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☠ ☠ ☠ Official 2021 Las Vegas Raiders thread ☠ ☠ ☠ - only 3.5 more months of talking about draft reaches until real football arrives


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Niners reportedly have a 4yr/$80MM offer on the table for Trent Williams. 

Raiders now have the firepower to beat that offer; if they could even match it, the 13% CA state income tax would equate to ~$10 MM in overall income differential between the two deals.

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1 minute ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Exactly. Good teams find a way to keep good players. And to keep them happy. 

I don't disagree with this. But the Raiders have clearly been looking to shed cap, for whatever plans they have this free agent window. Perhaps they already had Hudson marked as a potential cut (to free up ~$6 MM in cap this year); and when he approached them with the release request - thus voiding $3.5 MM of his dead cap and increasing the net gain this year to ~$7.5 MM, maybe they jumped on it. I dunno. I am pissed and trying to rationalize... 

Supposedly, they are really high on the backup center, Andre James, so maybe that's been playing a role in all of this too. He's one of several backup OL players that played really well during the last two seasons when pressed into service. He's also operating on a rookie FA contract. 

Real talk from last year - three of the four OL who are now gone (assuming Gabe Jax is too) didn't perform to the level of their contracts and/or dealt with a lot of injuries the last two seasons. Meanwhile, their backups have continually performed well, sans Brandon Parker, who has been mostly a bum. And they've now shed all the expensive contracts associated with that aging, injury-rattled OL, and look to redeploy to other places, including hopefully, their woeful defense, starting with Ngakoue.

Beyond that, this suddenly makes them more serious contenders for Trent Williams (and to retain Denzelle Good, who has been fantastic the last two years). Hudson is awesome - an absolute stud. But if by cutting him, they end up landing Williams and Good (and more defenders), then I'd feel much better - especially if a. Hudson was potentially a malcontent going forward, and b. Williams performs as he has the last 7 years - i.e. elite stud OT. Loved Hudson - hope he excels at his next stop, except against Las Vegas; but player for player, I'd argue Williams is more valuable - especially if he comes in fresh and without whatever baggage Hudson has collected.

Lots of IFs above. Let's see who they actually sign with all this newly freed cap. Williams would be target #1 for me, by far.

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3 hours ago, kaso said:

Bears signing Andy Dalton.  One less potential trade partner for Marcus.

Geez, the Bears really just want '85 to be the focus of the entire franchise forever, don't they? Dalton. They made that big move for Mack to add to what was an already good D and then have squandered it. Now, Dalton is better then Foles or Trubisky but how much better? Not much. :lmao:

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2 hours ago, Bruno2 said:

The biggest issue...is WHY does he want to leave? In my mind, cap space is just a distraction for the real problem affecting this organization. 

 

I am wondering if they approached him about restructure or taking less and got pissed about that. 

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2 minutes ago, Chadstroma said:

Pats/Brady?

Brady was a young 42 when the Pats let him go. C’mon. This is a silly comp. not remotely close to letting your starting center go with nothing to show but a cap hit. 

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2 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Brady was a young 42 when the Pats let him go. C’mon. This is a silly comp. not remotely close to letting your starting center go with nothing to show but a cap hit

It's not a cap hit. They freed up ~$7.5 MM this season with the cut. If that money goes to Trent Williams, it changes everything.

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Insiderish info from The Athletic...

Quote

By Vic Tafur 2h ago 104 

… and there have been loud whispers for a while about Hudson’s frustration with the Raiders only having one winning season in his six with them. Plus, the staff is very high on his backup, Andre James.

So, when the two sides met and Hudson said he would be willing to void the $3.5 million guarantee that kicked in last month if he was released, Jon Gruden said yes rather quickly. (Former NFL quarterback Mark Sanchez first reported the request.) ...

Some of the money the Raiders saved on Mack went to Brown, who was paid $36.6 million for 16 games at right tackle over two seasons. All told, the Raiders paid $51.4 million last season to their starting offensive line, and while the offense was good and the defense was to blame for the 8-8 record, the line was not one of the better or more reliable lines in the league.

And then, one by one, the dominoes started to fall this offseason.

• The Raiders were set to hold on to Brown until he restructured, rather than pay him another $14 million, but the Patriots, his former team, are familiar with his baggage and offered a fifth-round pick. The Raiders have enough pots on the stove and said fine.

