Raiders

2020 NFL mock draft: Raiders trading up for Tua Tagovailoa isn't crazy

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USATSI

2020 NFL mock draft: Raiders trading up for Tua Tagovailoa isn't crazy

There already has been plenty of talk this offseason about the Raiders moving on from franchise quarterback Derek Carr, with many of the rumors focused on six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady.

Brady was spotted chatting with Raiders owner Mark Davis during a recent UFC fight in Las Vegas. But CBS Sports NFL analyst Jason La Canfora has the Silver and Black taking their search for a No. 1 quarterback in a very different direction.

In his latest 2020 mock draft, La Canfora has the Raiders trading with the Detroit Lions for the No. 3 overall pick, and selecting former Alabama signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa.

Here’s how he breaks down what would be a franchise-altering deal:

"Matt Patricia learned under Bill Belichick, and with plenty of needs that he has to address, he trades down. Oakland sends picks No. 12, No. 19 and a 2021 2nd round pick to move up and draft Tua Tagovailoa. Tua has health concerns, but most are optimistic he'll be healthy, and now the Raiders can move to Las Vegas with a shiny new franchise QB."

Bringing in Tagovailoa -- who won a national championship with the Crimson Tide as a freshman and was the Heisman runner-up as a sophomore -- would fire up a fan base that grew weary of Carr’s propensity to check down.

Parting with that much draft capital might worry some fans, but shoring up the most important position on the field should be a top priority if general manager Mike Mayock truly believes the Hawaii native is an improvement over Carr.

Tua did sustain a very painful hip injury that knocked him out for the final three games of his junior season at Alabama, but the quarterback has indicated he'll be ready for training camp.

“I feel really good,” Tagovailoa told NFL Network while on Radio Row at Super Bowl LIV last week. “We’re on pace to make a full recovery.”

[RELATED: Carr unfazed by questions on Raiders future, brother says]

Any NFL team interested in Tagovailoa likely will do a thorough medical evaluation of the QB before utilizing a first-round pick on him, but having posted the highest total yards per play and passing efficiency of any collegiate player ever, any organization would be lucky to have a healthy Tua taking snaps next season.

Head coach Jon Gruden publicly has been non-committal on Carr being the QB for the first game in Vegas, despite the two having bought houses next door to each other in southern Nevada. Carr recently said he's "looking forward" to being the Week 1 starter for the Raiders.

We’ll find out in April whether Tagovailoa will be trading in the Crimson and white for the iconic Silver and Black next season.

Damarious Randall, Raiders agree to terms after Eli Apple pact dissolves

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AP

Damarious Randall, Raiders agree to terms after Eli Apple pact dissolves

The Raiders fell into some unexpected salary-cap space Thursday when their deal with Eli Apple dissolved. They wasted no time putting it to use.

They kept the investment in the secondary, agreeing on terms of a contract with defensive back Damarious Randall on Thursday night. That news comes via ESPN’s Josina Anderson, who said Randall texted her directly with news of the deal.

The 27-year old played free safety his last two years with the Cleveland Browns and cornerback the previous three with the Green Bay Packers.

Randall could pair with Johnathan Abram at safety or play outside cornerback, if that’s what is required. The Raiders have needs at both spots.

Randall and Abram seem like an ideal mix at safety, though the Raiders desperately need a starting outside cornerback opposite Trayvon Mullen. That position could get filled with remaining funds in free agency or with one of two first-round NFL draft picks.

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The 27-year-old Randall’s a proven commodity, with 16 interceptions in five NFL seasons. He didn’t have a pick last year but had four in every season before that.

Randall was traded from Green Bay to Cleveland before the 2018 season and was solid in coverage with the Browns. He was awesome in 2018, with four interceptions, five passes defensed and he allowed just a 68.8 passer rating when targeted.

The Raiders' secondary is better with Randall than it would’ve been with Apple in the mix, so this should be considered a win for the Silver and Black after a strange and unexpected turn of events.

[RELATED: McKinney headlines top DB prospects for Raiders to target]

Las Vegas has three solid pieces of its secondary with Randall, Abram and Mullen. Lamarcus Joyner is expected to man the slot again in 2020, with just one more void left to fill.

The Raiders have upgraded several defensive positions, including some at every level of the unit. The team should be significantly better on that side of the ball, especially if they hit on a defensive player high in the draft.

Source: Eli Apple, Raiders don't finalize contract in free agency

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USATSI

Source: Eli Apple, Raiders don't finalize contract in free agency

The Raiders agreed in principle on terms of a one-year deal with Eli Apple last month. It was worth $6 million, bringing the former first-round pick into the Silver and Black’s defensive backfield.

A league source with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed the agreement on March 18, but the deal never came across the transaction wire as many other Raiders additions had. Turns out there was a good reason for that.

The deal was never finalized, and now it never will be. The pact has been dissolved, a league source confirmed Thursday, making Apple an unrestricted free agent once again. ESPN's Adam Schefter first reported the news. An inabilty to get a physical was at issue, though it's uncertain at this time if a deadline was missed. 

The money earmarked for Apple is now Raiders' salary-cap space moving forward, leaving roughly $11 million remaining at this stage. The Silver and Black need $9.4 million to sign their draft picks as currently slotted, per Over the Cap.

Apple was set to be an option to start at outside cornerback opposite Travyon Mullen, thought he didn’t eliminate the team’s need at the position. The Raiders were expected to add one in the draft, quite possibly in the first round.

[RELATED: Why Nick Kwiatkoski thought Raiders were 'best fit' in NFL free agency]

That could certainly happen now, and as early as No. 12 overall, as the Silver and Black look for a plug-and-play option from the college ranks.

There are some veteran options on the market, including last year’s starter Daryl Worley. The Cincinnati Bengals cut Dre Kirkpatrick this week, and he knows Paul Guenther’s defense from their time together in Cincinnati. Logan Ryan, Aqib Talib and Prince Amukamara also remain on the open market.

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