Redskins

Raiders suspend McClain for 2 games

Raiders suspend McClain for 2 games

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) The Oakland Raiders suspended linebacker Rolando McClain on Friday for two games for conduct detrimental to the team after sending him home from practice earlier in the week.

Coach Dennis Allen announced the suspension but has not said publicly what McClain did to warrant the punishment other than calling it a team-related issue.

McClain was present at the start of practice Wednesday before being asked to leave amid speculation he might be released. Allen asked McClain to stay home from the facility on Thursday, saying there needed to be ``consequences to his actions.''

He told McClain on Friday that those consequences were a suspension, starting with Sunday's game against Cleveland.

``I'm not going to get into any of the specifics of anything that happened, that went into the decision,'' Allen said. ``That's team-related matters. We're going to keep that within the family.''

Allen said he discussed the decision with general manager Reggie McKenzie but made the move himself. McKenzie said there was more than one incident that led to the suspension and it was possible that McClain had played his final game as a Raider.

``It's going to be on him. I don't feel the need to approach him. So far, he is not apologetic,'' McKenzie said. ``We wouldn't suspend him unless it was something major, including all that stuff off the field and on the field and all that. I think a two-game suspension pretty much says it's an issue.''

McClain is eligible to return from the reserve/suspended by club list on Dec. 10. The Raiders can add a player to the 53-man roster until then. McClain will lose about $114,000 of his $970,000 base salary.

Defensive tackle Tommy Kelly said McClain was very upset after being kicked out of practice on Wednesday. Kelly said he hopes McClain's career is not hurt by a ``small disagreement'' with a coach.

``Me personally, if I was him, I'd come back and do what they ask me to do and whatever happens after that, just deal with it,'' Kelly said. ``But you never want to put yourself in a position where a team is going bad and they can just put all that on you. I just don't want him to get in a situation where he's the scapegoat. ... He's not what's wrong with the team. It's a collective effort. We all had our hands in it to this point so I just don't want him to be put in that position and know that if you do these certain things, that's how you're going to be cast.''

McClain was the eighth overall pick in the 2010 draft after helping Alabama win a national championship the previous season. He has struggled so far in his career and has had his playing time sharply reduced in recent weeks.

In 41 career games with Oakland, McClain had 6 1/2 sacks, one interception, one forced fumble, no fumble recoveries and did little to help improve Oakland's struggling run defense.

The Raiders (3-8) have allowed 169 points in losing the past four games and are on pace to give up the second-most points ever in a 16-game season.

After being essentially an every down player for the first two years of his career, McClain was demoted after the first month of this season. He was replaced by rookie Miles Burris in nickel packages because of his struggles in pass coverage and because the coaching staff believed he tired too easily playing every down. He has gone from playing more than 90 percent of defensive snaps to just over half the past seven games.

McClain also had problems off the field. He was involved in a shooting in Alabama last November when he left the team briefly during the season to attend a family funeral. McClain had been convicted of four misdemeanors in May but he appealed and the charges were recently dropped when the accuser told prosecutors he no longer wanted to pursue the case.

Recently acquired Omar Gaither will take McClain's spot in the lineup against Cleveland. Since being signed by Oakland on Nov. 14, Gaither has only played on special teams in two games but the coaches say he has learned the new system quickly.

NOTES: Allen said third-string QB Terrelle Pryor will likely be active for the first time this season and could see some action. ... RBs Darren McFadden and Mike Goodson are listed as questionable after missing three games with sprained right ankles. They will both be game-time decisions. ... QB Carson Palmer practiced fully after being limited by a thumb injury Thursday and should be fine for the game Sunday.

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Why Trent Williams is the one holding the leverage when it comes to his situation with the Redskins

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Why Trent Williams is the one holding the leverage when it comes to his situation with the Redskins

Trent Williams wasn't at the Redskins' mandatory June minicamp or any of their OTA sessions, either, with reports suggesting he wants more money, is upset with the organization's medical staff or a combination of the two.

But even by not attending any offseason practice, Williams showed the Redskins something very important.

If he's not at left tackle for the team in 2019, the entire offense might fail. Not having their anchor on the left side could be an anchor to the whole campaign.