• They want Incognito back but not at his previously contracted $5 million salary. So they cut him and plan to bring him back, as they assume no other team will jump at a 38-year-old coming off ankle surgery with some red flags over his career. (He is in great shape and they kind of him need him now more than ever, so maybe he got some leverage Tuesday.)

• They are playing the same game with Jackson (and backup quarterback Marcus Mariota) as they were going to with Brown. Jackson, entering his eighth year, was due to make $9.6 million, and the Raiders wanted him to lop off more than a third of that or for the player be cut, according to league sources. His agent made clear that Jackson would take the release.

But Jackson is still on the roster today. The Raiders are squeezing him, thinking that by the time all the other teams sign guards and are out of money, the estimated $6 million restructure will look pretty good. I don’t know what Brown would have done come training camp, but I don’t see Jackson agreeing to a pay cut the way it’s been handled.

• The offensive line is a pretty close group, and the team’s lowball offer to guard Denzelle Good also didn’t sit well. Good started 14 games at tackle and guard last season, filling in for all the injured starters, and was so effective that Gruden called him one of the team’s most valuable players. He earned a big raise from his $2 million contract, especially if he is asked to start again next season, but the Raiders didn’t offer one. They came in low, Good’s agent countered way too high, and the Raiders were content to let him test the market and maybe come back on their terms ...

The series of offensive-line moves leaves the Raiders with Kolton Miller at left tackle, James at center, 2020 fourth-round pick John Simpson at one of the guard spots, with hopefully Incognito at the other. James was an undrafted tackle out of UCLA in 2019 who offensive line coach Tom Cable moved to center immediately, and James really took to the position. He made one start for an injured Hudson in 2019 and played very well.

The wild card is Kyle Long, the former Bears guard and tackle who retired after the 2019 season and is the son of Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long. He recently un-retired and is in great shape and can play inside or outside. The Raiders met with him Monday, then he had a workout for them Tuesday morning before lunch.

 

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1 hour ago, LawFitz said:

It's not a cap hit. They freed up ~$7.5 MM this season with the cut. If that money goes to Trent Williams, it changes everything.

“If” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence. 

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12 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

“If” is doing a lot of heavy lifting in that sentence. 

For sure. Like I said, lot's of ifs. Biggest one for me is whether or not they get Trent Williams. The Raiders were hyper-aggressive in freeing up cap space this offseason - presumably for some TBD agenda. Williams is the only mega-contract player remaining, and he's suddenly a major need. Let's see what happens.

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I'm really trying to be positive about the whole Oline shakeup. But I just can't help it. There's something deeper going on here than just reworking salary cap numbers. 

There is a losing culture here, and it sucks to watch it, I can only imagine what it's like to be a player like Hudson and be part of it. He's had enough, I can't say I don't blame him. If he played a more high-profile position like QB or edge rusher, this would be headline news on the level of Watson and Wilson. 

 

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29 minutes ago, Bruno2 said:

I'm really trying to be positive about the whole Oline shakeup. But I just can't help it. There's something deeper going on here than just reworking salary cap numbers. 

There is a losing culture here, and it sucks to watch it, I can only imagine what it's like to be a player like Hudson and be part of it. He's had enough, I can't say I don't blame him. If he played a more high-profile position like QB or edge rusher, this would be headline news on the level of Watson and Wilson. 

 

I hear you and have suddenly become the only voice of (even minimal) optimism today. Let's judge after free agency more fully transpires. The latest narrative being peddled is that the Raiders cut Hudson to save cashflow. Not buying. Bowl Cut isn't starving for freaking $10 MM in cashflow - how do we know? He voluntarily played the entire season last year without selling a single ticket, when he easily could've pivoted at any time to selling at least 20% of the stadium. And he then bought another sports franchise (albeit WNBA - but still valued in the tens of millions, at least).

Is there a plan here? Maybe not. Time and space will reveal to a degree, if there is. But I've laid out a more sensical narrative, based on the cap numbers - Raiders starting OL was aging, and injury ravaged (except for Miller), making them grossly overallocated for the 2021 cap. They blew it up, but intend to use the freed up capital, promising backups, value and potentially big $$$ free agents, and the draft to reload. Call it Tom Cable or awesome scouting, but save for Brandon Parker, the Raiders OL depth last season was phenomenal - arguably best in the league. Maybe the plan is to lean on that strength, and diversify the cap concentration elsewhere. I dunno, but that makes a lot more sense than, oh, the Raiders are complete idiots and Bowl Cut is a poor pimp.

