Jon Gruden

Eagles may have found the perfect trade partner in Jon Gruden's Raiders

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Eagles may have found the perfect trade partner in Jon Gruden's Raiders

In case you haven’t been paying attention to happenings out west, the Raiders stink. 

They’re 1-5 and it sure looked like Derek Carr was crying after taking another hit this weekend. If he was upset before, Carr might want to ignore this report from Jay Glazer, who says the Raiders are now shopping receiver Amari Cooper and safety Karl Joseph. 

A safety and receiver, huh? Those just happen to be two of the Eagles’ biggest needs right now. 

And the Eagles should at least take a look and maybe make a phone call. 

Amari Cooper 

Even though he suffered a concussion this weekend, the Eagles should probably at least take a look at the 24-year-old Cooper. The former first-round pick is now in his fourth NFL season and has averaged over 14.0 yards per reception. 

He’s not a Mike Wallace-type burner, but he can stretch the field and would give the Eagles a better option than Jordan Matthews or Kamar Aiken opposite Alshon Jeffery. Simply put, it seems like the Eagles need playmakers. And there’s no guarantee Wallace will return this season from that fractured fibula. 

Cooper would fit under the cap this season and next year is on his fifth-year option season at a hefty price of around $13 million. But if the Eagles traded for him, they could sign him to an extension and I never really worry about money when it comes to Howie Roseman. He can figure it out. 

Cooper has just 22 catches for 280 yards, but had a 128-yard game just a few weeks ago. He’s still got it. Not sure what the price would be — maybe it would be too high — but if the Raiders are really selling, the Eagles should at least be shopping. 

The asking price might turn out to be prohibitive though.

Karl Joseph

This one is a little tricker, just because I think the Eagles really value players who know their defensive system to play safety. 

But Joseph is another first-round pick and he played at West Virginia and the Eagles seem to like players from WVU. Joseph hasn’t lived up to his draft status, but maybe a change of scenery could help him. 

If the Birds bring in a safety, it would eventually allow Avonte Maddox to go back in the slot until Sidney Jones (hamstring) is healthy again. 

But even if they traded for a safety tomorrow, he might not be ready to play until after Jones is already back and then it would just send Maddox to the bench. 

Maybe the Eagles go after a safety, but I’m not expecting that to be as quick a fix as a position like receiver or running back. Trading for a safety who hasn’t previously played under Jim Schwartz would be more of a long-term move. 

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More on the Eagles

Jon Gruden wants to know how Howie Roseman did it

Jon Gruden wants to know how Howie Roseman did it

INDIANAPOLIS — Jon Gruden knows a little something about Eagles fans, having spent three seasons (1995-97) in Philadelphia as the Birds' offensive coordinator under Ray Rhodes. It was always smooth sailing with the folks in the 700 level. But when the new Raiders head coach was asked Wednesday at the NFL Scouting Combine about the Eagles' Super Bowl win, his first thought was with the Philly faithful.

"I was just happy for the Eagles fans, those people deserve that, it was really cool," he said.

Chucky’s praise was not reserved for the folks in the seats. He also has a lot of respect for the job Howie Roseman did putting together this team.

“I asked our people in our organization, how did they do that? Some of the trades they made," Gruden said, "some of the free agent acquisitions that they made paid off beautifully.”

Gruden left the Eagles in 1997 to take his first head coaching gig in the NFL in Oakland. He was traded from the Raiders to the Buccaneers in 2002 and Eagles fans have a pretty good idea how that season turned out. Out of coaching since 2008, the 54-year-old is back with the Silver and Black for a second stint and he's taken keen notice of what his contemporary, Doug Pederson, was able to pull off this season.

It will be interesting to see if the analytics-averse Gruden can recapture the success he had in Oakland and the early years in Tampa. His Raiders will not meet the Eagles in the regular season, but he’s thinking of you, Eagles fans.

'Good chance' Jon Gruden returns to Raiders

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USA Today Images

'Good chance' Jon Gruden returns to Raiders

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Jon Gruden says he had a good talk with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis about returning to the organization for a second stint as coach and believes there is a "good chance" it will happen.

Gruden gave an interview to ESPN Radio on Wednesday to discuss his pursuit of the Raiders job that opened when Jack Del Rio was fired after a disappointing six-win season.

Gruden has been out of coaching the past nine years while serving as ESPN's analyst for "Monday Night Football." He is scheduled to work the network's playoff game Saturday in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Tennessee Titans and could come back to the Raiders as soon as next week.

Gruden coached Oakland for four years from 1998-2001 before going to Tampa Bay (see full story).

