King: Can the Raiders Live Up to the Preseason Hype from the National Media?

amari-cooper

The Raiders are getting set to open camp, and the biggest question about the team is going to be how will the team will perform as a club that is on the rise in the AFC?

Today Peter King of SI in his ‘Monday Morning QB’ column wrote about the Raiders, and had the following to say about it.

4. OAKLAND: They’re America’s preseason darlings, but are the Raiders ready to win? Everyone loves Derek Carr, Amari Cooper, and Khalil Mack, and the free-agent signing of Bruce Irvin to help Mack rush the passer was widely praised. But being loved in August and winning in Denver late in the fourth are two different things. The Raiders are talented enough. Now Carr has to make big plays with games on the line, and training camp’s not going to show much there. But chemistry gets built in the summer. Without Charles Woodson and Justin Tuck, now it’s up to the kids to take the reins.

Raiders and CB David Amerson Agree on Four-Year Deal Worth $38 Million

David Amerson

The Raiders have signed cornerback David Amerson to a four-year, $38 million contract extension according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

The deal includes $18 million in guaranteed money. It’s a gigantic turnaround for a player who had already been labeled a major draft bust by this time last offseason.

The No.51-overall selection of the 2013 draft by the Washington Redskins out of North Carolina State, Amerson was a huge disappointment in DC and the Redskins threw in the towel and waived him last September.

He was picked up by the Raiders and immediately inserted into the starting lineup, eventually grading out as the 9th-best cover corner in the entire NFL in 2015 according to Pro Football Focus. The Raiders plan to start Amerson again in 2016 across from recent free agent acquisition Sean Smith in what should be a vastly improved secondary.

Prior to the extension, Amerson was slated to make just $880,000 in 2016.

NFL Announces Three Raiders Games to Be Shown in Full on YouTube

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As voted on by NFL fans on Facebook, 96 of the most memorable games in NFL history will be uploaded to the NFL’s official YouTube channel this August.

From an initial list of 160 classic games compiled by NFL Media/NFL Films in collaboration with NFL Clubs, fans made the final decision on the three most memorable games per franchise. The full network broadcasts of all 96 games will be uploaded this August in conjunction with the start of the NFL preseason.

Voting began June 20th and ended on Tuesday. Here’s the three Raiders games:

Super Bowl XVIII — Raiders vs. Redskins (30%)

2002 AFC Championship Game — Raiders vs. Titans (27%)

Championship game win to get to the Super Bowl (41-24)

Super Bowl XI — Raiders vs. Vikings (21%)

New Raiders OL Kelechi Osemele Ready to Bring Physical Play to the Line

Kelechi Osemele

The Raiders signed Kelechi Osemele in the offseason to improve their offensive line.

Osemele describes his style of play as “physical” and “nasty,” and those adjectives have to be music to the ears of both quarterback Derek Carr and the rest of the Raiders’ offense, Eddie Paskal of Raiders.com reports.

“Right under your chin strap. I’m trying to knock you out,” Osemele said. “They call me ‘KO’ for a reason. They’ve been calling me that for a while, so that really defines who I am as a man. I’m going to look you in the eye and I’m going to take you down.”

In addition to his skills in pass protection, Osemele prides himself on being a quality run blocker, and that’s welcome news for a Raiders’ offense that struggled at times throughout 2015 to consistently spark the ground game.

“I come from a place where we believe in running the ball, and it’s good to be [in] another organization where that seems to be the goal with what they want to do,” Osemele said. “I’m a mauler, that’s what I do. I’m a road grader. I like to run people over and leave them there flat, so I’m glad to be on a team that is headed that direction.”

Offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave also echoed Osemele’s sentiment, and believes the addition of the powerful guard will help to springboard the run game in 2016.

“He’s a tremendous run blocker,” Musgrave said. “We’ve seen that on film when he was in Baltimore. [He’s] good in pass blocking. We anticipate his run blocking to help our run game be more productive.”

Raiders move to Vegas heats up

vegas sign

As things heat up in Chicago entering the second day of the 2016 NFL Draft, the news that the Oakland Raiders could land in Sin City is heating up as well.  Raider owner Mark Davis meet with officials of the Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee (SNTIC) during the week, and what seemed little more than just a thought has inched closer to a reality after the meeting.  Davis was all smiles as he posed with fans behind a black and silver “Las Vegas Raiders” banner.  After making a few light jokes, he then delivered a $500 million commitment to a new stadium in the city for his team.   Davis was quoted saying that “Let’s give them an offer they can’t refuse, they’re going to approve it based on that.”  He went on to state “We need a home. We need a stadium, that’s what Las Vegas is going to provide us and it’s going to be a great marriage.”

At times during the meeting of the SNTIC, it looked like the love affair had started already. There were few pointed questions from committee members, and at one point Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman was gushing in her love and support for the team.  Davis talked about building on the legacy of his dad, the late Al Davis, and finally giving the team a new stadium to match those of the “richer” teams in the league. He insisted he wasn’t trying to use Las Vegas as a bargaining chip, and spoke of a “lifetime” commitment to the city.   At the end of the carefully staged presentation that featured soccer star David Beckham sitting next to him, he said the future is bright for both the city and his team.  It seems that the meeting created more momentum for billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson, who is trying to secure the move of the Raiders to Las Vegas.   Davis confirmed that “This is real, we are not using Vegas as a bargaining chip.”