Downside is that for as good as they were at stocking OL talent, they've been equally horrendous stocking defensive talent. So even if they allocate cap there, how can we have any confidence they'll bring in productive players. Maybe the new DC changes that. More IFs, but let's all slow down just a bit and let this week and next play out before going into complete panic.

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Left tackle Trent Williams is hands down the best available at his position. Due to that fact, his price tag is at an all-time high, and might be more than the San Francisco 49ers are willing to pay. 

Williams was reportedly offered a four-year, $80 million deal by San Francisco. Normally that would be a fair offer. But the market is completely in Williams’ hands. 

The 49ers would likely have to increase that AAV by a few million if they’re to re-sign their blindside protector. 

Is Williams worth that $20 million AAV? Easily. Is he worth $22-23 million AAV? Possibly, but is that the right avenue to go down? 

At the moment, the 49ers have two courses of action. They can either let their excellent left tackle walk and rely on the draft to replace him, or they can re-sign Williams and hope the draft lines up where they can fill their remaining holes. 

If they extend Williams to a $22 million AAV backloaded contract, the 49ers could use their first round pick on a quarterback, and their day two picks to fill their other needs with prospects such as North Carolina State’s Alim McNeill, Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Quinn Meinerz, Washington’s Elijah Molden and Stanford’s Paulson Adebo. 

Do not panic if they miss out on Williams. There is an intriguing option that would provide financial flexibility and still rebuild the line. San Francisco just has to be comfortable ignoring a quarterback with their first pick in favor of a left tackle. 

And thanks to their former Bay Area rivals, the 49ers were presented with that perfect backup plan. The Las Vegas Raiders released three-time Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson on Tuesday, adding a great alternative anchor if the 49ers lose Williams. 

Hudson is arguably the best center in the NFL and would be perfect for the 49ers. His 0.9 blown block percentage since 2016 (per Sports Info Solutions) is better than Williams, Daniel Brunskill, Mike McGlinchey, Laken Tomlinson, Weston Richburg, Alex Mack, Corey Linsley and David Andrews. 

The 31-year-old center’s best trait might be his durability, something San Francisco should start to value. The 49ers are in dire need of reliable offensive linemen, especially at center, which is a key component of Kyle Shanahan’s offense. 

Hudson has missed just one game since 2016, four since 2013. For comparison, only Tomlinson played every game across San Francisco’s past two seasons. 

The 10-year veteran would also add valuable experience, an essential trait for a line that would have just lost its second-straight left tackle captain. 

In terms of contract, Hudson was released in the midst of a three-year, $33.75 million deal ($11.25 AAV). He signed that at the same age as Linsley (29), who just signed with the Chargers for a $12.5 AAV on Monday. 

The 49ers could target one of the many left tackle options in the first round like Christian Darrisaw, Alijah Vera-Tucker and Jalen Mayfield (Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater will likely be gone by pick 12), then redirect some of the money saved toward Hudson and other veterans at positions of need. 

Trent rejected $20 MM per from the Niners. He's 32 and knows this is his last big payday; he's testing the market. Right now, only the Niners, Bears, Colts and Chiefs are reported in the running. Doesn't mean there aren't sleeper teams lurking, including the Raiders. Seen it plenty of times before that a team comes out of the bushes to swoop on a highly sought-after free agent.

Niners are swimming against the current, with a player who wants (inflated) market value. State income tax rates:

CA - 13%, IL - 5%, MO - 5.4%, NV - 0%

On $80 MM, that's $10.4 MM, $4 MM, $4.3 MM and $0 MM, respectively, that needs to be made up to keep the offers economically equal.

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1 hour ago, LawFitz said:

For sure. Like I said, lot's of ifs. Biggest one for me is whether or not they get Trent Williams. The Raiders were hyper-aggressive in freeing up cap space this offseason - presumably for some TBD agenda. Williams is the only mega-contract player remaining, and he's suddenly a major need. Let's see what happens.

The problem with this is that Gruden presumably has his white board with some masters plan on it, and he’s betting on the come.

Trent Williams is also a huge priority for the 49ers. They’re pursuing him aggressively. I’d give it 70% chance the 49ers resign him. The more time goes by the better the chance he leaves.