Giants: Interim Spagnuolo interviews to be head coach
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The New York Giants have started the interview process for their head coaching job by starting with the man who ran the team for the final month of a disastrous season.

Interim coach Steve Spagnuolo was interviewed by new general manager Dave Gettleman, co-owner John Mara and assistant general manager Kevin Abrams Wednesday, three days after the Giants (3-13) ended the season with an 18-10 win over Washington.

Co-owner Steve Tisch will meet with the candidates later in the process.

Spagnuolo posted a 1-3 record after being promoted from defensive coordinator to replace the fired Ben McAdoo on Dec. 4. He has head coaching experience, having guided the St. Louis Rams from 2009-11.

The likable Spagnuolo, who was promised an interview after being the interim coach, has had two tours as Giants defensive coordinator. He held the position in 2007-08 and helped the franchise win a Super Bowl. He returned in 2015 working the first year under Tom Coughlin and being retained by McAdoo (see full story).

Bills: McCoy (ankle) misses practice, uncertain vs. Jags
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Bills running back LeSean McCoy missed practice Wednesday because of a right ankle injury and it's uncertain whether he can play Sunday at Jacksonville in Buffalo's first playoff game in 18 years.

Coach Sean McDermott would only list the Bills' top offensive threat as day to day and declined to say whether McCoy would be able to practice at all this week. McCoy did not speak with reporters during time designated for interviews, as team officials said he was being treated by trainers.

McCoy was carted off the field after being hurt on the opening drive of the second half of Buffalo's 22-16 win at Miami on Sunday.

The win coupled with Baltimore's 31-27 loss to Cincinnati clinched Buffalo's first playoff berth since the 1999 season. As the AFC's sixth seed, the Bills (9-7) will face South Division champion Jacksonville (10-6) in a wild-card game.

McCoy leads Buffalo with 1,138 yards rushing, 59 catches and eight touchdowns, including two receiving (see full story).

Vikings: Bradford explains mindset on latest comeback
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. -- The worst-case scenario fear surfaced in Sam Bradford's mind at midseason, in the aftermath of the 30-year-old quarterback's latest surgery on his left knee.

This procedure was an arthroscopic cleanup, not another reconstruction, but that didn't quiet the question about whether he'd be able to resume his career.

"That was a battle I fought for a few weeks," Bradford said. "But it seemed like each day where it got better, each week where it felt like I was making true progress and could do a little bit more, those thoughts started to leave my mind. I started to become more confident in how I felt on my knee and what I was able to do."

Bradford returned to practice with the Minnesota Vikings this week, the earliest he was eligible to do so after being placed on injured reserve on Nov. 8.

The Vikings can put him back on the active roster for the playoffs at any time, with a decision required by Jan. 23 if they advance to the Super Bowl.

Packers: Capers out as defensive coordinator
GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers have announced the departure of veteran defensive coordinator Dom Capers.

Defensive line coach Mike Trgovac and inside linebacker Scott McCurley were also let go.

The moves made earlier this week were announced by coach Mike McCarthy on Wednesday.

Packers president Mark Murphy said on Tuesday that McCarthy has the authority to fill the coordinator position without waiting for a new GM. Murphy is leading the search for a replacement for general manager Ted Thompson, who is moving to an advisory role with the team.

Capers had been defensive coordinator since 2009. Green Bay was fifth in overall defense in the Super Bowl-winning season in 2010.

But the defense slipped to 22nd in each of the past two seasons despite being stocked with high draft picks. Injuries have plagued the cornerback position.

More changes to McCarthy's staff could be coming after the team finished below .500 and missed the postseason for the first time since 2008.

Raiders: Headquarters land deal offered by city near Vegas
HENDERSON, Nev. -- The Oakland Raiders came one step closer Wednesday to securing the land the team needs for its new headquarters and practice facility near Las Vegas, and at a steep discount.

Officials in suburban Henderson approved a resolution that allows the city to move forward with a direct sale of 55 acres (22 hectares) to the Raiders for more than $6 million -- half the land's appraised value. The city is using a Nevada law that allows for no-bid sales at under-market prices when they are considered to be in the public interest.

"This is an opportunity to take the city of Henderson to a new level," Assistant City Manager Greg Blackburn said during the city council meeting ahead of the resolution vote. "It's hard to put a dollar value to what this does to help us for the future."

The Raiders have promised that the venue will create an estimated 250 full-time jobs not counting players. The team will spend about $75 million to build the complex.

The team wants to kick off its 2020 season at a 65,000-seat domed stadium built partially with taxpayers' money across the freeway from the Las Vegas Strip. The team in May paid $77.5 million for the 62-acre (25-hectare) site and hosted a glitzy groundbreaking ceremony in November (see full story).