Raiders snap count: RB Washington back in the mix vs Chargers

Raiders snap count: RB Washington back in the mix vs Chargers

SAN DIEGO – Raiders running back DeAndre Washington hasn’t been on the injury report all season, yet was inactive for two games and barely used in a third leading into Sunday’s road contest at San Diego.

Coaches like the fifth-round rookie from Texas Tech, but he fell victim to a numbers game where the Raiders had game-day needs at other positions. He plays a bit like Jalen Richard, and the coaching staff had to make a hard choice.

In Sunday’s victory over the Chargers, Washington got back on the map. He had five carries for 23 yards, including a 12-yard scamper on a key second-quarter touchdown drive.

He also had an 11-yard catch and a 20-yard kickoff return to help the Raiders go. Latavius Murray remains the lead dog, and Richard had six carries for 36 yards.

While Washington added depth to the running back position, the Raiders stuck with their best on defense. Linebackers Malcolm Smith and Perry Riley, safeties Nate Allen and Reggie Nelson, and cornerbacks David Amerson and Sean Smith played every defensive snap.

Edge rusher Bruce Irvin played 96 percent of their defensive snaps, and had six tackles and two sacks against the Chargers.

Receiver Amari Cooper only had one catch for 28 yards with top corner Casey Hayward shadowing him. Michael Crabtree was Derek Carr’s favored option, with six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown on eight targets.

Let’s take a look at the entire Raiders snap count:

62 – OL Donald Penn, OL Gabe Jackson, OL Kelechi Osemele, OL Austin Howard, OL Rodney Hudson, QB Derek Carr
51 – WR Amari Cooper
45 – TE Clive Walford, WR Michael Crabtree
33 – WR Seth Roberts
31 – RB Latavius Murray
21 – TE Mychal Rivera
20 – FB Jamize Olawale, Menelik Watson
18 – RB Jalen Richard
16 – WR Andre Holmes
10 – DeAndre Washington

55 – S Nate Allen, LB Perry Riley, LB Malcolm Smith, S Reggie Nelson, CB David Amerson, CB Sean Smith
53 – LB Bruce Irvin
50 – DE Khalil Mack
42 – DL Denico Autry
34 – CB TJ Carrie
31 – DL Jihad Ward
24 – DL Darius Latham
17 – NT Justin Ellis
13 – DT Dan Williams
7 – DE James Cowser
4 – Branden Jackson

21 – Daren Bates
18 – Jamize Olawale, Andre Holmes, Brynden Trawick, Taiwan Jones
17 – Keith McGill
15 – Tyrell Adams
14 – Cory James
11 – Johnny Holton, Sebastian Janikowski
9 – Jalen Richard, TJ Carrie, Jon Feliciano
8 – Dexter McDonald, Jon Condo, Marquette King
7 – Darius Latham, James Cowser
6 –Nate Allen
5 – Donald Penn, Gabe Jackson, Kelechi Osemele, Austin Howard, Clive Walford, Mychal Rivera, Menelik Watson
4 – DeAndre Washington
3 – Khalil Mack, Denico Autry, Bruce Irvin, Justin Ellis, Dan Williams
NOTE: Snap counts taken from official NFL game book

Gruden, McKenzie set to sell Suh on the Silver and Black


Gruden, McKenzie set to sell Suh on the Silver and Black

Ndamukong Suh’s coming to Alameda. Jon Gruden, Paul Guenther and Reggie McKenzie will have a chance to make a pitch, explaining exactly why the superstar defensive tackle belongs in the Silver and Black.

McKenzie (and owner Mark Davis) would’ve relished this opportunity last time Suh was a free agent. The Raiders had plenty of cap space in 2015 but oh, so many needs coming off a 3-13 campaign, and weren’t prepared for his market value to go nuclear. McKenzie steered clear of the mushroom cloud, and Suh’s deal set a new market for defensive players.

He made $60 million over three years in Miami, but didn’t see his contract’s second half after lackluster team results and hints of inconsistent effort. The Dolphins are reportedly angling for a culture change, and didn’t think Suh would help the transition.

