Raiders

Jaguars fire former Raiders offensive coordinator

Jaguars fire former Raiders offensive coordinator

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars have fired offensive coordinator Greg Olson, parting ways with him two days after an embarrassing loss at Tennessee.

The team made the announcement Saturday, saying quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett will take over play-calling duties next week at Kansas City. Hackett will be quarterback Blake Bortles' third coordinator in three seasons.

Olson replaced Jedd Fisch after the 2014 season.

The Jaguars (2-5) rank 25th in the league in total offense, averaging about 330 yards a game. Much of that has come late in games and with Jacksonville trailing by double digits.

Jacksonville has scored just 14 points in the first quarter after ranking 31st in that category in 2015. The Jags haven't scored a touchdown on their opening possession in 21 consecutive games, the longest streak in the league. Making matters worse, the running game has been mostly stagnant and Bortles has clearly regressed.

Why Darren Waller contract extension with Raiders is money well spent

wallerap.jpg
AP

Why Darren Waller contract extension with Raiders is money well spent

ALAMEDA – Darren Waller is just five games into a breakout season, but it’s already clear he’s a top tier NFL tight end. He’s a dynamic playmaker ideally built, with receiver’s speed, soft hands and toughness required to block effectively.

Waller’s just entering his prime at 27 years old, with several years of excellence head.

It was money easily and well spent on a player just scratching the surface of what he can do in this league.

The Raiders should shout this news from the mountaintops and put him on Las Vegas billboards posthaste. He’s a fantastic redemption story who inspires those around him and is incredibly easy to root for.

Waller was a player suspended twice for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy while battling addiction to alcohol, prescription drugs and whatever else he could find.

He’s now more than two years clean, living his best life while realizing vast potential nearly wasted. Waller has no problem discussing his past and his path to sobriety, hoping to inspire others to overcome issues with substance abuse.

“It’s one of the great stories in football, one of the great things that I’ve seen in my career,” Gruden said last week. “I’m really proud of him, so thrilled for him getting it together and being an honest upfront guy and talking about it and giving other young people the same enthusiasm to beat it, the same confidence that they can beat whatever addiction they might have.”

This is a guy you want around long term. This is a steady locker room presence and a reliable target who will be just 31 years old when he plays out this contract extension. He can be one of the league’s best tight ends for years, making this deal seem like a bargain in the long run.

Gruden easily earmarked money for Waller, already considering him among the league’s best.

“He’s really a rookie playing tight end,” Gruden said. “He was a wide receiver in college. He sat out of football for a year. He leads the league in receiving right now at that position. If you watched him block, I don’t know if there’s a better tight end in football really.”

Waller’s extension also suggests the Raiders tight end spot is set up for a long term. Rookie fourth-round draft pick Foster Moreau has surprised many in an excellent start to his professional career, showing toughness in the run game and an ability to make clutch catches.

They will play a huge role in a Raiders offense struggling to find receiver production with Tyrell Williams ailing and three cuts from players who were in Raiders camp and two in-season trades to account for those losses.

Waller is the passing game’s best asset right now, with an ability to play in-line tight end and every receiver spot. Having him around long term adds vital stability to the offense, and the timing could’ve have been better. They eliminate contract uncertainty down the line with a respectable sum that avoids drama associated with encroaching free agency and increased market value when his stats shoot skyward in 2019 and as he further develops as a player.

Raiders sign tight end Darren Waller to contract extension through 2023

wallerextensionusatsi.jpg
USATSI

Raiders sign tight end Darren Waller to contract extension through 2023

Raiders tight end Darren Waller will be a part of the Silver and Black for the foreseeable future. 

The Raiders signed Waller to a contract extension Wednesday, the team announced. A source confirmed to NBC Sports California's Scott Bair that Waller's three-year extension will last through 2023, coming into effect next season.

NFL Media's Tom Pelissero first reported the news Wednesday night.

Waller, 27, has emerged as a focal point of the Raiders' offense in 2019. The four-year pro has a career-high 37 receptions for 359 yards through five games this season, and he leads the Raiders in receiving yards and targets (42) after developing strong chemistry with quarterback Derek Carr. 

[RELATED: Carr making most of revolving cast of Raiders receivers]

The extension means the Raiders have offensive cornerstones Waller and running back Josh Jacobs under contract through the team's move to Las Vegas.

The Raiders are set to play their first season in Sin City in 2020, and Waller now is sure to be one of the headliners.