Raiders

Source: Raiders bringing back Martavis Bryant on one-year deal

Source: Raiders bringing back Martavis Bryant on one-year deal

ALAMEDA – The Raiders cut Martavis Bryant less than two weeks ago. They brought him back on Tuesday in a surprising turn that should quickly improve their receiver corps.

The Raiders needed a deep threat, someone to draw safeties' attention and stretch the field vertically.

They chose to go with someone they know.

An NFL source told NBC Sports Bay Area that Bryant will return to the Raiders on a one-year contract. The sides honed in on a deal Tuesday, when Bryant returned to the team’s Alameda training complex.

NFL Network was first to report the news.

Since Bryant is in shape and familiar with jon Gruden’s scheme and terminology, he’s expected to step in and play right away.

Exactly how long he’ll play remains uncertain, because his league standing remains in question. Multiple reports stated Bryant is facing a one-year suspension as a repeat offender of the NFL’s substance abuse policy, pending the completion of an appeals process.

Nothing is resolved in that regard, so Bryant’s league standing remains uncertain at this stage. The league could bring action at a later date, but Bryant can play until that happens, if it ever does.

His new one-year contract is not guaranteed because it was agreed upon during the year, so the Raiders could move on at any time without long-term financial commitment. If he is suspended again, it would be without pay.

Gruden and general manager Reggie McKenzie said cutting Bryant had nothing to do with his league standing, that it was a football decision made because he lost out to other receivers.

“We expected more from him. He did not make the team because Keon Hatcher came on, and other players outperformed him,” Gruden said. “We covered that during training camp, when he missed extended amounts of time. You saw Hatcher [in the preseason finale]. He did it in the game. He has done it on the practice field. He can play multiple positions and can play on special teams. We tried to keep the five or six best receivers we had.”

That crew has changed since rosters were trimmed to 53. Brandon LaFell was signed and Johnny Holton was let go. Per the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Holton has returned to the Raiders practice squad.

Bryant was acquired for a third-round pick on the NFL draft’s opening night, but fell out of Gruden’s favor in training camp. Bryant was criticized for regularly missing practice – that earned him the nickname “White tiger” – and struggling to learn multiple receiver positions.

There’s no arguing Bryant’s ability as a deep threat, with ideal size and speed. He could be an asset to a receiver corps lacking in downfield options outside Amari Cooper.

Bryant has 126 receptions for 1,917 yards and 17 touchdowns in three NFL seasons, all played in Pittsburgh. He has been suspended several times for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, which has slowed his career considerably since being drafted in the fourth round out of Clemson.

Raiders QB Derek Carr proudly announces birth of third son Deakon

carrpodiumap.jpg
AP

Raiders QB Derek Carr proudly announces birth of third son Deakon

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr on Friday morning announced the birth of his third son, Deakon Derek Carr. 

Here's the first look at baby Deakon. 

View this post on Instagram

Welcome Deakon Derek Carr! You are so loved!

A post shared by Derek Carr (@derekcarrqb) on

With three sons in the fold, Carr is feeling some type of way with his "dad strength," too. 

Not only is Deakon bringing more dad strength to Derek, it sounds like the Carr family might need a new ... car. Yeah, dad strength comes with a better appreciation of dad jokes. 

[RELATED: Carr's throwback trick pass video will excite Raiders fans]

Carr is entering his sixth season with the Raiders. Deakon is joined by brothers Dallas and Deker Carr.

Coaching Senior Bowl helped Raiders land key members of rookie class

Coaching Senior Bowl helped Raiders land key members of rookie class

Johnathan Abram could’ve easily been sent home from the Senior Bowl. The Mississippi State safety had a shoulder injury that was red-flagged during pre-practice week medical evaluations, preventing him from playing in the annual college all-star showcase.

Senior Bowl executive director Jim Nagy knew about the injury coming in but still allowed him to come down to Mobile, Ala. for a check, with the possibility he could even practice but not play with the injury.

“The way John plays, it was probably unrealistic that he could play," Nagy said Tuesday in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “He only knows one speed. He goes a thousand miles an hour. He’s one of my favorites in this draft for that reason. He’s a complete tone setter and so much fun to watch on tape.”

