The Raiders reportedly tried to replace the wide receiver who should have been the star of HBO's latest season of "Hard Knocks" with one who actually was.
After Oakland cut star receiver Antonio Brown on Saturday, NFL Media's Mike Garofalo said on NFL Network that the Raiders reached out to Jacksonville Jaguars practice-squad receiver -- and Alameda native -- Keelan Doss. Doss wasn't interested, sources told Garofalo.
"I am told, via sources, that with Antonio Brown out of the picture, the Raiders tried to get Keelan Doss back today," Garofalo said. "And the Jaguars said, 'I tell you what: We'll up your salary, even though you're on the practice squad, to make a full salary of a player on the roster, for a rookie minimum of $495,000. Keelan Doss said, 'Sounds good to me,' so he's going to stay on the Jaguars' practice squad at a full salary, and it seems like he's moved on from the Raiders."
The Raiders signed Doss as an undrafted free agent, and the University of California, Davis product was one of the team's final cuts as they pared down to a 53-man roster last week. Doss became a favorite of HBO's cameras, but Oakland coach Jon Gruden told reporters this week that didn't reflect the reality of the Raiders roster.
“[Doss was] in a tough spot," Gruden said Monday. "He’s a big story on the TV show, but that’s not the reality that we saw on tape.”
Much like Doss, HBO's focus on Brown was also disproportionate -- or, at least, lacking substance.
While the show followed Brown through his rehab sessions and as he explained his grossly frostbitten feet, it did not really delve into the tension that ultimately ended Brown's Raiders career. Brown angrily confronted general manager Mike Mayock on Wednesday -- albeit after the "Hard Knocks" season had ended -- after he was fined for missing a practice and a walk-through. That altercation led to a fine of over $200,000 that allowed the Raiders to void Brown's contract guarantees, and Brown called for his release Saturday morning.
The Raiders granted Brown's request, and he ultimately agreed to a one-year contract with the New England Patriots on Saturday afternoon. Brown's own camera caught him reacting to his release, and he published the reaction on YouTube a day after uploading a video featuring a phone conversation with him and Jon Gruden.
Whether or not Brown wins a ring in New England, perhaps he'll put his documentarian skills to use and link up with the "Hard Knocks" crew next summer.