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Raiders GM Mayock Says Team Needs More at the Wide Receiver Spot

The Raiders have two first-round picks at their disposal at the 2020 draft and have plenty of areas they could look to shore up when they are officially on the clock in a little over a week, Tyler Sullivan of CBS Sports reports.

Quarterback has been a position up for discussion throughout this offseason as the club has, at times, appeared wishy-washy on franchise signal caller Derek Carr.

Despite signing veteran Marcus Mariota in free agency, there have been rumblings that Vegas could be interested in a quarterback at the draft, specifically Utah State’s Jordan Love. In his latest two-round mock draft, CBS Sports NFL Draft expert Ryan Wilson makes note of those murmurs and even has Love slotted to the Raiders at No. 12 overall.

During his pre-draft conference call with the media on Tuesday, however, general manager Mike Mayock relayed that he’s pleased with the collection of quarterbacks he’s put together.

“We’re excited about the quarterback room,” said Mayock.

One spot that the GM was quick to make notice of, however, was wide receiver. Despite tight end Darren Waller enjoying a breakout, 1,000-yard receiving season last year, the team’s receiver group were less than prolific in 2019. Veteran Tyrell Williams was the position’s leading receiver with 651 yards. Rookie Hunter Renfrow was right behind him with 605 receiving yards and led the position group in receptions with 49. Even with an elite tight end involved in the passing game, Mayock was pretty candid that they need to improve.

“[It’s] no secret that we need to get better at wideout,” Mayock said, while highlighting this year’s class has great top-tier talent and quality depth to it.

At their No. 12 spot, Vegas is right in the sweet spot of where the cream of the crop receivers like CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy are pegged to come off the board. It’s not unfathomable that the Raiders could swoop in there to take one of the top guys and address another need — like corner — at No. 19 overall.

“I think you need to let it come to you a little bit,” Mayock said of their approach when targeting a receiver. “Whether it’s in the first round, second round, third round, fourth round, fifth round, I’m hoping we can find a wideout that fits what the Raiders need and fits out culture.”

Jon Gruden Peppered with Questions About Tom Brady, Says Team Trying to Improve at Every Position

The Raiders are one of the top potential destinations for impending free agent quarterback Tom Brady. Coach Jon Gruden was asked about the team’s interest in Brady on Tuesday, John Katsilometes of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

“You’re killing me, man” while making a Chucky face. He went on, “We love our quarterback. Our quarterback’s a really good player, Derek Carr. I want to reiterate that to everybody here in Vegas. We’ve got a good, young quarterback, and the film, the statistics and analytics prove it.”

Pivoting to the team’s other players, Gruden added, “We’re going to be in the market to try to improve at every position. That’s what we’re gonna do.”

Raiders Release Veteran Linebacker Tahir Whitehead

The Raiders on Monday released veteran linebacker LB Tahir Whitehead.

Whitehead originally signed with the club as a free agent ahead of the 2018 season.

In two years with the Silver and Black, Whitehead started in all 32 contests, compiling back-to-back 100-plus-tackle campaigns, leading the team in both seasons.

Over his eight-year career with the Detroit Lions (2012-17) and Raiders, Whitehead has appeared in 125 contests with 86 starts, recorded 600 tackles (435 solo), three sacks, five interceptions, 24 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and five fumble recoveries.

Former Raiders Second-Round Pick Lamarr Houston Announces Retirement

After two years out of football, Lamarr Houston is officially walking away from the game, Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com reports.

The former second-round pick announced Wednesday that he is retiring after eight active seasons in the NFL. Houston, drafted by the Raiders in 2010, signed a one-day contract with the team Wednesday and will be placed on the club’s reserve/retired list.

Houston spent his first four seasons in Oakland, where he played in 64 games, logged 16.5 sacks and was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team in 2010. After his rookie contract expired in 2014, Houston signed a lucrative five-year deal with the Bears. The edge rusher, however, failed to live up to the contract and spent more time off the field dealing with injuries than on the field.

Houston’s injury woes began in his first year in Chicago when he tore his ACL during a sack celebration while the Bears were down 25 points to the Patriots. Houston returned in 2015 to play 16 games and pick up eight sacks, but struggled to stay on the field thereafter, playing in just 12 games over the next two years.

The Bears cut Houston in Sept. 2017, only for the pass rusher to end up in Houston. The Texans waived him in November, and Houston landed back with Chicago, with whom he spent his final five games.

Could QB Derek Carr Be on the Chopping Block for the Raiders This Offseason?

Numberfire.com has out a list of one player for each AFC team they think might be on the chopping block this offseason.

For the Raiders the site has picked QB Derek Carr as the player that could find himself released. Here’s what they have to say about Carr getting cut.

Oakland Raiders – QB Derek Carr

Dead Cap Hit $5M, Cap Saving $16.5M

It may have escaped the attention of a large part of the free football-watching world, but Derek Carr was not terrible for the Oakland Raiders in 2019. He completed 70.4% of his passes on his way to 4,054 yards and 21 touchdowns. He was fourth among quarterbacks with 500 or more dropbacks with a 0.20 Passing NEP per dropback (out of 20).

However, there is still this nagging thought that Jon Gruden and Carr are just not a match made in heaven and not one that the Raiders want to maintain as they head to Las Vegas. The saving the team could make by cutting him would be considerable, after all. The question of where the Raiders would go at quarterback after cutting him has no obvious answer. But it would not shock me if Carr were in a different uniform in 2020, and the Raiders had another guy under center in Sin City.

Raiders Ink CB Nevin Lawson to a One-Year Extension

Cornerback Nevin Lawson has agreed to a one-year contract extension with the Raiders, Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.

Lawson played in 11 games, including five starts, for the Raiders last season after signing a one-year free agent deal last offseason.

The 28-year-old Utah State alum had 23 tackles and five passes defensed after serving a four-game suspension for a violation of the NFL’s performance-enhancing drug policy.

He is due to serve a one-game suspension to start the 2020 season for using his helmet as a weapon during the Raiders’ Week 17 loss to the Broncos.

Introducing the Brand New Las Vegas Raiders

It’s an historic day, as today the Raiders officially become one with the city of Las Vegas. Introducing the ‘Las Vegas Raiders.’

Raiders Rookie RB Josh Jacobs Unlikely to Go Sunday Against Denver

Raiders rookie running back Josh Jacobs is not expected to play in Sunday’s regular season finale against the Broncos according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.

Jabobs was already trying to play through a fractured shoulder that cost him Weeik 14 and Week 16 when he underwent a surgical procedure Christmas Day for what has been described as a “superficial skin infection”.

With the Raiders still clinging to faint hopes of an AFC Wild Card berth, they would undoubtedly prefer to have their stud rookie in the lineup but it would be foolish to risk further injury.

Even if Jacobs somehow suits up, he will be far less than 100-percent in a far-from-ideal matchup at Mile High Stadium.