Raiders

Johnathan Abram keeping ears, eyes open while learning Raiders way

abramjosephap.jpg
AP

Johnathan Abram keeping ears, eyes open while learning Raiders way

Johnathan Abram spent his first Raiders offseason program trying to listen, absorb and process as much as humanly possible. Picking up a somewhat complex defensive scheme would help him hit the ground running when training camp begins this summer.

The first-round safety is active in meetings, vocal in practices and was confident helping run the first unit in later OTAs and minicamp. All that has helped him put a solid foot forward.

“What I’m really impressed by is just how he has been able to get this defense down,” fellow safety Karl Joseph said. “For a young guy to come in and be able to understand all the stuff and rules in this defense, that’s pretty impressive. He’s been doing a great job.”

Abram will be the first to admit he hasn’t been perfect in this offseason. That’s odd coming from someone exuding confidence and a proportionate amount of swagger, but the Mississippi State alum is not afraid to be wrong. That, in itself, is an asset.

“I have a lot to learn,” Abram said. “I’m more so worried about what to expect from offenses. I do a very great job of going home, watching film, studying, I take a lot of mental reps. I put myself out there in meetings, making calls and if I’m wrong, then I’m wrong and coach will correct me as we go through it.”

Abram also is aware of a real possibility he’ll start right away. That’s no easy task for a rookie, even someone drafted as high as No. 27 overall. The Raiders have Erik Harris waiting in the wings, and Lamarcus Joyner can rotate in at safety after focusing on slot cornerback during the offseason program.

Abram has listened closely to Joyner, a player he studied in college and loves playing with as a professional even if they haven’t been next to each other at safety. He hangs on Joyner’s words in practice and meetings, and even pays attention to what the veteran says in public.

“Lamarcus can pretty much do it all,” Abram said. “He does a great job mentoring me, making sure I keep my feet where I am. I heard him say that once in the press conference over here and that’s the one thing I have been focusing on – just being where I’m at every single day and not looking so far ahead.”

The offseason program and the extra week of rookie orientation now are over, meaning players are free to relax until training camp starts for rookies first and then the full squad in late July.

[RELATED: On right life path, Raiders' Waller ready for breakout year]

Abram doesn’t plan on taking much time off, despite spending most of the offseason preparing for the NFL draft.

“I’m not nearly where I need to be, so I want to make sure I can try and get as close as I can going into training camp and be in the best shape possible,” Abram said. “Just making sure I’m super crisp with the playbook. That’s about it, just training.”

NFL rumors: Raiders made 'substantive inquiries' on Jalen Ramsey trade

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AP

NFL rumors: Raiders made 'substantive inquiries' on Jalen Ramsey trade

Through two games, the Raiders have allowed the most yards passing in the league. Facing reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the Chiefs' explosive offensive doesn't help, but still.

You know what could help? A 24-year-old All-Pro cornerback in his prime who wants his current team to trade him. 

Jalen Ramsey wants out of Jacksonville and the Raiders could be the perfect match. ESPN's Josina Anderson reported Thursday that the Raiders are one of a handful of teams that have made "substantive inquiries" on a trade for Ramsey. 

Ramsey won't come cheap and likely will cost the Raiders one of their two first-round draft picks next year, but he's worth the hefty price tag. He can be a lot to handle, but so are most great cornerbacks. 

The former No. 5 overall draft pick is the true definition of a shutdown corner. He follows the opposing team's top receiver and causes chaos for a quarterback. Ramsey has nine interceptions in 50 career games and 45 passes defensed. 

With the Raiders moving to Las Vegas following this season, Ramsey already has expressed an interest in playing in Sin City in the past, too. 

[RELATED: Why Raiders should trade for Jalen Ramsey]

Though he's requested a trade, Ramsey is expected play Thursday night for the Jaguars against the Titans. A trade could soon be on the horizon, though. 

Buckle up, Raiders fans.

Former Raiders receiver Antonio Brown no longer Nike representative

Former Raiders receiver Antonio Brown no longer Nike representative

Antonio Brown has another reason to worry about his feet. No, he doesn't have extreme frost bite again. But he will be looking for new shoes. 

Nike has seen enough. The company told the Boston Globe that it cut ties with the former Raiders receiver Thursday. A Nike spokesperson declined to tell the newspaper the reasoning for the decision. 

The only statement Nike provided the Globe was “Antonio Brown is not a Nike athlete.”

After a tumultuous offseason with the Raiders, the team released Brown the day before the regular season began. Brown signed with the Patriots hours later. His antics caused plenty of headaches for the Silver and Black, but they were not juvenile in nature. But recent allegations since his release show that might not always have been the case.

Days after Brown signed with the Patriots, his former trainer, Britney Taylor, filed a lawsuit against Brown alleging the star receiver sexually assaulted her three separate times, including "forcibly raping" her. Brown has denied these allegations.

[RELATED: AB's pattern of disturbing behavior shows Raiders made right call]

Sports Illustrated's Robert Klemko recently did a deep dive on Brown that shows a pattern of disturbing behavior, including another report of sexual misconduct. 

Nike introduced the “Nike Tech Trainer Antonio Brown” shoe in early February, one month before the Raiders acquired Brown from the Steelers for two NFL draft picks. The shoe was listed for $100, but no longer is seen on the company's website.

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