Previewing The 2014 Oakland Raiders Schedule Release

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The Oakland Raiders rarely have it easy. They’re still in full rebuilding mode, and although they traded for quarterback Matt Schaub, they’re going to face an uphill battle towards becoming a consistently competitive team in 2014. Playing in a tough AFC West division only makes it harder, while the Oakland Raiders schedule outside of the division doesn’t help.

Oakland has it a little easier at home in 2014, but with the AFC West taking on the NFC West, bouts with the Cardinals and 49ers sure won’t be taken lightly. The Bills, Dolphins and Texans finish up Oakland’s home schedule, with all three being winnable games if the Raiders can make the jump their fans are hoping for.

It’s a different story on the road, as Oakland has to travel to Seattle to take on the defending Super Bowl champs, and will also have to visit the Patriots, Jets, Browns and Rams. On the bright side, Oakland should have at least a shot at taking down the Jets, Browns and Rams on the road.

All 2014 Opponents

Home: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans, Arizona Cardinals, San Francisco 49ers

Away: Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, San Diego Chargers, New England Patriots, New York Jets, Cleveland Browns, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks

For a look at all 32 NFL team’s 2014 match-ups, click here.

Raiders to sign RB Maurice Jones Drew today to 3 year deal

The Raiders are expected to sign former Jacksonville running back Maurice Jones-Drew to a three-year contract today, according to multiple reports.  Jones-Drew, an Oakland native, told the Raiders on Thursday night he intends to sign. The former Jacksonville Jaguar figures to have a better chance of starting in Oakland than with the Jaguars.

The two sides are close to agreeing on a contract but 29-year-old still must pass a physical exam.   ”MJD” would compete against Darren McFadden  for the starting job. McFadden, the No. 4 pick in the 2008 draft, has failed to play 16 games in a season because of numerous injuries and did not play in three games last year..

In the 2013 season, MJD was  limited by a foot injury and  averaged just 3.4 yards per carry in rushing for 803 yards with five touchdowns. A foot injury also cost him 10 games in 2005. In 2011, Jones-Drew was a first-team All-Pro after leading the NFL with 1,606 rushing yards

QB Terrelle Pryor Wants Out Of Oakland – Wants To Be Traded

Terrelle Pryor

Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor has reportedly requested a trade according to Tim Kawakami of Fox Sports.

Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie has confirmed the request and said that the teams is going to try to comply with Pryor’s wishes by actively shopping him to other team and will then release him if they cannot find a trading partner.

Apparently overwhelmed by the awesomeness of the Matt Schaub acquisition, McKenzie had already informed Pryor that he would not be given a chance to compete for the starting job in Oakland in 2014.

No one can blame Pryor for being upset about the decision and wanting to start over elsewhere. No one could characterize Pryor’s 2013 stint as the starting QB for the Raiders in 2013 as a success but it should be noted that he was operating behind a woeful offensive line and with few offensive weapons.

He did show glimmers of promise and his raw athleticism will likely attract developmental attention from forward-thinking teams because he can move the chains with his legs.

Raiders looking to close out trade for Texans QB Matt Schaub

The Raiders may have found their starting quarterback.  According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Oakland will likely send a late-round draft in exchange for Schaub. However, the trade has not been made official yet.

Houston owns the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft, and appears first-year coach Bill O’Brien might select a quarterback. Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater, University of Central Florida’s Blake Bortles and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel are the likely candidates.  Manziel was spotted sitting with Houston RB Arian Foster Thursday night at a Houston Rockets NBA game..

If the trade does happen,  Schaub would join Terrelle Pryor, Matt McGloin and Trent Edwards as quarterbacks on Oakland’s roster.   All signs would point to the Raider’s starting Schaub with one of the other 3 being back up.  Too early to say, but my guess would be that one of the remaining 3 QB’s on the roster would be let go.. Stay tuned for more info on this story..

Oakland Raiders Agree To Terms With Offensive Tackle Donald Penn

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The Raiders have added another piece on their O-line, as the team agreed to terms on a contract with offensive tackle Donald Penn on Tuesday afternoon, a pair of NFL sources told Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area.

