Raiders

NFL free agency: How franchise tags could affect Raiders' outlook

NFL free agency: How franchise tags could affect Raiders' outlook

Chris Jones is an ideal fit for the Raiders defensive front. He’s a big, powerful and agile interior pass rusher who can generate steady pressure and it’s tough against the run. He would make the entire Raiders line better, accenting Maxx Crosby and Clelin Ferrell off the edge.

Throwing money at him in free agency, and stealing him from rival Kansas City, would be a worthy enterprise if the Chiefs hadn’t slapped a non-exclusive franchise tag on him Monday morning.

The Raiders could still go after Jones, but they’d have to give him an offer the Chiefs wouldn’t match and then give K.C. two first-round picks.

So, yeah, that’s not going to happen as the free-agent negotiating window opened Monday.

Neither will a pursuit of Broncos safety Justin Simmons, who also received the franchise tag. The Raiders were interested in the free safety, per The Athletic, and could’ve paired him with 2019 first-round pick Johnathan Abram.

Simmons, too, is essentially off the market. Sure, trades are still possible, but making deals with an AFC West rival is unrealistic unless it was cost-prohibitive.

Receiver A.J. Green also got a tag from Cincinnati, taking a veteran option out of a lackluster free-agent class of receivers. That’s an area of a great need for the Raiders moving forward.

It’s also noteworthy that the L.A. Rams didn’t tag linebacker Cory Littleton. The Raiders are definitely interested in the coverage linebacker with great versatility and speed, according to ESPN, though his market will be robust.

[RELATED: Raiders must have clear free-agent upgrade to move on from Carr]

The Raiders need a complete linebacker overhaul and are seriously looking to fix the problem this time around. Littleton seems like a perfect fit, someone to be paired with a draft pick working on the interior.

The Silver and Black will have to maneuver around these franchise tags, though it’s hard to call any of them a surprise. They likely knew Simmons and Jones wouldn’t be unrestricted and plan to use their bevy of salary-cap space to make some splashes in free agency and sign players when formally allowed to do so on Wednesday afternoon when the league year begins.

Raiders rookie Bryan Edwards drawing comparisons to Pro Bowl receivers

bryanedwardssouthcarolinausatsi.jpg
USATSI

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

crosbyusa.jpg
USATSI

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