But this is also the kinda thing Gruden did in Tampa Bay after winning the SB. And he wasn’t very good at it, as evidenced by the results.

I agree if they get Trent Williams they'll be better off. But what’s plan B if they don’t? 

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2 hours ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

Brady was a young 42 when the Pats let him go. C’mon. This is a silly comp. not remotely close to letting your starting center go with nothing to show but a cap hit. 

Brady went and won another SB and the Pats sucked plus they ate a ton of cap money last year. Silly comp? hhmmnn....

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4 minutes ago, LawFitz said:

I hear you and have suddenly become the only voice of (even minimal) optimism today. Let's judge after free agency more fully transpires. The latest narrative being peddled is that the Raiders cut Hudson to save cashflow. Not buying. Bowl Cut isn't starving for freaking $10 MM in cashflow - how do we know? He voluntarily played the entire season last year without selling a single ticket, when he easily could've pivoted at any time to selling at least 20% of the stadium. And he then bought another sports franchise (albeit WNBA - but still valued in the tens of millions, at least).

Is there a plan here? Maybe not. Time and space will reveal to a degree, if there is. But I've laid out a more sensical narrative, based on the cap numbers - Raiders starting OL was aging, and injury ravaged (except for Miller), making them grossly overallocated for the 2021 cap. They blew it up, but intend to use the freed up capital, promising backups, value and potentially big $$$ free agents, and the draft to reload. Call it Tom Cable or awesome scouting, but save for Brandon Parker, the Raiders OL depth last season was phenomenal - arguably best in the league. Maybe the plan is to lean on that strength, and diversify the cap concentration elsewhere. I dunno, but that makes a lot more sense than, oh, the Raiders are complete idiots and Bowl Cut is a poor pimp.

Downside is that for as good as they were at stocking OL talent, they've been equally horrendous stocking defensive talent. So even if they allocate cap there, how can we have any confidence they'll bring in productive players. Maybe the new DC changes that. More IFs, but let's all slow down just a bit and let this week and next play out before going into complete panic.

I appreciate what you're saying, and on a pragmatic level I agree with you. But there is a disconnect between what Bowl Cut and Gruden are doing and to what's happening in reality. This is not the Raiders organization of old, any "commitment to excellence " is long gone. "Pride and poise" is a distant memory. The Miami game last season was the perfect microcosm of the Raiders the past 3 years under Gruden. Carr and the offense claw and scratch and bring the team back to give them the win and what happens? The defense makes two completely stupid mistakes on one play and give the game away. Arden Key made one of the dumbest blunders I've ever seen, but theres no talk of cutting or trading him. Instead, hey let's trade Carr, everything is his fault. Getting rid of Carr would never change the fact that Gruden completely ignored the defense and put it in the hands of Guenther,  a defensive coordinator who never had full control of his defenses before, working under Marvin Lewis, a defensive minded HC.

So here we are, 3 years later after another rebuild, the team is no better off than it was under Del Rio and Reggie. Players want to leave for greener pastures. Free agents from winning organizations can't stand it here, and want to leave as soon as they walk into the building.  Even Agohlor, who was laughed out of Philly called this team a bunch of "losers" after giving away the Miami game, and hes right!

Like Hudson, I'm tired of it too. When will someone in this Godforsaken organization make a genius decision? Even one sensible decision or right move would be great... Why do they have to reach on every dang draft pick? I was hoping for all that to end when Al Davis passed, but no, us fans are still condemned to sit by and watch a once great franchise flounder in a sea of selfish egos and know-it-alls. We can spin this Oline fiasco anyway we want, bottom line, Gruden and this organization can't get out of it's own way. And don't be fooled,  this is another tear down and rebuild. I've been through enough of them by now to know what they look like.

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22 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

I agree if they get Trent Williams they'll be better off. But what’s plan B if they don’t? 

This is where you and I can absolutely agree. The only sensical scenario here, to me at least, is that this is a risky all-in play for Williams, as the foundation piece for the latest rebuild - which I think he could/would be.

