Players shoulder the blame after Raiders fire Jack Del Rio

Players shoulder the blame after Raiders fire Jack Del Rio

CARSON – Quarterback Derek Carr sat by his locker, still absorbing Sunday’s 30-10 loss to the L.A. Chargers when a teammate showed him his phone.

The screen delivered unwelcome news. Head coach Jack Del Rio had been fired.

Owner Mark Davis informed Del Rio of the decision right after the regular-season finale, a swift action to blow out the coaching staff after a disastrous 6-10 campaign.

Del Rio broke the news himself in a postgame press conference he didn’t have to attend, at which point word spread fast across the internet. Far quicker, it seems than in the Raiders locker room.

Several players didn’t know about Davis’ decision until media entered the locker room, leaving many surprised by the move. Few wanted to address it right away.

Captain Khalil Mack left without addressing the press. Derek Carr did his best in a postgame press conference.

“We weren’t good enough for him,” Carr said. “We have to take ownership of that as players. We’re angry that we let it get to that. We understand the business part of it. Our job is to come back better and hungry. We’ve been through some hard times together, and this is right up with the tough moments. There’s nothing you can do about it now, though the wound is still fresh, but it’ll scar over. It hurts, but you have to move on.”

Players who spoke were surprised that a person they generally cared for was dismissed, and shared some responsibility for his firing.

“We didn’t see this coming,” Carr said. “We were already talking about things we needed to fix to get this thing right. We were getting ready for what’s next. For it to just be done, that’s just crazy.”

Del Rio addressed the team before being formally let go, but not after. Then he met wit Davis, announced his own firing and eventually met with Carr and Mack after news broke.

“This is our team. There’s no secret about that,” Carr said. “It’s Khalil’s and my team, and went in and hugged him, told him we loved him. He’s a man’s man. When it was hard, he stood in there and talked to us. We’re a family that needs to be better together.”

This family has some bonding to do after cracks formed inside the Raiders complex. While players publicly supported Del Rio on Sunday and throughout the year, it's naive to think everyone in the locker room loved him. Some seemed shellshocked by the news. Quite a few, however, didn't seem to care. 

Falling below expectation comes with a price, and fingers started pointing at the coaching staff when the wheels came. Firing defensive coordinator Ken Norton during the season was met with furrowed brows, and upset several team leaders, but there were problems well before that. Bringing Todd Downing on and allowing Bill Musgrave to walk also irked some after it became obvious the move had backfired. Del Rio had his supporters, but not everyone will be sad to see him leave. 

The Raiders will now look to get back on track following an off year, now working under a new coaching staff.

Carr wouldn’t speculate about the prospect of having Jon Gruden as his new head coach – it seems likely the former Raiders coach will again don silver and black – but promised the next staff will inherit a talented and motivated roster.

“We have a bunch of dogs,” Carr said. “I think anyone would tell you that. The guy who comes in next will have a bunch of angry dudes who just want to fight and compete their tail off. That’s where we go from here.”

Source: Raiders trading veteran WR Patterson to Patriots


Source: Raiders trading veteran WR Patterson to Patriots

The Raiders are trading receiver/kickoff returner Cordarrelle Patterson to the New England Patriots, a league source told NBC Sports Bay Area on Sunday afternoon.

The Raiders will receive a fifth-round pick, while sending a sixth-round pick back to New England, according to the NFL Network. Patterson must pass a physical to complete the transaction, NFL Network is also reporting.

The moved frees $3.25 million in salary cap space for a Raiders team that was up against the NFL spending threshold. Former Washington receiver Ryan Grant is reportedly visiting the Raiders’ Alameda complex soon. Grant is available after a failed physical voided his free-agent deal with Baltimore. He passed a physical in Indianapolis, NFL Network reported, but left the Colts without a contract. Grant is a surehanded target who averaged 12.7 yards per receptions and had just three drops in 63 targets. 

The Raiders will likely add another receiver if Grant doesn't come aboard. One of head coach Jon Gruden's preference could be found in the NFL draft if Grant goes elsewhere.

The Raiders also added receiver Griff Whalen, a Stanford alum who has some returning experience, before free agency began. 

Patterson proved a productive, explosive member of last year’s offense, primarily as a gadget player. Patterson finished the season with 31 catches for 309 yards, and had 13 receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns.

He never became a steady, standard receiving option, and wasn’t able to shed his reputation as a relatively poor route runner. That likely made him expendable in  Gruden’s eye. He needs quality routes and steady hands from his wideouts.

That outweighs Patterson’s prowess returning kickoffs. The two-time All-Pro averages 30.2 yards per kickoff return over five seasons, with five return touchdowns to his credit.

The Patriots are well known for excellent special teams play, and needed a returner with Dion Lewis leaving for Tennessee in free agent. The Super Bowl runners up now have a dynamic returner and gunner to pair with solid coverage and return units.

This is a developing story. Check back for further details.

Raiders 2018 offseason scorecard


Raiders 2018 offseason scorecard


Veteran additions
WR Jordy Nelson (cut by Green Bay): 2 years/$15 million, $13 million guaranteed
CB Rashaan Melvin (UFA; Indianapolis): 1 year/$6.5 million
LB Tahir Whitehead (UFA; Detroit): 3 years/$18 million, $9 million guaranteed)
S Marcus Gilchrist (UFA; Houston): 1 year
RB Doug Martin (cut by Tampa Bay): 1 year
FB Keith Smith (UFA; Dallas): 2 years/$4.2 million
TE Derek Carrier (UFA; L.A. Rams): 3 years/$7 million
DE Tank Carradine (UFA; San Francisco): 1 year
LB Kyle Wilbur (UFA; Dallas): 2 years/$3.25 million
LS Andrew DePaola (UFA; Chicago): 4 years/$4.27 million
WR Griff Whalen (but by Baltimore)

Re-signed/extensions/contract tenders offered
DT Justin Ellis (UFA): 3 years/$15 million; $6 million guaranteed)
TE Lee Smith (UFA): 3 years
K Giorgio Tavecchio (ERFA): 1 year/$555,000
DE/LB Shilique Calhoun (ERFA): 1 year/$630,000
S Erik Harris (ERFA)
DE James Cowser (ERFA)
OL Denver Krikland (ERFA)

CB Sean Smith (released)
CB David Amerson (released; Kansas City)
RT Marshall Newhouse (released)
LB Aldon Smith (released)
WR Michael Crabtree (released; Baltimore)
DL Denico Autry (UFA; Indianapolis)
CB TJ Carrie (UFA; Cleveland)
WR Cordarrelle Patterson (traded, along with a sixth-round pick, to New England for fifth-round pick)  

S Reggie Nelson (UFA)
K Sebastian Janikowski (UFA)
LB NaVorro Bowman (UFA)
LS Jon Condo (UFA)
QB EJ Manuel (UFA)
S Keith McGill (UFA)

UFA-Unrestricted free agent: Free to sign with any team
ERFA-Exclusive rights free agent: Player has no outside negotiating power

NOTE: Contract figures obtained by, league sources, NFLPA sources or

* * *

1. First round:
No. 10 overall
2. Second round:No. 41 overall
3. Third round: No. 75 overall
4. Fourth round: No. 110 overall
5. Sixth round: No. 185 overall
6. Sixth round: No. 192 overall
7. Sixth round: No. 210 overall*
8. Sixth round: No. 212 overall*
9. Sixth round: No. 216 overall*
10. Sixth round: No. 217 overall*
11. Seventh round: No. 228 overall
* compensatory pick