You can’t change dramatically what you’ve done with your system in Week 12 or Week 13,” Del Rio said. “We’ll prepare ourselves and be ready to go against the system. Understand that there may be some things that Bill likes a little more than what Mike might do.”

The Raiders know Musgrave well and vice versa, which should make for an intriguing chess match at Oakland Coliseum.