If it were me, plan B would start first with extending Miller - and perhaps Carr and Hurst - ASAP, to spread out their coming cap hits across a longer stretch, and eat up some of the cap that was allocated for Williams. Then I dunno. The rest of the free agent class is filled with warts, at least when it comes to the elite(ish) names available. Probably sign 2-3 of the 2nd tier names to top-market deals on a per annum basis, but with cap-friendly team outs after year 1 or 2, at most. Effectively create rental players, that you can churn until they either prove worthy of more or you have draft hits to pay or another Williams-type comes available in free agency next year or beyond.

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2 minutes ago, SDJohnny said:

Morrow resigned. Terms unknown.

I think Morrow is an ascending talent, with a lot of remaining upside. Curious to see how much it cost to keep him around and for how long.

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Just now, LawFitz said:

I think Morrow is an ascending talent, with a lot of remaining upside. Curious to see how much it cost to keep him around and for how long.

According to my Twitter he was talking to other teams.  Curious to see the terms too.

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Raiders Cap Update -

Current Space: $26.6 MM

Additional Flexibility -

- Convert Hudson to June 1 cut: + $6 MM

- Cut/trade Mariota: + $11 MM

- Cut/trade Parker & Key: + $4 MM

- Cut/trade Rashard: + $3.5 MM

- Cut Jeff Heath: + $3 MM

Total Additional Flexibility = + $27.5 MM

___________________________________

Parker and Key and dead to me; and I have zero issues with spreading Hudson's dead cap into next season. That's another $10 MM right there, plus $11 MM from Mariota should they need it, without even dipping into Rashard/Heath.

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^^^

Let's project $54 MM in cap 'flexibility' right now, based on the above, and cutting/trading all those players...

- less $6 MM to sign rookie class

- less $22 MM for Trent Williams bong hit (or more for 2021, if you want to front load to deal seal, and assist future cap)

________________________________

Still leaves $26 MM...

Who else -

- $4 MM (Morrow - hoping this is absolute high end)

- $4 MM (Incognito or Long)

- $4 MM (Good or Long)

Who else?

- Smith-Schuster - I like him, but not for more than ~$9-12mm per - would make for a nice compliment across Ruggs/Renfrow. Cannot count on Mr. Glass Edwards, as much as I'd like to. I'd be willing to commit dead-cap risk to JuJu beyond two years. I don't think he will bust as long as he's viewed/paid as a #2 WR.

- Peterson (PED user) and Reddick (contract-yr wonder) are the only other two I see on the remaining FA list worth considering for more than basement money; and in both cases, it'd need to be with an out after a year or two IMO, as bust potential is fairly decent with both. They would likely require JJSS money, so it'd be only one of these three.

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^^^

Net result -

Lose: Huey Brown, Hudson, Gabe Jax, Agholor

Keep: Morrow, Incognito, Good (or add Long)

Add: Trent Williams, JJSS (or Pat Peterson or Hassan Reddick)

- Wouldn't be doing back flips, but this would make this initial mess of an offseason look much better.

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Young, hungry Lion right here...

Quote

Levi Damien 

February 26, 2021 10:55 am

Around here, we know well who Nicholas Morrow is and what he brings to the field. The former undrafted linebacker played on a second-round tender last season, which should be an indication of the value the Raiders place on him. That value was confirmed just prior to last season when, according to a source, at least two teams reached out to the Raiders inquiring about acquiring Morrow in trade. They were turned away.

Shortly after the season was over, the Raiders expressed interest in bringing him back. But at this moment, the expectation is that the 25-year-old linebacker will test free agency.

Though, if you look around at the national publications, you may not know it.

There are a number of lists out there of top pending free agents. They all seem to have a different arbitrary number of players in their rankings. Our own Touchdown Wire put out a list of their top 101 pending free agents, The Athletic put out a top 50 and then added 63 more at the end (so, 103), Sporting News put out a list of 50 and then when listing by position it added up to 135, and Pro Football Focus initially put together a list of 150.

All those lists, and yet on none of them could you find the name Nicholas Morrow.

It wasn’t until PFF updated their list to stretch it to 200 that Morrow’s name showed up — at number 195.

That ranking was below 2020 teammate Raekwon McMillan (183) who barely saw the field, just breaking double-digit snaps in a game three times all season. And when he did play, he was a serious liability both against the pass and the run.

Morrow, on the other hand, was the best linebacker on the field for the Raiders, starting 11 games. In his 14 games last season, he led the team in solo tackles (62) and was second in tackles for loss (8) and sacks (3).

