Raiders

How Cardinals trading No. 1 NFL draft pick could affect Raiders, 49ers

How Cardinals trading No. 1 NFL draft pick could affect Raiders, 49ers

The Arizona Cardinals will draft Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick next week. Right? Right?

Maybe not, NBC Sports' Peter King speculates.

The veteran NFL reporter dropped an interesting scenario in his “Football Morning in America” column Sunday night. After writing that he doesn’t believe Cardinals brass has unanimously decided whether it will use the No. 1 pick on Murray, trade down, or switch gears and select an edge rusher such as Nick Bosa, King asks this question: What if the Raiders came calling with a big package of pick to trade?

Hmm, let’s examine …

King wonders if Raiders coach Jon Gruden would offer two first-round picks (Nos. 4 and 27) from this year’s draft and another first-rounder from next year’s draft for the No. 1 pick. That would give the Cardinals four first-round picks in the next two drafts -- an enticing proposition for a franchise with numerous holes.

Of course, if Murray landed in Silver and Black, that likely would mean the end of Derek Carr’s stay. King speculates that the Raiders could unload Carr to QB-needy teams such as the Miami Dolphins, New York Giants or Washington for a 2020 first-round pick. That also would save the Raiders $13 million per year, King notes, because of the difference between Murray’s and Carr’s contract.

While King is just laying out a scenario, he’s also coming from an informed place. So, if he’s hearing whispers that the Raiders really like Murray, maybe there’s more to this.

Of course, we all heard Raiders general manager Mike Mayock loud and clear last week, when, after saying the team believes Carr is a franchise QB, he added this: "We love Derek. We love what he brings to the table, but like every other position, we’re going to do all of our due diligence. I happen to work with a head coach that absolutely loves that position. We’re always going to know about those guys.”

OK, then.

[RELATED: Murray's football-over-baseball decision is gift for NFL]

Rooting against all this are the 49ers, who own the No. 2 pick. They could have the edge rusher of their choice -- Bosa, Josh Allen, Quinnen Williams -- if the Cardinals stand pat and draft Murray. On top of that, the 49ers would have the chance to harass a rookie QB twice next season, with the Cardinals also in the NFC West.

We’ll likely have to wait until April 25 to see what the Cardinals do, but if they decide to trade the No. 1 pick, it’d be quite the bombshell that could impact both Bay Area NFL teams.

Doug Martin ready, willing to mentor Raiders first-round RB Josh Jacobs

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AP

Doug Martin ready, willing to mentor Raiders first-round RB Josh Jacobs

Doug Martin has spent most of his career as a feature running back, with some standout seasons to show for it. His career entered another phase last season, when he joined the Raiders knowing full well he’d be a backup.

Marshawn Lynch was the primary option when he signed up, and steady carries proved hard to come by as an understudy even with head coach/offensive play caller Jon Gruden’s propensity for using multiple backs. Lynch deserved the workload he got, and Jalen Richard was a change-of-pace back off the bench.

Martin went full-time after Lynch’s season-ending groin injury, and churned out a respectable 4.2 yards per carry. He wasn’t able to find another solid opportunity in free agency, and was unemployed when the Raiders drafted Josh Jacobs and signed Isaiah Crowell’s injury.

Crowell’s torn Achilles’ tendon brought Martin back to the Silver and Black, with zero a second time with zero allusions of being the feature back. He came here to counsel Jacobs, and take over in an unexpected pinch.

He was frank about that fact after Tuesday’s OTA session.

“Josh Jacobs, he’s a good kid, with good character,” Martin said. “You all heard his story, I read up on it myself. I commend him for being as strong as he is, and that being said I came here to mentor, push him, show him that I’ve been in the league eight years, so I am a vet now. I can’t believe it, but that’s the case and so I’m here to just be that role model for him. If he has any questions, I’m here for him to ask them. Like I said, he has good character, but at the same time he looks like he can just run you over, so he’s going to be great for the team.”

Martin definitely wanted a shot at steady carries, especially after leading the team with 723 rushing yards and four touchdowns primarily as a first-and-second-down back.

A Raiders reunion seemed likely at first, though the sides couldn’t agree on terms and Martin remained a free agent deep into the offseason. That was worrisome, but Martin insists it didn’t cause great consternation.

“If something doesn’t go your way, you just have to stay optimistic and, I was being optimistic with the situation,” Martin said. “I knew I was going to be somewhere and do good things, but it’s just crazy how things folded out. I wish happy healing to Isaiah Crowell for his Achilles' (tendon injury), but, when there is chaos you just make a positive out of negative and you just got to stay optimistic about it.”

He’s back with the Raiders, understanding his role as mentor and backup capable of playing well on early downs.

This mentor/protégé partnership could work, considering how much Jacobs and Martin have in common. Both guys were first-round picks, with the Raiders adding Jacobs at No. 24 this year, and Tampa Bay taking Martin at No. 31 in 2012.

They also have similar builds, with Jacobs standing 5-foot-10, 220 pounds and Martin at 5-9, 223. Both guys can slash through the interior, with enough speed to pop good runs outside.

Martin had nearly 2,000 yard total offense (on 368 touches!!) as a rookie, a sum the Raiders would gladly take from Jacobs early on.

Nearly a decade separates them and the Raiders are looking to get younger across the board, making this Jacobs’ time to shine.

This will be the first time Martin has assumed a mentorship role, but he’s ready for it.

“It’s not something I’m used to but it’s something that I want to do,” Martin said. “I’ve been in the league eight years. I’ve been through the whole spectrum of good to bad in this league and, if I can teach somebody, if I can teach Josh on what to do, what not to do, how to stay in on the narrow path and just keep his eye on the goal, then I’m here for that. And, yeah, I’m grateful.”

NFL rumors: Raiders-Packers to play Week 3 preseason game in Winnipeg

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USATSI

NFL rumors: Raiders-Packers to play Week 3 preseason game in Winnipeg

Buckle up, Winnipeg, Jon Gruden and the Raiders are coming to town.

It was reported in March that the Raiders were looking to play one of their four preseason games in Canada and now it appears they have found a site for that game.

The Raiders will play the Green Bay Packers in Winnipeg for their third preseason game, Jeff Hamilton of the Winnipeg Free Press reported Friday.

The Raiders have been looking to move one of their preseason games for some time, to mitigate some of the increased rent from their 2019 lease with Oakland Coliseum, and have honed on playing north of the border. The rent amount will decrease with a game off the schedule, a clause that was written into a new lease agreement with a revenue that is expected to host the Raiders one more season before the team is scheduled to relocate to Las Vegas in 2020.

It makes sense to play the Green Bay Packers in Canada, considering their close proximity to the country.

The Raiders originally looked at Regina’s Mosaic Stadium, home of the CFL’s Saskatchewan Roughriders. That deal proved difficult, and the Raiders moved on to other Canadian options. Winnipeg was the best fit, and a formal deal seems to be in the cards.

The Raiders or Packers have not made a formal announcement, despite being less than three months from the game.

Oakland began Phase Three of its offseason program Tuesday when organized team activities began in Alameda.

[RELATED: Undrafted rookie WR drawing rave reviews from Gruden, Carr]

Derek Carr vs. Aaron Rodgers in a "dress rehearsal game" isn't bad NFL treat for the fine folks of Winnipeg. Enjoy.