The terms were not immediately disclosed.

Penn visited Oakland last Thursday and the Redskins on Sunday. He was weighing both options on Monday and chose a team with a new-look offensive line.

The seven-year veteran is expected to play left tackle, the position that Rodger Saffold was slated to play before he failed his physical and ultimately re-signed with the Rams.

Penn, a Pro Bowler in 2010, spent his first seven seasons with the Buccaneers where he started 108 of the 112 games he appeared in.

Raiders Using Money In All The Right Ways

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As the first week of free agency is starting to wrap up, it is obvious the Raiders took a big part in the free agency frenzy over the course of the week. The Raiders have a lot of money to spend, and they are definitely doing that as they have added some veterans and leadership to the young organization.

Starting with the signs of defensive lineman LaMarr Woodley, Justin Tuck and Antonio Smith. The Raiders added three former pro bowlers to a defensive line that needed all the help it could get. In 2013, the Raiders defense gave an average of 4.6 yards a run and lost in the sack ratio 38:44.

Woodley recorded 57 career sacks since being drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers out of college. At Michigan, Woodley played defensive end but converted into an outside linebacker in the 3-4 system. Now, Woodley will be returning back into the defensive end role with the Raiders.

Tuck has registered 60 sacks during his time with the Giants. Tuck brings leadership from New York as he was the main voice of the Giants’ defense after Michael Strahan retired. Tuck got to the quarterback 11 times in 2013.

Smith is 32-years-old and has registered a career of 41.5 sacks between playing with the Cardinals and Texans. Smith weighs in at 6’4 and 289 pounds. Smith is very durable. He has missed just one game in the last five seasons.

The Raiders also took the chance to upgrade at cornerback by signing former 49ers’ defensive back Tarell Brown. The 29-year-old Brown found himself banged up in 2013 but is effective when he is healthy. Brown has a total of 39 pass deflections in the last three seasons and six interceptions in that time frame.

Offensively, the Raiders added offensive tackle Austin Howard who comes from the New York Jets. Howard played in a small college, and worked his way up from the practice teams squad and back up player to where he is today. That is why Howard feels he can supply the offense with some good leadership.

The Raiders are using the money that have and seem to be making some good signs by improving the defense and offensive line. Anymore moves made by the organization will be tracked right here on Raiders Gab!

Brandon Sweeney is Co-Editor of the Gab Network. Follow him on Twitter @NFLNSTUFF, Like him on Facebook , add him to Google+, and Trust him on Sulia.

Davis Upset Over Continued Stadium Issues In Oakland

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Raiders owner Mark Davis is getting impatient that his team hasn’t been able to get a new stadium in Oakland.

“The (city of Oakland) brought in (real estate firm) Colony Capital (to help develop the Coliseum complex) and based on that, I decided to go ahead and do a one-year extension with them,” Davis told Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle. “We will play in the Coliseum next year. But there’s been no progress.”

“I had high hopes when Colony Capital came in. I still do have hopes, but they’re not as high because I haven’t really heard anything positive from either group. It’s gone silent again. We have to get something done.”

“This one-year extension is really based on the hope that Colony Capital can get something done. I don’t want to call it a last-ditch effort, but it does seem to be the last chance that Oakland is going to get. We can’t continue to play in that stadium, with the baseball field and all of that stuff. The A’s have two years left, and are talking about a 10-year extension. We can’t keep getting pushed off, off, off, off …”

Raiders Sign Special Teamer/CB Taiwan Jones To Three-Year Deal

Taiwan Jones

One of the top special teams players for the Raiders is now under their belt for three seasons.

The team announced today they have inked cornerback and special teams standout Taiwan Jones.

Reports say the three-year pact is at $4.355 million.

This last season Jones led the Raiders in special teams tackles with 13.

“It’s a blessing,” Jones said in a statement released by the Raiders. “It’s rare to see and to know that my local team wants me to stay home, and it’s just a blessing. I’m glad to be part of it, happy to remain here and there are big things coming that I am happy to be part of it.”