It’s strange, honestly. But being overlooked is unfortunately something to which Morrow has grown quite accustomed.

“My agent brought that to my attention. I don’t even look at a lot of it,” Morrow told me of his low or no ranking among free agent lists. “It’s not a sore spot because…let’s put it this way; coming out of high school, I’d only started one year and I’d only played seven games. So I had no film, and I had guys that were three stars, four stars, other guys that went to D-1 schools, they were all in front of me and I looked at them and I said I can play. I know that I can play. But I know I’m not going to get a D-1 scholarship because I didn’t have the experience. So, I went to Division-III (Greenville). And when I was there, after about my first or second year, as I got bigger and stronger, there weren’t a lot of guys that were comparable to me. So, I decided no matter what, whatever the case may be, each week I’m going to compete against my best self. So, if I go in there and have seven tackles, a sack, or whatever, I’m going to make sure that next week, that’s even better. That’s kind of how I have to look at it.”

That approach would end up getting him signed as an undrafted free agent by the Raiders and then earn him a spot on the roster. And, as it happens, it would serve him each and every season of his four-year career.

After a standout rookie season in 2017 that had him outplay every Raiders’ drafted rookie and starting five games, the Raiders weren’t ready to give him a starting job. The same thing happened in each of his four seasons with the team.

Each year, despite the team not investing heavily in the linebacker position until this past offseason, they still always brought in a veteran to start ahead of Morrow. And each time, he would ultimately win the job back.

“I just got to make sure that whoever is in front of me, I got to make sure I can learn from them,” Morrow said. “I had guys like Brandon Marshall in front of me, Tahir [Whitehead] was in front of me, and then before that Derrick Johnson was playing in front of me, so I had guys that were playing in front of me who had been in the league for a while and had success so I knew I could learn something from those guys. I remember during that time I was meeting with DJ during training camp after every practice because I want to learn whatever you have, whatever you know. However you see it, I want to see it that way. I want to make plays and process things faster. That’s a guy I leaned on a lot during that time, even when they let him go I was still talking to him.”

Last offseason, the Raiders released Tahir Whitehead and made big investments in Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski to upgrade the linebacker spot. And ironically, it actually led to Morrow starting a career-high 11 games and playing 100% of the snaps six times.

What Morrow has been throughout his career is a weakside linebacker. The 6-0, 230-pounder is an outstanding coverage linebacker and last season showed he can generate pressure on the blitz as well.

The stats from last season bear out his coverage abilities. He allowed just five yards per target which were behind only Roquan Smith and Lavonte David, while his nine pass breakups trailed only KJ Wright (10) amongst linebackers. He is also the only player in the NFL last season with three or more sacks and nine or more passes defended.

What still eludes him, however, is the perception that he can be a three-down player. Which he thinks he is.

“I don’t think that I’m a guy who needs to be limited to just third-down packages,” Morrow said. “You think about what I did this year; I played all three. I play SAM, I play WILL, and I played MIKE. Some games I played all three of them in one game.

“Our scheme was very versatile because there are times when you’ll look at me and I’m on the line of scrimmage. And some games you’ll look at me and I’m dropping and I’m playing Tampa-2. I’ve done so many things with PG (Paul Guenther) and that’s the thing with PG is he puts us in so many different situations based on a game plan. . . I don’t think there’s a scheme that I wouldn’t understand the basics of the defense because of the versatility that PG allowed us to have.”

Much like some of the players the Raiders have signed — Nick Kwiatkoski for instance — Morrow is young and feels like he is ready to step into a starting job. He is hoping there is at least one team that sees that too. And for once in his football career, he will not be overlooked.

“They can rank whoever they want in front of me,” Morrow added. “The organization can bring whoever they want in front of me, I can’t look at it as I gotta be better than those guys, because the reality is, once I’m better than those guys, what’s next? You know what I mean? What do I reach for now? I just have to make sure that I’m being the best that I can be, I’m competing against my best self, and I’m constantly getting better. As long as I do that, eventually it will show. And maybe they don’t respect it right now, they don’t look at it right now, but I just believe in my heart of hearts, as long as I’m going out there and I’m doing what I’m supposed to do, I’m preparing the way I’m supposed to prepare, and my opportunity comes, I take absolute advantage of it and I’ll be all right.”

 

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12 hours ago, Chadstroma said:

Brady went and won another SB and the Pats sucked plus they ate a ton of cap money last year. Silly comp? hhmmnn....