Meanwhile, over in Chicago Thursday night, with the 14th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders selected West Viginia Mountaineers safety Karl Joseph.

Stay tuned to WWW.RAIDERSGAB.COM for more on the potential move to Las Vegas, and a complete re-cap of the Raiders 2016 Draft picks.

 

Raiders and OT Donald Penn Agree on Two-Year Deal

Donald Penn

The Raiders and OT Donald Penn are back together, as the team and tackle have agreed on a two-year deal worth about $14 million.

Raiders sign 1 year lease & more news..

On Thursday, Raider team officials announced that they have signed a one year lease extension to remain in Oakland Coliseum (O.co) for the 2016 NFL Season.  Raiders owner Mark Davis said the deal was a “win-win” for both sides.  He went on to say that “It gives us an opportunity to work on a permanent facility for the Raiders here in Oakland.   It gives us some certainty for this season as well as flexibility for the following two seasons.”
The agreement with the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Joint Powers Authority guarantees that the Raiders will play the 2016 season in the same stadium they have called home since 1995. It also carries two one-year team options. The deal still needs the approval of the Oakland City Council and the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, who are both expected to meet and discuss terms within the next two weeks.  It is fully expected that the deal will be approved and will keep the Raiders playing in Oakland for he immediate future.
Since taking over the Raider after his father’s death in 2011, Mark Davis has repeatedly said he wants to keep the team in Oakland, while at the same time exploring other options should a deal not be reached.  Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and Davis have more recently butted heads regarding a new stadium and keeping the team in Oakland, but this news brings about at least a temporary halt and will give both sides more time to reach a possible deal.   Said Davis of his exploration of other cities for his team to relocate to, “If people are going to call you and offer things to look at, you have to look at them, but my heart is here in Oakland and if we can get something done, that’s what I’m trying to do.”
Currently, the Raiders share the O.co Coliseum with the MLB Oakland A’s, who are seeking a stadium of their own.  The Raiders and A’s are the only NFL and MLB teams left that share a stadium.  Athletics’ owner Lew Wolff would like a baseball-only stadium built at the current O.com site, while Davis is said to prefer the building of two stadiums.  To help in negotiations for getting a new football stadium built, the Raiders recently hired consultant Larry MacNeil, who spent 10 years as CFO for the 49’ers and was a pivotal player in getting the $1.3 billion Levi Stadium built in San Francisco.   Per the Raiders web-site,  MacNiel “will represent the Raiders’ interests in negotiations with the City and the County.”
In addition to reaching the principle agreement to play in Oakland in 2016, the tam also has options for 2017 & 2018, dependent on how things work out with obtaining a new stadium deal.  Davis said the rent will increase, but fans will pay the same for tickets.  Also, season tickets for the third deck will be available for $225.  This will be the 11th straight year that the Raiders season ticket holders will not se an increase in ticket price.
Beyond this year, things are still up in the air.  A lot depends on what the San Diego Chargers decide as far as joining the Rams in LA.   They (the Chargers) have that option of playing in LA, but should they find a stadium solution in San Diego, then the Raiders will have the opportunity to relocate to LA.  Other options mentioned recently for the Raiders are moving to Las Vegas Nevada, San Antonio Texas, and possibly even replacing the Chargers in San Diego..
In other recent news, the 2016 Raiders opponents have been finalized.  The Raiders home opponents will be Denver, KC, the Chargers, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Carolina, and Buffalo.  The Raiders will also be the “home” team when they face the Houston Texans on Nov 21 in Mexico City.   The Raiders will visit Denver, KC, the Chargers, Jacksonville, Tennessee,, New Orleans, Tampa Bay and Baltimore.  Final dates have yet to be released.
Also in other news, ESPN has announced that recently retired Oakland Raider Charles Woodson will join the ESPN Sunday NFL Countdown Show starting this September.
Stay tuned to WWW.RAIDERSGAB.COM for more up to date RAIDERS news !!

Raiders Expected to Play Texans in Mexico City This Season

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The Texans are expected to play a regular-season game against the Raiders in Mexico City next season, John McClain of the Houston Chronicle reports.

It is an obvious choice to have Oakland play a home game against the Texans in the international series that’s being expanded beyond the United Kingdom, according to league officials familiar with negotiations.

The Raiders were hoping to move to Los Angeles but were left out, and they have yet to sign a new lease in Oakland.

Owner Bob McNair and president Jamey Rootes have told the league for a couple of years how much they would like for the Texans to be involved in the international series, preferably in Mexico City because they have a growing fan base in Mexico.

McNair has insisted he won’t give up a home game at NRG Stadium but would like to play a road game in Mexico City. Oakland is a natural because of its current circumstances.

Rootes, who was part of a Houston group of business and political leaders that visited Mexico City during the season, addressed the subject of playing there after the trip.

“We’ve always expressed that we have an interest in participating internationally as a road team (and), we’ve made it clear that we were most interested in doing that in Mexico,” Rootes said after the visit. “It’s an amazing opportunity for teams and the league.