Raiders

Erik Harris makes it home for son's birth without missing beat for Raiders

erikharrisraidersap.jpg
AP

Erik Harris makes it home for son's birth without missing beat for Raiders

ALAMEDA -- NFL teams take charter flights to and from away games. They come in a day or two early, play in a hostile environment, and immediately head back to the airport and on home.

Raiders safety Erik Harris had a separate itinerary following Sunday night’s 28-20 loss to the host Miami Dolphins. He flew commercial from South Florida to Houston and back to New Orleans to be with his wife, Theresa, for the birth of their fourth child.

Those events don’t follow a schedule. Kids come on their own time, so Harris kept fingers crossed that he would be able to play the Dolphins and be present when his son entered the world.

Harris just made it. He arrived after midnight, and Ellis Quinn Harris was born the next day.

“This was my fourth, but felt the same as the first,” Harris said Wednesday. “You can explain the moment to people, but you really have to go through it to truly understand it. It’s just incredible, and I’m so glad I was able to be there.”

That seemed unlikely at first.

“When we originally found out the due date, it was three days after we got back from London (on Oct. 15),” Harris said. “She usually goes early, I was worried I was going to be in London, and that would’ve been stressful being so far away.”

Theresa Harris was supposed to give birth in their home state of Pennsylvania, but that wasn’t possible with the new baby coming soon.

“Plans changed, but we made some halftime adjustments,” Harris said. “Everything worked out great for us.”

It didn’t last long. Harris had to get back to work the next day. He took the older sons to school, picked them up early for a trip to Chuck E. Cheese, and then went back to the hospital to be with his wife, mother-in-law and newborn son.

Then an Uber took him to the airport for a flight bound for Oakland. He arrived at 1 a.m. Wednesday and immediately started prepping for Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Browns.

Harris posted some photos of a whirlwind day for his growing family. 

Harris obviously wishes he could stay with his family during an important time, but he thanked his mother-in-law and local support system for allowing him to get back to work on a season where this special teams standout is getting a real chance to make an impact on defense.

“When I’m here, this is priority because it affects my family,” Harris said. “I take this very seriously, but I was anxious to get home to be there with my family. I couldn’t get there fast enough.”

Why one NFL exec sees Tom Brady-to-Raiders as QB’s 'fallback position'

Why one NFL exec sees Tom Brady-to-Raiders as QB’s 'fallback position'

When there's smoke, there's fire. And until Tom Brady re-signs with the New England Patriots, rumors will keep swirling regarding him joining the Raiders in Las Vegas. 

Brady has spent his entire 20-year NFL career with the Patriots, but if he does move on, the Raiders could make sense. The Raiders' stellar rookie class from last season should take another step forward in 2020 and between coach Jon Gruden, general manager Mike Mayock and owner Mark Davis, the Silver and Black want to start their Las Vegas tenure with a bang.

This team still might be going through a bit of a rebuild, but there the above trio won't wait forever. They want wins. And nobody is better at that then Brady. 

But one NFL executive believes the Raiders aren't quite yet Brady's first option. 

“The Raiders become a fallback position for Brady in my view," the anonymous exec said to The Athletic's Mike Sando. "If it turns out Brady really wants to get away from Bill Belichick and he is out of there no matter what, then I think the Raiders become the next best possibility.”

The Patriots reportedly are willing to offer Brady upward of $30 million a year, but NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported earlier this month that Patriots owner Robert Kraft is willing to let the six-time Super Bowl champion see what's out on the market before coming back to the Patriots with his demands. If that's the case, it sounds like the Raiders are ready to open their wallets for the future Hall of Famer. 

longtime sportswriter Larry Fitzgerald Sr., -- who also is the father of Arizona Cardinals star wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald Jr. -- dropped an eye-opener on Valentine's Day. 

Would the Raiders really be willing to give $60 million to a QB who will be 43 years old next season? The Raiders are slated to have around $55 million in salary cap room entering the offseason. Though they'd prefer to get Brady on a cheaper deal, the Raiders, in theory, can afford to give him a hefty sum. 

[RELATED: Why Raiders signing Brady could make sense for both sides]

This of course all depends on if Gruden and Co. are ready to move on from a much-younger quarterback Derek Carr. When you have a chance to add Tom Brady, though, you at least take a long look at the possibility. 

The Raiders certainly seem to have their eyes on Brady. But it could take a lot to break up a long marriage between a legendary QB and legendary coach in Brady and Bill Belichick. 

Foster Moreau defends Raiders' 2019 rookie class, claps back on Twitter

Foster Moreau defends Raiders' 2019 rookie class, claps back on Twitter

Oh, the disrespect. 

The Raiders' 2019 draft class was one of the best in recent seasons, in all of the NFL. Running back Josh Jacobs was an Offensive Rookie of the Year finalist, and defensive end Maxx Crosby was up for Defensive Rookie of the Year. Apparently that doesn't mean much to NFL.com's Gennaro Filice and Nick Shook. 

The duo of writers gave the Silver and Black's rookie class an A- grade, but ranked them as just the seventh-best in the NFL. That didn't sit well with Raiders rookie tight end Foster Moreau. 

As Moreau's tweet shows, the Raiders' rookie class finished first in rushing yards, first in receptions, first in yards from scrimmage, first in scrimmage TDs and first in sacks. Case closed. 

Moreau himself had 21 receptions for 174 yards and caught five TDs in 13 games. The fourth-round draft pick's rookie year was cut short with a knee injury. Before his injury, he impressed coaches as a run blocker, pass protector and receiver.

On offense, Jacobs led the way. Many believe he was snubbed as Arizona Cardinals QB Kyler Murray was voted as Offensive Rookie of the Year. Jacobs broke almost every Raiders rookie rushing record, most of which were previously held by Marcus Allen. The Alabama product averaged 4.8 yards per carry and had 1,1150 rushing yards despite missing three of the last four games with a fractured shoulder.

Hunter Renfrow, selected in the fifth round of the draft, had the second-most receiving yards by a Raiders receiver this season, despite also missing three games to injury. Renfrow finished the 2019 season with 49 receptions for 605 yards and four touchdowns. 

Crosby, a steal out of the fourth round, totaled 10 sacks -- the second-most by any rookie throughout the league. He led the Raiders in sacks and tackles for loss (19), 9.5 more than fellow rookie teammate Clelin Ferrell. 

[RELATED: How Raiders' 2019 rookies are laying bedrock for success]

Ferrell, the No. 4 pick in last year's draft, vowed to return a completely different player. Safety Johnathan Abram, the No. 27 pick from last year, will be back and healthy in 2020.

The Raiders had a three-win improvement this past season. With a great rookie season behind them, the 2019 draft class can take the Raiders to new heights as they move to Las Vegas.