Yes, because they let a 42 year old QB walk, with a declining offense on a team that wouldn’t have won Jack with him. Instead they got reclamation project Cam Newton on the cheap & didn’t win the same Jack, but for cheaper. 

Brady walked to a team that was essentially a QB away from being incredible. Plug and play. They won a super bowl because they were a compete team. Your implication seems to be that if Brady stays in NE he wins a super bowl? I’m skeptical, but you’re entitled to that opinion I guess.  

It’s a pretty terrible comparison.  

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The best signings from free agency are going to be bargains who got squeezed by the cap. We might get a top WR, but I doubt it. 

There are going to be teams who did really well, getting B+ performance from C+ talent. 

This team has been signing B+ talent, and getting D- performance for, let's see, all of our adult lives? So signing a bunch of 2 mill/year guys is gonna work, I just don't think it's gonna work here. 

It needs to come from players we have. Mo Hurst, Mullen, Arnette, Abram, Ferrell, Ruggs, Edwards, (insert name of unknown OL on our roster). 

Free agency isn't going to fix this team, or even improve it much. Improvement needs to come from within. We have youth everywhere, highly drafted young guys everywhere. 

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Way behind here after a night in the ER (nothing serious thankfully).   But here are my random thoughts:

  • Personally hate losing Hudson.  I hope this is a result of; Hudson not willing to take a pay cut, frustrated with the lack of winning seasons (as noted in The Athletic article), and a personal decision he is making to chase an opportunity for a ring before his career ends, it making cap sense for the team after being able to save the additional $3M from the guaranteed.  Regardless he fits the bill for me of the old motto of "Once a Raider, always a Raider".   Hudson was always one of my favorites.
  • Happy to hear of that Morrow was resigned.  I like keeping the LB core together, and allowing Gus the opportunity to make them better.  I'd rather see the Raiders retain talent.  
  • Intrigued on the Josh Brown signing.  1 year deal means little long term risk.  He had spurts of productivity in Buffalo.  I hope this proves to be the next Nelson Agholor deal, where the Raiders can find a means to maximize his talent in this offence. 
  • I too don't buy the cash poor angle of Davis.  I think it is a convenient and easy story line to write for some in the media to chase 'internet clicks/clout'. 
  • Raiders put a 2nd round tender on Carlson.  I like that move too.  Someone wants him, come pay for him.  I'll be just as happy to see him back next season. 
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Are we sure that Al is dead?  

John brown?  Edwards better step up. The wr Corp is tiny  buncha short dudes  

Or Waller. Needs to have 150 catches. 

Im losing faith, to the point that I’m starting to not care anymore. Which is really sad. 

#firegruden

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After a night of sleep I've come to terms with "Rebuild Part 2" of the Gruden era. I'm still bummed, Hudson was my favorite Raider (I played center in high school) so I know the significance of the position and how important he was to the team. That being said, I knew the OL was aging and expensive and something had to be done to get younger. I just didn't expect to send the Anchor packing along with everyone else. You can throw two inexperienced guards next to Hudson and I had faith that he'd make sure those guys knew who to block. Now that trust is gone. The bright side is I have faith in Cable to coach the next guys up. He's done a good job of that so far, as the OL has been the strongest position unit on the team. We need to keep that going.

Being the draft geek I am, here's some names of some interior Olinemen the Raiders will most likely target at #17.

Alijah Vera-Tucker- USC- One of the more athletic OGs in the draft. Added bonus, could probably play RT as well. I've seen him mocked to the Raiders so that probably guarantees the Raiders won't draft him.

Trey Smith-Tenn- Huge road grader, that performed well at the Senior Bowl. If they go OL in the 1st, he could be the pick.

Wyatt Davis-Ohio St- I've heard his name linked to the Raiders here and there, can also play Center, could fit the bill in the 2nd round if he lasts that long. Voted All-Decade at OSU, that says something. 

Landon Dickerson-Bama- If there looking for pure Center, he fits the bill. Mayock likes Alabama prospects and he's a big dude, especially for a Center. 6'6" 315 lbs.

 

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26 minutes ago, DA RAIDERS said:

Are we sure that Al is dead?  

John brown?  Edwards better step up. The wr Corp is tiny  buncha short dudes  

Or Waller. Needs to have 150 catches. 

