Raiders sign ex-Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall to one-year contract


Raiders sign ex-Broncos linebacker Brandon Marshall to one-year contract

The Raiders added some veteran leadership to their defense, and it’s someone they know well. Longtime Denver Broncos interior linebacker Brandon Marshall has signed with the Raiders, the team announced on Thursday.

A source said he signed a one-year contract worth up to $4.1 million.

This is an important addition for the Raiders, who have now added two veteran linebackers to a young defense. Marshall joins Vontaze Burfict as newcomers with experience playing off the ball, especially in the middle and on the weak side.

Marshall has been a quality starter for years, but someone with his pedigree is available at this stage of free agency for two reasons: 1. He’ll be north of 30 in September, and 2. He’s coming off knee issues that ruined his 2018 season, which eventually saw him dropped from the starting lineup.

Denver declined his 2019 option and cut bait with two years left on a five-year contract, sending him to the open market with recent game film that doesn’t show him at his best.

Marshall wants to show he can still play at the high level many expect. Burfict wants the same after concussion issues sent him off track. Derrick Johnson had a similar quest last year and that didn’t pan out.

Johnson was coming off injury but didn’t have the same juice at 35 that he had earlier in his career.

Marshall is far younger, with a greater chance to find old form. He could lineup next to Tahir Whitehead and Burfict, with young players Jason Cabinda and Nicholas Morrow and Marquel Lee also in the mix. Burfict and Marshall have played the same role before, so we should wait to see how role shake out before setting a depth chart in March.

We know this: Marshall has been a sure tackler, proving competent against the run and pass.

This move could help the Raiders defense as a whole and fortify the linebacker corps, but it’s far from a sure thing. Guaranteed performers are hard to find at this stage of the free-agent period.

He’s also yet another Drew Rosenhaus client added over this free-agent period. Marshall’s the fourth to end up in silver and black in the last week-plus, following Antonio Brown and Trent Brown and Isaiah Crowell, who also signed up on Thursday.

[RELATED: Raiders among teams set to meet with NFL draft prospect Montez Sweat]

It would be a homecoming of sorts for Marshall if he remains a Raider in 2020. He’s from Las Vegas, where the team will be moving shortly, and went to Nevada-Reno. He only has a one-year deal, but certainly hopes to parlay that into an opportunity to play in his hometown.

Tom Brady says he's 'open-minded' about uncertain future with Patriots

Tom Brady says he's 'open-minded' about uncertain future with Patriots

When you think about the New England Patriots, you don't see Steve Grogan, you picture Tom Brady. Aside from six Super Bowl rings for Brady and a trophy case full of accolades and records, there could be one big difference between the two quarterbacks. 

Grogan was a late-round draft pick who spent his entire 16-year career as a Patriots QB. Brady famously was a late-round draft pick who has spent his entire 20-year career as a Pats QB. But that could change. 

With rumors swirling that Brady might move on from New England this offseason, the 42-year-old addressed his future in his weekly interview with Westwood One Sports Radio on Sunday. 

"It's only been a couple weeks and I've had a lot of time with my family the last couple weeks and just been decompressing from the season," Brady said. "I've said earlier I'm open-minded about the process, and at the same time I love playing football and I want to continue to play and do a great job. I'm looking forward to what's ahead.

"Whatever the future may bring, I'll embrace it with open arms."

Brady is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career on March 18. The Athletic's Jay Glazer recently called the Raiders going after Brady with their move to Las Vegas a "no-brainer." And Brady was spotted in Sin City on Saturday night talking to none other than Raiders owner Mark Davis at UFC 246. 

The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Adam Hill spoke with UFC president Dana White -- who's a friend of Brady -- Saturday night after the fights, and White said a Raiders-Brady pairing absolutely "has legs." 

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr is set to make $18.9 million next season, but the Raiders would save $16.5 million and take a cap hit of just $5 million if they trade or release Carr prior to June 1. 

[RELATED: Brady offers Jimmy G advice before NFC Championship Game]

Brady wouldn't come cheap, even at his age, though he certainly would create an insane amount of buzz and sell boatloads of tickets in the Silver and Black's first season in Las Vegas. Raider fans might also finally have reason to forget about the Tuck Rule, 18 years after the fact. 

Buckle up, things could get interesting. This is Las Vegas, after all.

Tom Brady to Las Vegas Raiders 'has legs,' UFC's Dana White believes

Tom Brady to Las Vegas Raiders 'has legs,' UFC's Dana White believes

Given the uneven performance Derek Carr had in the Raiders' final season in Oakland, it wouldn't be surprising if the team brought in another quarterback to start for the franchise' in its first season in Las Vegas.

Whether it's veterans like Cam Newton and Marcus Mariota or draft prospects like Tua Tagovaiola and Justin Herbert, there's no shortage of possibilities for Jon Gruden to consider as Carr's replacement and/or backup.

By the looks of the Connor McGregor-Cowboy Cerrone UFC fight Saturday night, it appears there's another name on the list, and it's the biggest one possible.

Yep. That would be Raiders owner Mark Davis in the white, and six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady in the black leather jacket on the right. If that doesn't get the rumor mill swirling, the following context might do the trick.

According to Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, UFC president Dana White -- who is a friend of Brady's and already is a suiteholder at Allegiant Stadium -- believes a Brady-Raiders pairing isn't all that farfetched. 

Carr is set to make $18.9 million in base salary in 2020, so it's difficult to see a scenario in which he and Brady are on the same team. Brady might be the best QB of all-time, and simply put, he's not taking a major pay cut. However, the Raiders would save $16.5 million and take a cap hit of just $5 million if they trade or release Carr prior to June 1, which would appear to be a precondition for bringing Brady to Sin City.

Of course, if the Raiders did that, it would be under the assumption that Brady could regain some of his three-time MVP form -- which, if you watched him in New England this past season, is nowhere near a certainty. In fact, one could argue that Carr is a superior QB to Brady right now, thus making that hypothetical move both illogical and unnecessary. While throwing for nearly an identical number of passing yards in 2019, Carr posted a far superior completion percentage than Brady (70.4 percent to 60.8 percent) and averaged 1.3 more yards per pass attempt. Of the 30 quarterbacks that qualified for ESPN's Total QBR rating -- which values the quarterback on all play types on a 0-100 scale adjusted for the strength of opposing defenses faced -- Carr was ranked ninth (62.4), while Brady was ranked 17th (53.7)

[RELATED: Mayock gives glowing review of Carr's 2019 with Raiders]

One would imagine that Gruden knows what he has in Carr, and considering his lukewarm-at-best endorsement of the Raiders' incumbent QB at the conclusion of the season, it wouldn't be surprising if the team opted to go in another direction. Brady certainly would provide plenty of excitement -- and would sell plenty of tickets -- but it would also be a big gamble on the Raiders' part.

Given it's Las Vegas, maybe that's the way to go.