Raiders

Raiders QB Derek Carr wouldn't change decision on game-changing pick

Raiders QB Derek Carr wouldn't change decision on game-changing pick

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Derek Carr had the Raiders charging downfield late in the fourth quarter Sunday, seemingly primed to score a go-ahead touchdown and buck an early season trend of struggling in the fourth quarter.

They traveled 77 yards with ease before facing a first down at the Miami 13-yard line. Carr found a favorable matchup he wanted to exploit, with Martavis Bryant locked in single coverage against Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard.

Carr lofted a ball skyward, though it was a bit short. Howard blocked Bryant out toward the baseline, leaped up and snagged it for an interception.

The Dolphins maintained the lead and then expanded it two plays later on a shovel pass that Albert Wilson took 74 yards to the house. Game, Dolphins.

Carr's interception started the downhill slide that sent the Raiders to 0-3 following a loss to the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium.

“He just saw man-to-man coverage,” Raiders coach Jon Gruden said of Carr's throw. “He decided to take a shot, and unfortunately it didn't work out.”

It’s a shot Carr said he would continue to take, even after the unwelome result.

"If we have a one-on-one, we can go to certain looks [and] those kind of things,” Carr said. “I just saw one-on-one with Martavis [Bryant]. Obviously he was hot and he was doing some good things. I just gave him a chance, just like I have a hundred other times in my life. They ended up making a good play.

“It sucks, right? The outcome sucks, but, I think, going back through in my head, getting one-on-one with that guy, I'd probably have to do it again.”

It’s a play that will be second-guessed, like any mistake made by a true franchise quarterback. Carr obviously wishes for a better result there, maybe a bit better throw that only Bryant could've reached.

Carr gave Amari Cooper a chance to make a play down the field late in the first quarter. He heaved it high and deep, but Cooper saw the ball take flight, and stopped running his route while in heavy coverage.

“I had [Cameron Wake] coming up the field, so I stopped, got back inside, and Coop had him beat,” Carr said. “I let it go, but he never saw me. He never saw the ball, so he stopped. Again, that's something, like, obviously you don't want it to happen because we could’ve had a big touchdown [scored]; but he didn't see me. He didn't see the ball thrown.

“I can't get mad at him for that. It's not like he just ran the wrong route or something or blatantly did it. I promise you, he wishes he had that one back. We had the look, we had a good look for the play, so I wish we would have hit that one. That would have been fun.”

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Why reported Darius Slay trade from Lions makes sense for Raiders

Why reported Darius Slay trade from Lions makes sense for Raiders

The Raiders were on the verge of the playoffs this past season, but their passing game took yet another step back. Besides the emergence of rookie Trayvon Mullen, the Silver and Black have plenty of question marks at cornerback as they move to Las Vegas. 

There could be help available, though. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Monday that the Detroit Lions have talked to multiple teams regarding a trade for their Pro Bowl cornerback, Darius Slay. 

Between need, their slew of draft picks and available cap space, the Raiders could be a perfect fit for a trade with the Lions. Let's start with how Slay would fit in the defense. 

Mullen is expected to man one side of the defensive backfield at cornerback, while the other side is a bit of a mystery. Daryl Worley is a free agent this offseason, but Nevin Lawson, Nick Nelson, Keisean Nixon and Isaiah Johnson all are options. None are Slay, though. Not even close. 

Slay, 29, made his third straight Pro Bowl this last season. He also was a First Team All-Pro in 2017 when he led the NFL with eight interceptions and 26 passes defensed. Since 2014, Slay has recorded at least two interceptions and 13 passes defensed every season. 

Per advanced analytics site Pro Football Focus, Slay has been the fifth-best cornerback in the game since 2014. 

The Raiders also have the draft picks to get a deal done. They own two first-round picks -- Nos. 12 and 19 -- this April, as well as three in the third round, one in the fourth and one in the seventh. They have plenty of leverage to make a move. 

Las Vegas also lands right in the middle of current available salary-cap space going into next season. According to Spotrac, the Raiders have slightly over $51.5 million in salary-cap space. Slay, who has a $13.4 million cap hit in 2020, wants a new contract as he's set to hit free agency after this upcoming season. 

[RELATED: Ex-Raider Nnamdi Asomugha talks about his life on Broadway]

He likely would cost more than a few extra pennies, but it's clear Slay still can be a solid corner in a division where everyone is chasing QB Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. 

The Raiders could target a cornerback early in the draft. That's not out of the question at all. If the Lions are taking calls on Slay like Schefter reported, Raiders general manager Mike Mayock would be wise to listen. 

How ex-Raiders star Nnamdi Asomugha transitioned from NFL to Broadway

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How ex-Raiders star Nnamdi Asomugha transitioned from NFL to Broadway

Nnamdi Asomugha finds himself under a new set of bright lights. The former Raiders star cornerback, who ended his 11-year NFL career with the 49ers, now finds himself on Broadway

"I started the decade at the Pro Bowl, and I ended the decade on Broadway," Asomugha said in a recent interview with CBS' Dana Jacobson, which aired Friday. "I was like, 'This was really surreal.' This is not a dream that I ever had. And now, this is so clearly what I should be doing." 

Asomugha, now 38 years old, first dabbled in the entertainment business while still playing in the NFL. Towards the end of his career, he started working as a part-time NFL analyst when Jacobson worked at ESPN. He also did a commercial for Dick's Sporting Goods in 2009, and the director gave him words of encouragement regarding his acting skills. 

The three-time Pro Bowler said he started thinking about his post-playing career long before he was done playing football. He saw early on just how quickly your career can end. 

"You better start thinking about that long before you finish your career," Asomugha said. "I mean, I started noticing really my first year in the NFL that you can go down with an injury, your career can be over. You can get cut within moments. And then what are you gonna do?" 

The Cal product soon turned his focus to acting and producing. He said he "was a rookie again" and took acting classes.

Asomugha now has a long list of credits when looking at his IMDB page. The former football star was the executive producer for Netflix's "Beasts of No Nation" in 2015, and he starred in Amazon's "Crown Heights" in 2017.

But it was the Broadway stage where Asomugha found his true calling. He felt the same kind of rush he did on the football field when he made his Broadway debut in the award-winning "A Soldier's Play" earlier in February.

"They announce you, everyone's cheering," Asomugha recalled. "I kind of ran on to the stage and began our work. And I remember at that moment just being like, 'This is where I'm supposed to be.' ... That's football, isn't it? It's live. You don't get a second take, you better get it right.

"I developed that muscle so much, I'm at my best when I'm in the fire."

[RELATED: Why Raiders signing Brady could make sense for both sides]

Asomugha finished his football career after playing three games for the 49ers in 2013. He then retired as a Raider in December of that same year. And though he has found his new calling, he admits he misses the game that first brought him so much joy.

"That was a great time," Asomugha said. "Football is definitely my first love. Now finding this world in entertainment through acting and producing -- I didn't think I would love something as much as I did, but I'm so grateful now that I do."