That put him back on the open market, with more guaranteed dollars dancing in his head. Suh’s on a free-agent tour rare in the modern NFL, where dollars are committed quick once free agency opens. Suh’s slow playing this one, thus far hopping from New Orleans to Tennessee to L.A. to see the Rams on a private jet. His charter will land in Oakland Wednesday to see what the Raiders have to offer.

There’s little doubt what Suh can bring. He might be the best interior defensive lineman east of L.A.’s Aaron Donald -- yes, there are a few other top talents -- and would be a perfect fit for Guenther’s scheme. That system needs a Geno Atkins type. He made the Guenther’s Bengals go in recent seasons, and Suh’s certainly as good or better when going strong.

The real question’s what the Raiders can offer that others can’t. The Titans and Rams have more salary-cap space, as it stands right now. The Raiders are the only non-playoff team in his bunch, with the other three seemingly on the rise.

The Raiders could champion playing with Khalil Mack. The Rams have Donald, the Titans have Jurell Casey and the Saints have Cam Jordan. Suh has made reference to the final three in interviews with Yahoo! Sports.

Gruden, however, is certainly a selling point. Several signed free agents cited the A-list head coach as an attraction to joining the Raiders. A healthy, impactful Derek Carr and Suh’s addition to the defense could make the Raiders a real contender right away, something that will obviously get brought up in Wednesday’s visit.

Suh’s an Oregon kid, and the Raiders are the closest team to home. That might help.

He could make a pros and cons list about market, state tax issues, chances of winning, coach and locker room culture, but the almighty dollar can’t be ignored.

Can the Raiders put together an attractive financial package, one that would make them truly appealing? That’s the (multi-)million dollar question?

The Raiders don’t have tons of salary-cap space. In fact they're up against the threshold, though cutting veterans without guaranteed money easily creates space. The Raiders could keep Suh’s 2018 cap number lower through a signing bonus and fat roster bonuses in future years.

Make no mistake: the cap is not an impenetrable road block. The Raiders might have to get away from contract structuring practices that McKenzie’s people used to reach excellent salary-cap standing. That’s especially true considering the monster deal given to Carr last year and the mega-extension Mack will get soon.

We say all that with one caveat. Suh’s exact team-selection criteria aren’t clear. There’s no telling if this Alameda trip could help create a robust market, or if he’s taking the Raiders seriously. Making the trip means something, however, and will at least give Gruden and Co. a chance to woo Suh, lock him down and radically change expectations for the 2018 season.

Raiders remain on a receiver hunt as their top target signs elsewhere


Raiders remain on a receiver hunt as their top target signs elsewhere

The Raiders missed out on signing Ryan Grant. The former Washington receiver visited the team’s Alameda training complex, but left without a contract and ultimately chose to sign a one-year, $5 million deal with Indianapolis.

They lost that one, but are undeterred in their quest to upgrade the receiver corps.

They already signed Jordy Nelson and let Michael Crabtree walk, hoping for steady production and quality locker room leadership in the exchange.

Cordarrelle Patterson was traded to New England on Sunday, creating a spot in the position group.

The Raiders tried to fill it with Grant. No go, no matter.

They hosted veteran Eric Decker on Tuesday, according to multiple reports. They also declared interest in Allen Hurns, a player the Jaguars released Tuesday morning.

Hurns listed the Raiders among interested teams – he said there were 10 in total – in an interview with KFNZ radio in Charlotte, N.C.

Hurns has a 1,000-yard season to his credit – his biggest year came with now-Raiders offensive coordinator Greg Olson as Jacksonville's O.C. -- and two relative down years since. Injuries have also played a part in that.

Decker had a stellar four-year run with Denver and the New York Jets, but was less effective during two seasons in Tennessee. The 31-year old has experience in the slot, and could be a productive No. 3 option in Jon Gruden’s offense.

Gruden doesn't mind working with veteran receivers, something clear from his past and willingness to add Nelson as a major contributor. 

Even if the Raiders don't land a veteran receiver, they could also look for a receiver in the NFL draft.

Amari Cooper will remain the No. 1 option. Seth Roberts has $4.45 million guaranteed in 2018. Johnny Holton, Isaac Whitney and Keon Hatcher are also on the roster.