Henry Ruggs, Damon Arnette, entire Raiders draft class sign contracts

Henry Ruggs, Damon Arnette, entire Raiders draft class sign contracts

Raiders rookies are in the building. That’s the brand-new, state-of-the-art training complex recently opened in Henderson, Nev., where training camp soon will start.

The first step, in the midst of a public health crisis, requires two rounds of COVID-19 testing.

Raiders rookies have completed them and been allowed into the building for physicals and equipment. That also created an opportunity for the Raiders to start signing their draft class before activities get going in earnest.

While No. 12 overall draft pick Henry Ruggs agreed on terms of a deal earlier this week, he formally signed his contract Saturday morning, the team announced. Fellow first-round selection Damon Arnette, taken at No. 19, also signed on the dotted line.

Ruggs and Arnette weren't the only rookie deals formally executed, though. Third-round picks Bryan Edwards, Tanner Muse and Lynn Bowden Jr. and fourth-round choices Amik Robertson and John Simpson all signed contracts, meaning the entire Raiders draft class is in the mix.

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Terms of the Ruggs deal previously were reported. 

Arnette’s deal lasts four years, with a fifth-year team option attached to deals for all first-round picks. The former Ohio State cornerback will earn $13.4 million over four seasons, a sum that includes a $7.3 million signing bonus.

Arnette clearly was excited about officially becoming a Raider and being allowed in the team complex for the first time after OTAs, minicamps and on-site meetings were canceled because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The NFL and the NFL Players Association agreed on health and safety protocols and the changing economics of a unique 2020 season without a preseason slate and few-to-no fans expected at regular-season games.

[RELATED: Raiders' 2020 rookies are talented, but won't have same impact as 2019 class]

Quarterbacks and injured players have begun the testing process, though another round remains before they can be allowed into the building. Veterans will start their testing process on July 28, self-isolate for 48 hours and then take another test. Once the full squad is allowed back in, the Raiders will start the football re-acclimation process agreed upon by the league and the players' union.

Here are important dates for this unique training camp structure and its ramp-up period:

The bottom line is this: We’re getting ever-so-close to a return to football activity, with the 2020 regular season currently set to start as scheduled. This will be the Raiders’ first in Las Vegas, with Allegiant Stadium virtually complete and ready to host games in the fall.

Raiders rookie Bryan Edwards drawing comparisons to Pro Bowl receivers


Raiders rookie Bryan Edwards drawing comparisons to Pro Bowl receivers

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on Tuesday compared rookie wide receiver Bryan Edwards to Carr’s former Fresno State teammate and current Packers’ star Davante Adams. On Friday one of Edwards’ high school coaches said he has long seen similarities to another perennial All-Pro.

“He’s always reminded me of A.J. Green,” said Conway (S.C.) head coach Carlton Terry, who was an assistant when Edwards played there and coached against Green in high school. “They both just have that ability to make plays at receiver and return punts. Just men on the field in comparison to the other players. Not only did they stand out vertically, but for big men to have that athleticism is just so rare.”

Edwards’ natural gifts were evident from the moment he walked into Conway High School as a 13-year-old freshman.

Read more at the Las Vegas Review-Journal


Raiders place Maxx Crosby, Rod Smith on NFL's COVID-19 reserve list


Raiders place Maxx Crosby, Rod Smith on NFL's COVID-19 reserve list

Raiders coach Jon Gruden on Thursday talked about the need to adapt every day to the practice availability of his players.

It went without saying he was referring to the potential impact of COVID-19, the constant shadow he and the Raiders will be operating under this year.

By late afternoon, that possibility became a reality when Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby and running back Rod Smith were added to the COVID-19 injured reserve list.

Read more on the Review-Journal