Raiders sign first-round draft pick Johnathan Abram to four-year contract


Raiders sign first-round draft pick Johnathan Abram to four-year contract

The Raiders are getting some business done before summer vacation truly starts. The Silver and Black signed a third member of their NFL draft class late Tuesday afternoon when No. 27 overall pick Johnathan Abram inked his rookie contract.

No. 4 selection Clelin Ferrell and No. 40 pick Trayvon Mullen signed earlier in the day.

No. 24 overall pick Josh Jacobs is the only Raiders draftee that remains unsigned, and it’s certainly possible his deal gets done before rookies formally leave on summer vacation later this week. They stayed an extra week after the offseason program’s end to work with the strength staff and player engagement department on off-the-field education common to all first-year NFL players.

Abram was slotted to receive a contract worth $11.45 million over four years that includes $6.380 million in a signing bonus. There’s also a fifth-year team option available that is standard for all first-round picks.

[RELATED: AB setting new standard for all Raiders during offseason program]

The Raiders selected Abram with the first-round pick the Dallas Cowboys gave up for Amari Cooper. Abram impressed during the offseason program and joined the first unit during the final week of OTAs. He was there again in minicamp, and a solid training camp could lock him into a starting safety spot right away.

NFL rumors: Tom Brady, Patriots appear very far apart in free agency

NFL rumors: Tom Brady, Patriots appear very far apart in free agency

It's negotiating season, and the most high-profile soon-to-be-free-agent in NFL history seems to be wielding his power.

Thursday morning, multiple reports dropped centering around Tom Brady and the reported gap between him and the New England Patriots, opening the door further for the six-time Super Bowl champion to exit Foxboro, Mass. 

ESPN's Jeff Darlington also reported that Brady is entering free agency with the idea that he will be playing for a new team when he is under center in 2020.

All this likely is was leaked from Brady's camp in an effort to get the Patriots to offer him the money he desires and agree to surround him with the necessary weapons to win a championship. While agent Don Yee seems to be trying to strong-arm the Patriots, it's beginning to appear more and more likely that Brady and Bill Belichick will say their peace and go their separate ways after two decades of dominance.

The 42-year-old quarterback is expected to test free agency, and the Raiders, along with the Tennessee Titans, Chicago Bears and Los Angeles Chargers have been heavily linked to the legendary quarterback, hoping to give their rebuild a jolt by adding the greatest quarterback of all-time.

On its face, the Raiders adding Brady would appear to go against the idea of a ground-up rebuild. But can Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock really say no to Brady if he indeed wants to call Sin City his new home? Should they?

Mayock said he was pleased with quarterback Derek Carr's play in 2019, but the Raiders will evaluate and look to upgrade any and all positions, including quarterback. Signing Brady, even at age 42 going on 43, would qualify as an upgrade. Brady's numbers dipped in 2019, but it was a product of having a receiver group that couldn't get separation, had drop issues and was one of the most undynamic groups in the league.

That's an issue for the Raiders, who had their own wide receiver issues last season. But starting with a core of Hunter Renfrow, Tyrell Williams and tight end Darren Waller is appealing, and the Raiders are sure to use at least one of their two first-round picks on a receiver. They also have over $50 million in cap space to use in free agency, although a large chunk of that would go to Brady.

Couple that with a powerful running game spearheaded by Josh Jacobs and one of the best offensive lines in the NFL and the Raiders' cupboard isn't as bare as it might seem.

[RELATED: Raiders should do whatever it takes to draft Isaiah Simmons]

Adding Brady would force the Raiders to aggressively ramp up their rebuild. His time is limited and he wants to win at least one more Super Bowl.

Can the Raiders promise to quickly build a winning team around in him a division with the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs? It's a dicey proposition.

The smart money still is on Brady returning to New England, but he and the Patriots clearly aren't seeing eye-to-eye as free agency draws near,

NFL rumors: Raiders could be free-agent option for QB Philip Rivers

NFL rumors: Raiders could be free-agent option for QB Philip Rivers

Philip Rivers and the Raiders have locked horns for the last 16 years.

But now that the veteran signal-callers time with the San Diego Los Angeles Chargers is over, could Rivers really turn in his powder blues for silver and black?

When discussing the 38-year-old's free-agent options Wednesday, NFL Media's Ian Rapoport noted the Raiders could be an option for Rivers if the Indianapolis Colts don't bring him in.

Alright, the Tom Brady rumors I understand. He's the GOAT, and if he wants to come, you agree to accelerate the rebuild and make it happen

But Rivers? No shot. Zero. Zilch. Not gonna happen.

First of all, Rivers looked completely and utterly washed last season for the Bolts. Yes, he racked up the yards (4,615) but he also threw 20 interceptions and looked pretty awful in both of his showings against the Raiders, who weren't exactly trotting out the '85 Chicago Bears on defense.

We also seem to forget that Derek Carr is the starting quarterback and is coming off an efficient season that saw the Raiders sitting at 6-4 through 10 games. A lack of weapons and Antonio Brown's preseason meltdown hampered Carr's overall production, but general manager Mike Mayock said Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine that he was "pleased" with his quarterback. 

Mayock did, however, say the Raiders would look to upgrade any and all positions.

The keyword there is "upgrade." Rivers, at 38 and way over the hill and rolling into the valley, doesn't fit the description.

The Raiders are a young, rebuilding team hoping to take another step. Not a fully finished product in need of a competent quarterback to take them up a notch. And at this stage, Rivers certainly wouldn't be an upgrade over Carr.

[RELATED: Raiders should do whatever it takes to draft Isaiah Simmons]

If the Raiders do elect to move on from Carr, it will be for Brady. That's the list. They aren't going to trade up for Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. Teddy Bridgewater isn't coming to town.

It's Carr or Brady. Rivers isn't in the equation.