Abram’s shoulder wouldn’t accommodate light practice, so Senior Bowl protocol suggests he be sent away to free up a roster spot. The Raiders and 49ers, staffs coaching the game, flashed a stop sign on that.

“We would’ve added another safety, but the Raiders and 49ers wanted to be around him so bad, and he wanted to be here so bad that there was no real thought of sending John back to Starkville or Dallas to train,” Nagy said. “Both staffs were bummed he got flagged, but both were quick to ask if they could keep him in town. Everybody wants to be around this guy.”

Especially Raiders head coach Jon Gruden. An immediate and powerful bond formed that week, making it easy to select him with the Raiders’ No. 27 overall NFL draft pick.

Abram wasn’t the only Senior Bowl player the Raiders took after spending a full week with these players. They ended up with seven, drafting four and signing three more as college free agents.

That list also includes Houston cornerback Isaiah Johnson (fourth round), LSU tight end Foster Moreau (fourth round), Clemson receiver Hunter Renfrow (fifth round), UC Davis receiver Keelan Doss (UDFA), Wisconsin fullback Alex Ingold (UDFA), and Notre Dame linebacker Te’Von Coney (UDFA).

Abram, however, was that Senior Bowl haul’s crown jewel. Mike Mayock loved Abram well before he became Raiders general manager, asking Nagy about him way back in September. Then an NFL Network draft analyst, Mayock was peppering Nagy, a former NFL scout, about his Senior Bowl prospects board and Abram’s place on it.

Mayock’s affinity, Gruden’s quick bond and some excellent game tape made Abram a logical draft target for a team needing safety help.

“I met him at the Senior Bowl and he was on the other team, but I couldn’t get rid of the kid,” Gruden said. “He loves football and is a coach on the field. He has a magnetic personality.”

Abram had a hint that might’ve been a week well spent.

“I could tell at the Senior Bowl that the Raiders really liked me, the way I played and the way I carry myself,” Abram said. “I had a really good feeling this might be my spot.”

That sentiment was echoed several times among the drafted Senior Bowl alums, despite all of them playing on the 49ers-coached South squad. The Raiders liked several from their own team – all three undrafted players came from the North – but the stars didn’t align as they did for those selected to join the Silver and Black. Bonds formed during the practice week helped lock down the undrafted signings, who are free to find the best possible fit.

The Raiders and 49ers swapped squads for a spell the Friday prior to the Saturday game, allowing coaches and scouts to familiarize themselves with the opposing team.

“We leave it open as an option between the staffs,” Nagy said. “It’s not for a huge window of time, but it gives you an opportunity to cross check the other team. That’s valuable, and something the other teams don’t get.”

It solidified a Gruden-Abram-like tie between Moreau and Raiders tight ends coach Frank Smith. Smith was passionate that Moreau could be a quality pro and was a better athlete than many thought. He arranged a private workout with Moreau later in the pre-draft process and stumped for him leading up to the selection days.

“I met with Frank and I fell in love with the way he coached, how he addressed the game and what he does for his players and how he coaches,” Moreau said. “You know it’s funny, I kind of kept up with him through the whole process and I really have an affinity for the Raiders. I obviously have an affinity for Coach Gruden and his staff; one of the great minds in football. So, I kind of hoped this would happen.”

Good Senior Bowl connections helped the Raiders land some of their rookie class. Coaching the game can provide a lift in the evaluation process, enhancing stock for some while eliminating others.

“It’s invaluable,” Nagy said. “If you’re coaching the game, it’s so much more hands on in the meeting rooms. You see how they absorb information, and what methods work best in teaching. You see their attentiveness. Heck, you even see if they’re consistently on time or not. You see how they practice, and how they bounce back from bad reps. You also get to know these guys so well. It’s an immersive experience, and it can help minimize mistakes on draft day.”

[RELATED: Johnathan Abram prestigious No. 24]

Nagy admits some bias pulling for Senior Bowl alums – “I’m invested in all these guys,” he says – but believes the Raiders mined his game for guys who can make it in this league.

“I would be surprised if one of those seven didn’t make it,” Nagy said. “They’re all really good players.”