Even in sessions where the defensive line wasn't playing with full ferocity, they often times had no problems getting into the faces of Dwayne Haskins and Case Keenum. Jay Gruden absolutely noticed. It was impossible not to.

Yes, it's necessary to point out Williams wasn't the only one missing up front. In fact, the collection was basically made up of second-stringers.

However, Morgan Moses, Brandon Scherff and Chase Roullier are all slated to be back when meaningful football resumes. Gruden, the passers and the running backs don't have to worry about them.

Yet they should all be quite petrified at the thought of not having No. 71 around.

A massive reason why is because of the present choices behind him. Ereck Flowers was brought in to try and be used at left guard, but with Williams absent, he saw heavy action on the outside. The results reminded everyone there of why he's being moved to the interior.

Aside from Flowers, the 'Skins have players like Tyler Catalina and Timon Parris on the roster. They fared better than Flowers when the media was able to watch practices in Ashburn, but they're nowhere close to being starting-caliber options, let alone ready to serve as replacements for one of the franchise's top contributors of the 2000s.  

That's a major factor into why it feels like Williams holds the leverage in his standoff with the Burgundy and Gold. There are other factors as well.

Whether or not Haskins wins the job coming out of Richmond remains to be seen. With that being said, the 15th overall pick will eventually take over as signal caller, and figures to take over for the long-term future. Haskins' early career beginning with someone other than Williams protecting him is the opposite of ideal.

Then, there's the fact that many decision makers believe the Redskins are "close" to breaking through. That step forward will not happen if Williams isn't suiting up.

Now, the team could just wait Williams out and see if he's really committed to the reported "vow" he's taken to never play in DC again. Would he still be content to not show up once he starts losing out on hefty game checks?

That's something the front office may decide to find out, and that route could easily force Williams into a place where he has to make the first move. It's a card they're holding, and a key card at that.

But still, the Redskins have a head coach who badly needs to succeed starting in September, an offense predicated on running the ball, a prized young QB about to embark on his NFL life and leaders up top who could use positive results on the field.

All of that is largely why, in his Tuesday story, JP Finlay wrote that perhaps improving Williams' contract and getting him back in the locker room appears to be how this'll all play out.

The storyline this offseason absolutely wasn't supposed to be about a battle between the Redskins and Trent Williams, but as of now, that's the topic everyone's talking about. It's now in Washington's best interest to ensure it doesn't carry over beyond Week 1.

For that to happen, it seems like the team will have to appease the player. That's not common in the NFL, but not many players find themselves with the leverage Williams possesses.  

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Report: Deputy considering lawsuit against Raptors' Masai Ujiri

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Report: Deputy considering lawsuit against Raptors' Masai Ujiri

The sheriff's deputy who allegedly got into an altercation with Raptors president of operations Masai Ujiri has retained a lawyer and is considering filing a lawsuit against the Raptors executive, according to a report. 

David Mastagni, the newly hired attorney, told San Francisco TV station KPIX reporter Katie Nielsen and the Associated Press that the Alameda County sheriff's deputy was unable to work and had a concussion from the incident following the Raptors' NBA championship win at Oracle Arena last week.

Sgt. Ray Kelly told NBC Sports Washington last week that Ujiri wasn't wearing the proper credentials to celebrate with the Raptors on the court at Oracle Arena after his team won the final. When the sheriff's deputy tried to stop him, according to Kelly, he was pushed and struck in the face by Ujiri. 

Ujiri was eventually identified and allowed on the floor. He was seen moments later celebrating with the Raptors players on the ABC broadcast. 

Last week a Raptors spokesperson told NBC Sports Washington that the incident “is being looked at, and we are cooperating with authorities. We look forward to resolving the situation.” When reached on Tuesday, the spokesperson said there was no further comment.

On Tuesday, KPIX's Nielsen reported that Alameda County Sheriff Greg Ahern had reviewed body camera and security camera footage of the incident and supports the deputy. According to the report,  he is recommending the case move forward to the District Attorney for charges of misdemeanor battery of a police officer.

NBC Sports Washington's Ben Standig reported earlier that the Wizards were preparing an offer to try to lure Ujiri from Toronto to take the vacant top position in the team's front office - though Ujiri, while celebrating at the parade in Toronto on Monday, might have hinted that he wasn't interested in leaving quite yet. "We will continue to win in Toronto," he told fans.

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