Delaware's Nasir Adderley improved draft stock under Raiders' tutelage


Delaware's Nasir Adderley improved draft stock under Raiders' tutelage

Raiders coaches recognized excellent Senior Bowl efforts by sticking their team’s logo on a player’s helmet. Most were earned with excellent play on the Jon Gruden-led North squad.

Three were given before Saturday’s game, and former Delaware safety Nasir Adderley got one. It subbed for a captain’s “C,” acknowledging great leadership and play during Senior Bowl practices.

It was proof Adderley had an impressive week in Mobile, Ala. during this annual NFL draft showcase. He entered the game with one Raiders sticker. He left with three.

A late interception helped increase his total following a strong game that capped a solid week and surely increased his draft stock.

“He can play safety, nickel and maybe even some cornerback out there,” Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther said. “He has good feet. He’s smart. He attacks the ball well. He has done a good job for us.”

Adderley could do a good job for Guenther’s defense full-time, though the Raiders might have to use a late first-round pick or an early second-rounder to secure his services.

“It would be incredible,” Adderley said. “Anybody drafting me would be a blessing, after all the hard work over the years. It would be nice to see it manifest.

“I want to be someone they can trust, someone who is reliable. I want to be someone who can move around, and isn’t limited by anything. I’m looking to go out there and be the best me.”

[RELATED: 2019 Mock Draft 1.0]

Adderley was awesome at Delaware. He played cornerback his first two years, rotated between free safety and slot corner as a junior and played deep full-time as a senior.

He had nine interceptions and a forced fumble his last two years at Delaware, and hasn’t been weighed down by a small-school stigma to this point in the pre-draft process.

“Coming from where I went to school, there’s a frequent question I’m getting: ‘Do I have a chip on my shoulder?’” Adderley said. “I’m confident in my ability. If I do all the little things I’m supposed to do and focus on my coaching and my technique, I’m going to be just fine.”

Adderley was a big-school talent coming out of Great Valley High near Philadelphia, but created some roadblocks going to a major college program.

“That was on me,” Adderley said. “I had an interesting recruiting process. I struggled academically. I was young and immature. I didn’t understand the importance of academics, and then I got a rude wake up call. I had a good junior season (in high school), and I had dream FBS schools come to talk to me. Day after day, I was told those schools would love to have me but they couldn’t offer me because they didn’t know I was going to clear (academic standards).

“I just had to grind. Then, come senior year, I ended up on honor roll and FCS schools started to realize that. FBS schools started to realize that after I committed to Delaware, they started coming back.”

Wake Forest made a scholarship offer late. Syracuse invited him on a recruiting visit. Adderley stood by his Delaware commitment, and it hasn’t hurt him at all.

He should be one of the top safeties selected in this year’s NFL draft, and brings the versatility the Raiders covet. They also need someone who can play free safety and be a ball hawk in the back, something Adderley’s role model Earl Thomas does as well as anyone.

He won’t rest on laurels after a strong Senior Bowl, and will continue to push and prove himself at every stage of the NFL’s pre-draft process.

“I never take my foot off the gas,” Adderley said. “Someone’s always working. I want to be one of the best to ever do it, so I’m not going to settle. I’m moving on to the next chapter. I’m thankful to have had a good college career, but I’m ready to make a difference.”

Why Antonio Brown might hate Patriots as he did Raiders after release


Why Antonio Brown might hate Patriots as he did Raiders after release

Antonio Brown famously celebrated when the Raiders released him two weeks ago, shouting he was “free” of a team he believed had wronged him by voiding $29.125 million in contract guarantees over a reported run-in with general manager Mike Mayock.

Brown was released again Friday, when the Patriots decided enough was enough, but the wide receiver was much kinder to Bill Belichick and Co. in the aftermath. He tweeted a thank-you message to Belichick, and his appreciative Instagram post to Tom Brady even drew a three-hearts response from the quarterback.

All love likely will be lost, however, if the Patriots follow the Raiders’ lead and try to void the money it once guaranteed Brown. And, as ESPN’s Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler pointed out, that’s quite possible.

When Brown joined the Patriots, he received a $1 million fully guaranteed salary and a $9 million signing bonus. By ESPN’s calculation, Brown was paid $158,333 in salary and roster bonuses by the Patriots, who now can argue that the personal-conduct nature of his release allows them to void the remaining $850,000 or so in guaranteed money. It’s the same argument the Raiders made when they wiped Brown’s guarantees off their books, which angered the receiver.

Now, here’s where the Patriots likely went wrong and the Raiders did not (yes, you read that correctly).

ESPN reported that Oakland, unlike New England, did not include signing-bonus money in Brown’s contract. And while the Patriots haven’t yet paid the receiver the first installment of his bonus — that’s due Monday, for $5 million — a league source told ESPN “the team's way out of it is through a representation warranty clause that says it's a breach of contract if Brown didn't disclose an existing situation that would have prevented his continued availability” — like his former trainer’s sexual-assault lawsuit against him, or the other allegations that since have been revealed.

If the Patriots refuse to pay Brown his signing-bonus money next week and the remaining $4 million on Jan. 15, the NFL Players Association surely will back the receiver. A source told ESPN that the union sees signing bonuses as "money earned” — no matter when payments are scheduled — and NFL contract language makes it even more complicated to void a guaranteed signing bonus.

So, if the Patriots come for that $9 million, they can expect Brown and the union to file a grievance — and to have a strong case. The NFLPA also doesn’t want to allow teams to escape lucrative signing bonuses promised to players, so it would fight hard for Brown.

[RELATED: AB's departure shows true nature of 'The Patriot Way']

The Raiders, meanwhile, are on much stronger footing, with Brown’s documented personal-conduct issues and no signing bonus in his now-voided contract. Their focus is on Sunday’s road game against the Minnesota Vikings, not a messy money fight, like what might now await the Patriots.

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NFL issues statement on ex-Raider Antonio Brown's status after release

NFL issues statement on ex-Raider Antonio Brown's status after release

We have yet another chapter in the seemingly never-ending Antonio Brown saga.

The NFL released a statement Friday night updating the league’s position on the former Raiders wide receiver’s recent conduct.

The most interesting note here is that due to Brown’s status as an unrestricted free agent, the league cannot place him on the commissioner’s exempt list, which would essentially place AB on paid leave from the NFL until the league is through with its investigating.

“As long as Mr. Brown is a free agent, placement on the commissioner’s exempt list is not appropriate," a league spokesperson wrote. "If he is signed by a club, such placement may become appropriate at any time depending on the status of the investigation.”

Brown was released by the New England Patriots on Friday, just 11 days after the team signed the embattled receiver following a very public war of words with the Raiders and the team’s front office. 

AB has also been accused by multiple women of sexual assault in recent weeks, including in a federal lawsuit filed by his former trainer, Britney Taylor.

A Sports Illustrated article published this week highlighted the other allegation -- from a former artist of Brown’s -- who he reportedly sent threatening messages to after the allegations surfaced.

[RELATED: Antonio Brown's swift release highlights true nature of 'Patriot Way']

For now, Brown remains in the free agency pool with hundreds of other players hoping to sign with an NFL team. 

As the negative headlines continue to stack up, it’s looking increasingly likely that AB has used up all of his goodwill in finding a new employer.