Raiders Safety Neiko Thorpe Accepts Pay Cut to Stay with Team

Neiko Thorpe

Raiders safety Neiko Thorpe will be making a little less in 2016, as reports say he’s accepted a pay cut in order to remain with the silver and black.

He was originally slated to earn $2.553MM in 2016, he’ll now receive a base salary of $675K and up to $1MM in total.

The former undrafted free agent out of Auburn compiled career-highs in tackles (40), passes defended (six), and interceptions (one) while starting two of his 14 games last season for the Raiders.

After that performance, the Raiders hit Thorpe with a second-round tender, giving him a $2.5MM+ non-guaranteed base for the coming season. Thorpe received the tender in March and inked it in April.

Raiders Reward GM Reggie McKenzie with Four-Year Extension

Reggie McKenzie

In a move that should make Raider Nation happy, the team has inked general manager Reggie McKenzie to a four-year contract extension, keeping him aboard as the club makes a push for the playoffs for years to come.

Owner Mark Davis announced the move Friday night in front of about 100 former Raiders players. Davis said it was time to “reward” McKenzie for the job he had done in his first three years with the team.

McKenzie was originally given a five-year contract back in 2012 to run the team after the death of longtime owner Al Davis. The Raiders struggled at the start as McKenzie tried to rebuild the organization, winning just 11 games his first three seasons.

But a few strong draft classes and the hiring of coach Jack Del Rio last year helped Oakland improve to 7-9 in 2015 and the Raiders are expected to contend in the AFC West this year.

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

index

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.