Source: Rookie QB Cook expected to start for Raiders in Houston

Source: Rookie QB Cook expected to start for Raiders in Houston

UPDATE (Wednesday morning at 10:35am PT) -- Connor Cook will start against the Texans on Saturday, the Raiders announced.


ALAMEDA – The Raiders haven’t formally announced their starting quarterback for Saturday’s playoff opener against the Houston Texans.

Their intentions aren’t a well-kept secret. Connor Cook is expected to make his first NFL start in the playoffs, something no player in league history has done.

Raiders players discussed that fact on Tuesday, and a league source confirmed it later in the afternoon.

NFL Network first reported Tuesday morning that the Raiders were operating with the expectation Cook would start.

The fourth-round pick out of Michigan State was thrust into action midway through Sunday’s 24-6 loss at Denver after Matt McGloin injured his neck/shoulder.

Having Cook start isn’t just based upon health. Cook fared better that McGloin against Denver, something clear to Raiders coaches after analyzing the game tape.

It’s also uncertain how much McGloin will be able to practice, and the Raiders need to get a quarterback ready to play an important game on a short week.

The Raiders believe Cook is the healthier and better option, one who can get the job done against the Texans. While most haven’t worked with Cook much this regular season, they believe he can execute under the bright lights.

“(Cook) has really worked hard, all the way from training camp,” running back Jalen Richard said. “I would say he’s one of the hardest working rookies on the team. He was working on his craft every day after practice, not knowing when his moment would come.

“Look at him now. His moment is here. I feel like he’s ready for it, and we have all the confidence in him.”

Cook was 14-for-21 for 150 yards passing, one touchdown and an interception. He also fumbled twice and lost one. He also orchestrated the Raiders’ only touchdown drive since Derek Carr broke his right fibula in Week 16. Cook has arm talent and poist in the pocket, which he flashed at times against Denver. 

“I think he did a pretty good job, especially coming in after having not played all year,” receiver Amari Cooper said. “He did a nice job going through his reads and stepping up in the pocket and making some good throws.

“He was really good out there. He was talking us up and making sure we stayed encouraged out there. I really like him.”

The Raiders are expected to start a third different quarterback in as many weeks. Cook faces a difficult task. He will lead the team into the playoffs and the Raiders have to find a way to establish chemistry and a game plan that works for a player who hasn’t seen many practice reps during the regular season. He hadn’t worked with the starting lineup before last week, and ran some plays against Denver he had never practiced.

The Raiders have to make the best of the situation, especially those employed to work in cohesion with the quarterback.

“We have to rally around him,” Cooper said, “and make him confident in us by getting open and things like that.”

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 scoreboard


Raiders 2018 offseason scoreboard


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