Raiders

Why Antonio Brown's agent thinks Raiders don't deserve flak for drama

Why Antonio Brown's agent thinks Raiders don't deserve flak for drama

In relationship terms, six months is a decent amount of time. In NFL terms, it is not. 

Antonio Brown lasted just shy of half a year with the Raiders, never playing as much as a preseason snap with Oakland before the team released him at his request Saturday morning. The Silver and Black made a splash in acquiring the four-time All-Pro wide receiver in March, sending just a third- and fifth-round draft pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers to acquire him. 

While the Raiders and Brown seemed all-in on one another to start, the erosion of their relationship culminated with a week of epic dysfunction leading into Oakland's season opener against the Denver Broncos on Monday night.  Hours after his release, Brown signed with the reigning Super Bowl champion New England Patriots. The end of Brown's time in Oakland was messy, but Drew Rosenhaus, Brown's agent, doesn't think the Raiders deserve criticism for that. 

"You know there are trades that don't pan out," Rosenhaus said Saturday on "SportsCenter." "Relationships sometimes get off to a bad start and never recover. Unfortunately, this one just didn't work. I don't want the Raiders to get any flak for this because I just think it was a combination of bad luck and just bad circumstances."

Stories of Brown and quarterback Derek Carr building a connection in the offseason gave way to those of Brown's frostbitten feet, two helmet grievances and an angry confrontation over a pair of fines during the preseason. Brown was none too pleased about being fined for missing practice and a walk-through, and he picked up another fine for angrily confronting Raiders general manager Mike Mayock in Wednesday's practice. 

[RELATED: Raiders reportedly tried to trade AB before cutting him]

That fine allowed the Raiders to void Brown's contract, and he responded by asking for his release on Instagram. That reportedly was Brown's goal all along, and he got his apparent wish Saturday morning. 

It's telling that Brown's agent is not blaming Mayock, Jon Gruden and Co. for the way things ended with his client. But that won't make Brown's departure any easier to swallow for a team tasked with trying to replace one of the best players in football. 

How Patrick Mahomes injury could change outlook for Raiders, AFC West

mahomesinjuryap.jpg
AP

How Patrick Mahomes injury could change outlook for Raiders, AFC West

The AFC West might have just become even more wide open.

It already was heading in that direction after Kansas City lost each of their last two games, but the Chiefs might have suffered an even worse loss Thursday night when quarterback Patrick Mahomes left their game against the Broncos with an apparent leg injury.

Mahomes was in obvious pain after emerging from a pile following a fourth-down sneak. He was able to walk to the locker room, but was ruled out for the rest of the game shortly thereafter.

If Mahomes' injury is as serious as it appears, it would have a drastic effect on the AFC West race. The Raiders (3-2) have put themselves back in contention after winning their last two games over the Colts and Bears. While Kansas City's Matt Moore is a competent backup quarterback, he's nowhere near the same kind of player as the 2018 NFL MVP.

A Chiefs loss to the Broncos combined with a Raiders win over the Packers would leave Oakland all alone in first place in the division. Safe to say, nobody expected that to be a possibility in Week 7.

[RELATED: Green Bay HS legend Ingold ready for homecoming vs. Pack]

The Chiefs, Raiders and the rest of the NFL wait with bated breath for more information about Mahomes' injury.

Raiders' Darren Waller able to reflect on past with contract extension

Raiders' Darren Waller able to reflect on past with contract extension

ALAMEDA -- Darren Waller had one great Wednesday. The breakout tight end practiced with an Oakland team reliant on him to consistently produce in the run and pass game, and then signed a contract extension that will keep him with the Raiders through the 2023 season.

He got a fat raise and financial stability for life, a surefire sign the Raiders believe he can be a top-tier tight end for years to come.

His celebration, however, was subdued.

“I’m not really into spending money on a lot of things,” Waller said Thursday. "I did go to Walgreen’s and buy some Perrier. That’s what I like. That’s my go-to beverage right now.”

Don’t take it to mean the moment wasn’t meaningful. It was a powerful one for someone who nearly threw his career away over substances of abuse, which got him suspended by the NFL twice while in Baltimore. The second ban without pay lasted a full year and forced him to work at a grocery store to make ends meet.

Now he’s recognized as one of the NFL’s best tight ends, in the midst of a breakout season. He was set for restricted free agency next year, where the Raiders essentially controlled his rights. The Silver and Black chose to pay him anyway and commit to him long-term.

That, considering all Waller has been through, meant more than money.

“I feel like it shows I can contribute to a team and be reliable, someone who can be counted on,” Waller said. “That wasn’t the case before. I just try to be a good teammate and be part of this family. That’s what it’s all about for me.”

The Raiders have helped him integrate into the recovery community after signing him off Baltimore’s practice squad later last season. He signed his first Raiders contract in 2018, in the exact same room he signed a major extension less than a year later. It was a powerful moment that made him reflect on just how far he has come, now more than two years clean and sober.

“There was a big wave of that yesterday,” Waller said. “ I usually reflect a ton in my life because I’m so grateful for where I am. I was talking to my family and friends and my trainer, who helped me get back into shape, and it was pretty overwhelming for sure. But it’s in the best possible way.”

Waller’s all about stacking good days, an effort he’s getting better at. It’s paying real dividends in Oakland, where he has a powerful support system. It’s hard for him to think so far into the future, where his contract lasts four full years into the team’s Las Vegas relocation.

“It’s incredible for me,” Waller said. “It’s hard for me to think about what I’ll be like in 2024. I just try to let the days stack up, but it means a lot to me that they would do that. This whole thing is still surreal to me, because last year I was sitting in that same room coming over from Baltimore, and I just didn’t want to mess this up. Now to have something in place for a longer-term is incredible. I’m really looking forward to what’s next.”

[RELATED: Why Waller's extension is money well spent for Raiders]

Waller looks forward to being recognized among the tight ends he watches every week. He goes over every game Travis Kelce and Zach Ertz play. He likes watching Jimmy Graham and Greg Olsen and Cameron Brate. He wants to be recognized in that class of tight ends and known as someone who performed at an elite level for a long time.

“I spend time on the off-day watching other guys in the league just looking at their game and what from that I can apply to mine,” Waller said. “I can compare myself to guys who have been doing it a long time. I’m kind of new to this, but I want to be in the conversation, and I think it’s realistic for me. I know there are a lot of people here who will help me accomplish that.”