Raiders

Antonio Brown's agent aims to fix receiver's relationship with Raiders

Antonio Brown's agent aims to fix receiver's relationship with Raiders

ALAMEDA -- Antonio Brown’s agent is doing damage control yet again this summer, trying to put the Raiders receiver’s actions back in a flattering light.

Drew Rosenhaus has been on an involuntary media tour since training camp, first explaining why Brown stayed away to rehab his feet in Florida while the Raiders trained in Napa. Then he tried to explain away Brown leaving the team as training camp ended over frustrations with his helmet.

Now Rosnehaus is putting out fires after Brown was asked to stay away from the Raiders facility following an intense altercation with general manager Mike Mayock during Wednesday’s practice.

Brown isn’t expected to play Monday night against Denver, but the Raiders haven’t formally suspended him. NFL Network reports that Brown might remain on the roster but just be inactive. That move would lock in Brown’s $14.6 million base salary for 2019. If he were suspended, the Raiders could come after his $30 million guaranteed in his recent three-year extension with the team.

Rosenhaus said he has been in contact with the Raiders, including Mayock, and is working with them to avoid a suspension.

“I believe he wants to be an Oakland Raider,” Rosenhaus said in a Thursday interview with NFL Network. “I believe he wants to play. I believe he’s going to have a great season. I believe some things that have happened were outside of his control. The foot injury was not his doing. The helmet, we tried to address that professionally. We got it worked out. I think moving forward everything can work out.

“We’ve had some bumps in the road, but he’s had an incredible career. We had some setbacks recently, but I’m confident we can get back to doing the great things that the Raiders signed him to do. That’s my intention. That’s my job.”

Rosenhaus said there was no formal timeline for a decision by the team. Brown was told to stay away from the facility, but he remains in Oakland after Wednesday’s incident.

Rosenhaus was asked about Brown’s mental state after all this preseason drama, and the agent, as you’d expect, said Brown is fine and that “there’s no issue in that capacity.”

He has also talked with the Raiders and Brown about curtailing his social media activity, which incensed Mayock Wednesday morning. Brown posted a letter on his Instagram Stories account showing a letter of the Raiders fining him roughly $54,000 for two unexcused absences.

“That’s something that we’ve discussed with Antonio and the team,” Rosenhaus said, “and we’re trying to all get on the same page moving forward.”

[RELATED: Raiders are prepared for life without AB]

Rosenhaus is trying to mend fences after the messy situation, one that got tense on the practice field on Wednesday.

“My objective is to get things worked out between Antonio and the Raiders so he can fulfill his contract and do what they brought him in to do,” Rosenhaus said. “I don’t think it’s too late to salvage that relationship. That’s what we’re working on.”

Raiders going 'all hands on deck' with Dion Jordan, D.J. Swearinger

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USATSI

Raiders going 'all hands on deck' with Dion Jordan, D.J. Swearinger

ALAMEDA -- Dion Jordan hasn’t been a Raider long. He signed with the team on Friday and formally joined the team on Tuesday after his NFL-imposed suspension ended, leaving some question whether he’d be ready to play right away.

That answer’s already becoming clear. Defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said the defensive lineman should don silver and black soon.

“Absolutely,” Guenther said. “I think there’s a very good chance he makes his Raiders debut.”

Jordan isn’t the only new guy ready to make a contribution. Safety D.J. Swearinger should step right in, possibly playing a significant role in this Bengals game with Karl Joseph now on injured reserve.

“I do [expect Swearinger to play],” Guenther said. “It’s all hands on deck this week with the guys we got.”

Swearinger seemed to have better odds of making an instant impact. He came in on Friday and his transition has been smooth after playing in a similar defense while with Arizona earlier this year.

“You know, coming from Arizona, Vance Joseph is the defensive coordinator there,” Guenther said. “He was my secondary coach when I was in Cincinnati, so he’s used to kind of the same terminology. When we got him here I was like, ‘hey this is this coverage, this is that coverage,’ and he shook his head, ‘yeah I got it.’ So that was helpful. And he’s a smart guy to begin with so he’s picked it up really good.”

Jordan had to show well in Thursday’s practice, a higher-tempo workout with one-on-one pass-rush drills. Jordan is in fantastic shape but hasn’t played all season while serving a 10-game ban for using Adderall. The Raiders really need Jordon to fortify a thin defensive end group worked hard during the past few games. 

[RELATED: Jordan ready to work, realize full potential with Raiders]

Jordan will bring some fresh legs, even if he’s only available on obvious passing downs.

“He’s big and long. He’s getting into football shape, and has really helped us out,” Guenther said. “He’s picking up the playbook quick, so he was in working with the first team at some points today.”

Derek Carr comfortable spreading ball around in Raiders' passing game

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AP

Derek Carr comfortable spreading ball around in Raiders' passing game

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr beat the Detroit Lions with a tiebreaking, game-winning drive in the fourth quarter. The Raiders quarterback completed two passes to Jalen Richard for chunk yards and another to Hunter Renfrow for a touchdown. Mix in some runs and that accounts for 75 yards with the game on the line.

Carr orchestrated another game-winner at the Coliseum the following Thursday night against the Chargers, connecting with Richard, then Renfrow, then Richard, the Renfrow, then Richard again. That set up Josh Jacobs’ 18-yard touchdown run to beat the Bolts.

Tyrell Williams and Darren Waller were in the pattern on both series. Carr enjoys going to the Raiders' top targets in big moments, but they’re typically blanketed with additional coverage.

Carr isn’t one to force the issue when a path of less resistance comes available, allowing the Raiders to steadily work down the field even in a time crunch.

He doesn’t have to worry about egos or demands for the darn ball when he gets back to the huddle. The Raiders share a singular focus, and that helps the quarterback operate under pressure and in times of less stress.

“It is so special and it’s very rare nowadays. We do not care about fantasy numbers, we do not care about stats, we don’t care about anything but winning,” Carr said. “And if they are going to take Waller away, the way we are going to have to win games is for someone else to step up and win their matchup. If they are going to take the pass game away, myself and our pass game, then Josh has to win it with our offensive line. If they want to take Josh away, then our guys have to win outside.”

Carr has worked with several top receivers and tight ends, with egos of varying sizes. His past experiences have been, at times, worse than this one.

“We as a team, we have such a good group of skill position guys that do not care about that stuff and, as you know, that’s rare especially nowadays when everything is on social media,” Carr said. “If you don’t get enough fantasy points, people are tweeting you and all this kind of stuff. I promise you no one on our team cares about that stuff even a little bit.”

Waller has been the best Raiders receiver in fantasy and the real world. His 51 catches for 588 yards rank first by a large margin, yet Carr has seven receivers with at least 12 catches.

Waller’s seeing the ball go in different directions by garnering extra attention, but he’s happy others are stepping up.

“It’s really cool, but I’m not really surprised,” Waller said. “They’ve been doing it. They’ve been showing themselves in practice from spring until now. It’s just a chance for everyone else to see it now. We’ve seen it for a while so, but it’s awesome to see.”

[RELATED: Jordan ready to work, realize full potential with Raiders]

That attitude comes from a team-first dynamic built by weathering so much adversity through the season. This group has bonded over all that and is playing better than the sum of its parts because of it.

“We care about each other; we care about seeing each other succeed,” Carr said. “That’s why if you ever watch our team, whenever someone scores a touchdown you don’t see anyone on the field like, ‘Man, that should have been my ball or man, that should have been me.’ Nobody cares about that stuff. We just cared that our buddy scored and we are going to win the football game.”