Raiders

Raiders tackle Austin Howard still waiting for clearance

Raiders tackle Austin Howard still waiting for clearance

ALAMEDA – Austin Howard hoped to participate in latter parts of this Raiders offseason program. A few OTA sessions and the team’s three-day minicamp would’ve given the talented right tackle some positive momentum heading into training camp, but that will have to wait.

Howard’s shoulder isn’t quite ready. He had offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum and ailing joint that plagued him most of the 2016 campaign, and wasn’t cleared to practice by doctors following an exam early last week. Torn labrums take time to completely heal.

Howard’s goal is to return in time for the start of training camp, but that isn’t guaranteed. He’ll continue stretching with the team and rehabbing during the rest of minicamp, as he has during OTAs. Rehab work will continue through a quiet period as he works to return as soon as possible.

He’ll need to be formally cleared later this summer before jumping back into an open competition at right tackle.

Head coach Jack Del Rio said Marshall Newhouse has a leg up at that spot, but he has been absent over the last week. Vadal Alexander and rookie David Sharpe have taken significant practice snaps at that spot. Howard started 23 games at right tackle in his last two seasons in Silver and Black, with 16 starts at right guard the year before.

NFL free agency: Raiders target George Iloka agrees to Cowboys contract

ilokavikingsap.jpg
AP

NFL free agency: Raiders target George Iloka agrees to Cowboys contract

The Raiders added one former Bengals defender earlier this week. They were not able to add another.

Safety George Iloka, who reportedly visited the Raiders earlier in the week, has agreed to a one-year contract with the Dallas Cowboys.

The team announced the deal on Saturday.

The Raiders reunited linebacker Vontaze Burfict with defensive coordinator Paul Guenther on Tuesday, and tried to do the same with Iloka, who spent the first six seasons of his career with the Cincinnati Bengals. The 28-year-old spent the 2018 season with the Minnesota Vikings.

Missing out on Iloka isn't the worst thing in the world for the Raiders. They addressed the safety position over the last week with the additions of Lamarcus Joyner and Curtis Riley.

NFL free agency: Raiders sign QB Mike Glennon to back up Derek Carr

glennonusatsi.jpg
USATSI

NFL free agency: Raiders sign QB Mike Glennon to back up Derek Carr

The Raiders wanted an experienced backup quarterback behind Derek Carr, and got one Friday by signing Mike Glennon.

Now they hope he never plays. It’s still a vital role in meeting rooms and on-the-field, should an emergency arise on game day. Young bucks can get caught in the headlights. Veterans won’t be as good as the starter, but can generally function better being inserted into a game without many practice reps.

He has hopped into action during five seasons and has 22 starts, meaning he can handle short-relief or a stretch as the starter.

That calms some fan's nerves after the Raiders released AJ McCarron, who has already signed with the Houston Texans, leaving Nathan Peterman as the only non-Carr quarterback on the roster.

Glennon steps into the No. 2 slot having completed 60.9 percent of his passes for 5,107 yards and 35 touchdowns with 20 interceptions over five seasons.

Peterman is still with the Raiders on a futures contract, and is the No. 3 guy at the moment.

Many will look at the signing and wonder if it impacts the possibility of drafting a quarterback next month. It’s hard to rule anything out, but the disciplined choice would be to address the pass rush early and often in the 2019 NFL Draft, though a quarterback could get taken later in the selection process.

But…having Glennon on the roster won’t prohibit the Raiders from taking Kyler Murray or Dwayne Haskins. Would the Raiders eliminate the prospect of taking Quinnen Williams because interior pass rushers P.J. Hall and Maurice Hurst were drafted last year? Absolutely not.

A edge rusher is the team’s most pressing need and must be addressed with quality and quantity before the season starts.

The Raiders don’t have to take a quarterback now in the draft, and adding Glennon takes the pressure off the demand to get another one down the line. Glennon should be viewed as a reliable backup who can step into service if Carr isn’t available.