Raiders

Antonio Brown vows to not play in NFL again, hints at filing grievance

abfaceusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Antonio Brown vows to not play in NFL again, hints at filing grievance

Antonio Brown claimed Sunday that he'll never play in the NFL again -- and then fired off a series of tweets that could ensure exactly that.

The mercurial wide receiver opened the morning with a Twitter rant, hinting at contract grievances against the Raiders and the Patriots, both of whom released him earlier this month, before turning his ire toward prominent league figures with legal histories.

Brown lost $29.125 million in guarantees that the Raiders voided after the receiver's reported run-in with general manager Mike Mayock. Brown also stands to lose a $9 million signing bonus from the Patriots, who are due to make the first payment Monday but likely will not want to do so.

Brown can seek recourse with a grievance filed through the NFL Players Association, and it appears that's what he plans to do. It's unclear if he'll seek recourse against the Raiders, Patriots, or both.

Brown had taken a cordial tone toward the Patriots even after they cut him, but that all changed Sunday with the specter of the signing bonus being gone. So, first in Brown's sights was Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who reportedly was enraged by the receiver's threatening text messages to a woman who told Sports Illustrated that Brown made unwanted sexual advances toward her. After those text messages surfaced, Kraft decided Brown was done in New England.

"Caught in the parlor" is in reference to Kraft being charged with soliciting prostitution at a South Florida massage parlor earlier this year. Florida officials said last week that they still intend to prosecute Kraft on those charges.

The next target was former NFL tight end Shannon Sharpe, who has been a vocal critic of Brown on Twitter and his FS1 show "Undisputed."

And then it was Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, with whom Brown had a rocky relationship, leading to the receiver's exit from Pittsburgh after last season.

He later deleted the tweets criticizing Kraft, Sharpe and Roethlisberger.

Brown finished his rant by praising a Patriots fan who threatened Sports Illustrated writer Robert Klemko, who broke the news about further allegations against the receiver. That tweet also has been deleted. 

Brown reportedly had drawn interest from NFL teams, even as the league investigates the sexual-assault claims against him. It'd be surprising if that interest remains after another instance of Brown going off the rails.

Raiders' primary objective vs. Titans: Stop 'machine' Derrick Henry

Raiders' primary objective vs. Titans: Stop 'machine' Derrick Henry

ALAMEDA -- Ryan Tannehill is receiving credit for Tennessee’s recent resurgence. That’s appropriate given how well the former backup quarterback has been playing during a 5-1 stretch since becoming the starter.

Let’s not forget who’s really driving the Titans' offense. That’s the 6-foot-3, 247-pound freight train coming out of the backfield.

Derrick Henry has been a monster this season, proving as tough to take down as ever. He has 1,140 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground, currently on a run of three straight games with at least 145 yards and a touchdown.

A repeat performance on Sunday against the Raiders at Oakland Coliseum would make Henry the only player to do so in four straight games.

The Raiders would like to prevent that and are armed with the No. 12-ranked run defense. They’ll try to slow a back that never seems to wear down.

“The secret sauce in Henry is he’s got all the talent, and size, and running instincts, but he never tires,” Raiders head coach Jon Gruden said. “He does not get tired. He’s a machine, man. This guy wears you down -- physical -- he can wear you down. You’ve got to gang tackle him. He’s a better-than-advertised receiver, but he just never tires. The more they give him the ball, the better he gets. It’s an impressive human being.”

Tannehill obviously benefits from Henry’s threat and a balanced offense that has the Titans going strong. Stopping the run, or slowing it at least, will be key for the Raiders' defense in this important game. It will not, however, be easy.

“We’re looking forward to the challenge, but we know it’ll be a challenge dealing with Superman Derrick Henry,” defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins said on this week’s Raiders Talk podcast. "... He’s a great back. He’s big. He’s fast. He sheds tackles like there are kids trying to tackle him. I think, overall, we have to do a good job of keeping him in the backfield and not giving him open lanes or creases to work. We also need to hit him as much as we can, because he’s a big guy. Overall, I think we’re ready for the challenge. I’m excited for this game.”

[RELATED: Raiders' offense takes big hit with Brown out vs. Titans]

It’ll take the entire defensive unit playing disciplined football to slow Henry down. Give him an inch of space or leverage or poor tackling technique and he’ll take chunk yards by the mile.

“I just think you’ve got to be in good position,” defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. “You’ve got to have eleven guys to the ball. You’ve got to play the blocks. First and foremost, you’ve got to be in the right spots, play the block, and then when he gets through there you’ve got to have eleven guys to the ball. He does a good job of trying to get extra yards, so we’ve got to put hats on him wherever he is, on his body as he’s trying to get those extra yards. We’ve got to make sure we get eleven to him.”

Raiders launch Josh Jacobs' NFL Rookie of the Year campaign online

Raiders launch Josh Jacobs' NFL Rookie of the Year campaign online

ALAMEDA – The Raiders have launched a campaign to help running back Josh Jacobs become the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.

They have opened a website extolling his virtues. They have passed out buttons. They even have fullback and "chief of interior transportation" Alec Ingold giving a fireside chat about how awesome Jacobs has been in 2019.

The promotional materials may draw some extra attention, but Jacobs’ case is easy to make.

He has smashed every Raiders rookie rushing record. He exceeded 1,000 yards in his 12th game and will have huge totals even if he isn’t able to play Sunday against Tennessee. He’s formally questionable with a fractured shoulder he's been playing through since trucking Green Bay safety Adrian Amos in Week 7.

His numbers are pretty awesome. Jacobs has 218 carries 1,061 yards and seven touchdowns. That’s 4.9 yards per carry, and he ranks fifth in the NFL in total rushing yards. He also has another 18 receptions 146 yards.

The competition must always be considered, but he has to be the frontrunner after winning back-to-back rookie of the month awards.

Arizona's No. 1 overall pick Kyler Murray is certainly a candidate, but the Cardinals don’t have many wins. Washington receiver Terry McLaurin and Baltimore wideout Marquise Brown have had good seasons, but they shouldn’t be considered serious competition here.

The Raiders haven’t had an offensive rookie of the year since Marcus Allen won it in 1982, and Jacobs has smashed Allen’s records from that strike-shortened year. Charles Woodson was the last rookie of the year on either side of the ball, winning the defensive award in 1998.

[RELATED: NFL prospects for Raiders to watch on Championship Weekend]

Jacobs’ shoulder injury could hurt the campaign more than anything, especially if he misses a few games or gets shut down for the rest of the season if the playoffs become a distant pipe dream.

Outside of that, he should be the favorite to win the award heading down the stretch.