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.

Derek Carr hits back at reported fractured relationship with Raiders teammates

Derek Carr hits back at reported fractured relationship with Raiders teammates

Late Monday night, a report surfaced that Raiders quarterback Derek Carr has a "fractured relationship" with his teammates because he appeared to be crying after a recent injury against the Seahawks in London.

Tuesday morning, Carr went on the attack to blast the rumors.

The rumors regarding Carr status with the team come on the heels of the Raiders trading wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cowboys.

Could Carr be the next Raiders star to be traded? As Ray Ratto writes, if Jon Gruden wants to trade his quarterback, now is the time.

How Raiders' Amari Cooper trade with Cowboys went down

How Raiders' Amari Cooper trade with Cowboys went down

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders were on the practice field Tuesday when general manager Reggie McKenzie’s phone rang. Dallas Cowboys CEO Stephen Jones was on the line, prepared to meet the Raiders’ asking price.

McKenzie wanted a first-round pick for receiver Amari Cooper. Jones was willing to part with his.

The journey from proposal to acceptance didn’t take long. McKenzie went from his office to the practice field and filled in Jon Gruden. The Raiders head coach gave a thumb’s up, overjoyed to get such compensation for Cooper. Moments later, the deal was done.

“We felt like it was an opportunity that I felt like I couldn’t pass up,” McKenzie said. “To get a first-round pick in this business here, I thought was invaluable. It was something that I felt like I had to do moving forward for this organization.”

A personnel assistant came onto the field moments later, tapped Cooper on the shoulder and pulled him from practice. His teammates weren’t apprised right away.

Quarterback Derek Carr found out after practice. The whole team was not addressed on the matter despite the Raiders shipping their best receiver to Dallas on the day team activities resumed after a long bye weekend.

This was another blow to the locker room, still reeling after a 1-5 start. Players were told before leaving on the bye that they weren’t tanking. They were told to come back with clear minds and renewed optimism after two blowout losses. Then Cooper got dealt.

Frustration pervaded through the locker room, especially after finding out Cooper was gone. It was the second such blow, roughly seven weeks after Khalil Mack was traded to Chicago. And it hurt.

Only running back Jalen Richard spoke to the media. Most veterans declined comment or avoided the Raiders locker room all together. The Cooper trade was taken as a sign the season is being abandoned, a difficult admission for veterans on short-term deals who will not be part of the Raiders’ long-term rebuild.

More guys could go before the Oct. 30 trade deadline, which might be welcome for veterans tired of losing while not improving their chance to cash in later on the open market.

It will be interesting to see how the players compete Sunday against Indianapolis after losing their best receiver via trade and running back Marshawn Lynch to injured reserve.

While Cooper was subject to trade rumors over the past week, it was uncertain whether he would get traded. McKenzie said teams had inquired about Cooper in early September, but talks intensified once trade talk hit the media. Five teams honed on Cooper – NFL Network’s Mike Silver says Philadelphia offered a second-round pick -- but Dallas was the first to pony up a first-rounder. The Cowboys are starved for receiving help and reached out Friday, but upped the ante Monday to make the deal.

Strip away the context, from the bad results to talk of a fire sale, and see the Raiders made a good deal. Cooper was dynamic but woefully inconsistent and got hurt in each of his professional seasons. He was going to get paid like a top-of-the-market receiver after playing 2019 on his fifth-year option, a hefty sum the Raiders weren’t confident in paying. Not paying Cooper or Mack will provide salary cap flexibility to sign players next offseason and improve the team’s overall depth. That meant a trade was the best option, and this was a time to pull the trigger at 1-5. Only, however, for the right price. Dallas provided it.

“I still think he’s a first-round player,” McKenzie said. “That’s why I insisted on a first-round pick. Has he been inconsistent? Absolutely. Has he shown greatness? Absolutely. The consistency has been something he has worked on. He is still a young player. I think he’s going to do well down in Dallas.”