Raiders

Raiders expect Lynch ruling soon; 'it would be the fairest thing'

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USATSI

Raiders expect Lynch ruling soon; 'it would be the fairest thing'

Running back Marshawn Lynch formally appealed his one-game suspension on Monday afternoon.

The Raiders hope to hear a ruling by Tuesday.

“I think we expect to hear something early in the week, hopefully by tomorrow,” head coach Jack Del Rio said in a Monday press conference. “(It) would be the fairest thing so that the team can prepare.”

That’s the expectation, according to an ESPN report. The Raiders should know by Tuesday whether Lynch’s suspension for unsportsmanlike conduct will stand.

The suspension stems from a Thursday night incident where he left the sidelines to join an on-field fracas involving Raiders offensive linemen and Kansas City cornerback Marcus Peters. The third-year pro was penalized for a late hit on Raiders quarterback Derek Carr his linemen didn’t take kindly.

Peters and Lynch are extremely close friends and Oakland natives, and Lynch instinctively went out to protect someone he views as family. He inadvertently grabbed an official by the jersey and let go shortly after. He was flagged and ejected by rule.

He missed most of Thursday’s 31-30 victory over the Chiefs, and the NFL suspended him one game without pay on Friday. That could cost Lynch a $79,411 game check and a $31,250 per-game roster bonus.

ESPN reports that Peters by phone spoke at Lynch’s appeal hearing, where the running back’s team also cited precedent of others contacting an official without getting suspended. Leaving the sideline, however, may not help his appeal.

Del Rio said he hadn’t spoken with Lynch since the ejection.

“I said the other night I was disappointed that we had a player leave the bench,” Del Rio said. “It’s something we talk about – don’t leave the bench area.”

The Raiders ran with Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington after Lynch’s ejection, and combined for 67 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries. The pair with shoulder a rushing load Sunday at Buffalo if Lynch is unavailable.

“They don’t have the size and the power but they have a little more quickness, they catch the ball a little easier, better route-runners, things like so,” Del Rio said. “So, if you’re playing a little more wide open, in some respects they give you a little more juice. Marshawn give you the power back when you want to finish people and in tough situations. Those guys give you more than a change of pace.”

 

Raiders release QB Landry Jones, make room for tight end Erik Swoope

Raiders release QB Landry Jones, make room for tight end Erik Swoope

Derek Carr is the Raiders’ unquestioned starting quarterback and Mike Glennon’s the early and odds-on favorite to be his primary backup.

That left Nathan Peterman and Landry Jones to battle for a third spot that may or may not be there come September.

The competition didn’t last long. Jones was released on Wednesday afternoon, to make room for new tight end Erik Swoope and keep the Raiders' roster at its 90-man maximum.

Jones played five seasons in Pittsburgh and 2018 in Jacksonville before signing with the Raiders in late March.

The 30-year old had experience, but head coach Jon Gruden sees potential in Peterman despite a rocky start to his career in Buffalo.

Jones’ release came a day after Peterman made several quality throws in a Tuesday OTA practice open to the media. If he had been doing that in private portions of the offseason program, releasing Jones may have been an easier move.

Swoope joins a packed tight end position group that also includes Darren Waller, Derek Carrier, Luke Willson, Paul Butler and fourth-round draft pick Foster Moreau.

Something will have to give in that position group over time, with far more bodies than roster spots. Waller seems like a lock and Moreau’s most certainly on board, leaving one or two openings available for the rest. Things could get competitive there, especially if Swoope shows well and Willson flashes old form.

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Swoope spent four seasons with Indianapolis, highlighted by a 2016 with 15 receptions for 297 yards and a touchdown.

The Raiders are now in phase III of the offseason program, with another OTA session Thursday and seven more spread over the next two weeks.

Raiders trying to keep Darren Waller one of NFL's 'best-kept secrets'

Raiders trying to keep Darren Waller one of NFL's 'best-kept secrets'

ALAMEDA – The Raiders would prefer Darren Waller stay out of the spotlight. Teammates and coaches were hesitant to discuss the athletic tight end at this point in the calendar, lest early word travel that this guy can really play.

Head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr addressed Waller Tuesday as if he’s someone who shall not be named.

“Oh my, Waller? He’s super slow,” Carr said after the team’s first OTA session. “I don’t know if we’re going to use him much.”

Carr’s deadpan didn’t last long. His smile cracked and evoked laughter from those around him, who all saw Waller’s 2018 cameo in silver and black. He flashed largely unrealized potential against Cincinnati two weeks after the Raiders signed him off Baltimore’s practice squad, slicing through the defense for a 44-yard gain. The converted receiver has all the speed and skill and athleticism required to step in for departed receiving tight end Jared Cook.

Waller has set himself back with an injury and then multiple NFL suspensions for substance abuse, but has a golden opportunity to properly launch his career in Oakland.

“Darren has the skillset, he has the want-to, he has the aggression to do it, now he just has to go do it. I’m really excited about him,” Carr said. “Darren Waller is super, super fast, if I’m being real, and he works his tail off. He’s very smart and I can check a play within two seconds of the play clock being out and he’ll be on and run the right thing. He’s super fun to be around, he’s a great guy.”

[RELATED: Derek Carr was 'annoyed' by speculation]

That opinion’s common among Waller’s teammates, who might have a tough time keeping quiet about him as we near the regular season. His stats sheet won’t wow you. He has 18 catches for 178 yards and two scores since 2015. His play might, if he earns targets in a pattern full of quality receivers.

“Since the time he’s walked in here, he’s been one of the most impressive guys on our team,” Gruden said. “He learns fast. He is fast. He’s extremely talented. I think he’s going to be one of the best-kept secrets in the league. I really believe he’s got a future if he keeps working like he is.”