Im losing faith, to the point that I’m starting to not care anymore. Which is really sad. 

#firegruden

An older version of Ruggs, just what they need!

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24 minutes ago, DA RAIDERS said:

Are we sure that Al is dead?  

John brown?  Edwards better step up. The wr Corp is tiny  buncha short dudes  

Or Waller. Needs to have 150 catches. 

Im losing faith, to the point that I’m starting to not care anymore. Which is really sad. 

#firegruden

The team is in desperate need of a WR 1 so they sign another fast WR that doesn’t produce consistently.   Brown is a WR 3.  We may look back at the 2020 season fondly for the next few years since it is probably going to be the best season we see in awhile. 

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Deep threat seems to be a key cog in this offense. They looked so much better last year when Ruggs was at full speed, even if he wasn't the one making the plays. Agholor filled that role when Ruggs was out - and I'm sure Brown is being brought in for the same reason - Ruggs insurance, in case injuries are an issue again.

For this role, I'm not seeing a huge difference in Agholor vs. Brown, other than $9 MM per in cap.

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1 minute ago, LawFitz said:

Deep threat seems to be a key cog in this offense. They looked so much better last year when Ruggs was at full speed, even if he wasn't the one making the plays. Agholor filled that role when Ruggs was out - and I'm sure Brown is being brought in for the same reason - Ruggs insurance, in case injuries are an issue again.

For this role, I'm not seeing a huge difference in Agholor vs. Brown, other than $9 MM per in cap.

Exactly, I'm not getting the hate on this signing. Makes sense to me.

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Lots of cap left to play with, now that Trent Williams is off the market. Here are some value names to add depth/upside to this roster...

Quote

Al-Quadin Muhammad

DT · Age: 26

Muhammad can play multiple positions well and still has some upside.

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Kerry Hyder

Edge · Age: 30

No one has recorded more sacks on more teams over the last few years without anyone noticing.

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James Conner

RB · Age: 26

The Pittsburgh offensive line didn’t help Conner’s decisiveness over the last two seasons.

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Bashaud Breeland

CB · Age: 29

Cornerback is a weird position: You can have a name brand and make huge dollars, or you can be a guy like Breeland, going year-to-year while always giving his team creditable starts.

Quote

Desmond King

DB · Age: 26

After falling out of favor with the Chargers, King helped the Titans' secondary down the stretch last season. He has special teams value, too. 

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Riley Reiff

OT · Age: 32

The Vikings were seemingly always looking to upgrade from Reiff, but he’s started 119 of a possible 128 games over the last eight seasons (including 58 of 64 in Minnesota), mostly at left tackle. He’ll find a starting job.

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Keanu Neal

S · Age: 26

Injuries have taken a toll, but Neal started to show flashes of his physical form down the stretch last year. Would Dan Quinn bring him to Dallas?

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Ndamukong Suh

DT · Age: 34

Teams will eventually see diminishing returns on these one-year deals for Suh, but it hasn’t happened yet.

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Patrick Peterson

CB · Age: 31

The Cardinals asked a lot of Peterson the last two years, and it did not pay off for the future Hall of Fame candidate. The right coach should still be able to find a role for him. 

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Kenyan Drake

RB · Age: 27

He had to work harder in 2020, but Drake topped 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the third straight season. His best role would be as a dangerous tag-team partner, rather than as a lead back.

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DaQuan Jones

NT · Age: 29

The Titans’ scheme asked Jones to do a lot that doesn’t show up in the box score, and he did it all well.

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Richard Sherman

CB · Age: 33

Sherman is only one year removed from a remarkable late-career second-team All-Pro season. A calf injury in 2020 limited him to 321 snaps, most of them at less than full strength.

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Malcolm Butler

CB · Age: 31

Released after his best season with the Titans because of his big salary, Butler is an asset as a highly competitive, if streaky, starting cornerback. A nice buy-low candidate.

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Anthony Harris

S · Age: 29

His play dipped in 2020 after a torrid season and a half in the starting lineup. The depth in the free agent safety class could hurt Harris’ bottom line.

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JuJu Smith-Schuster

WR · Age: 24

He’s known for his social media, yet JuJu’s game is decidedly old school. A perfect No. 2 receiver who can do all the dirty work with incredible toughness over the middle.

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Curtis Samuel

WR · Age: 25

It took Panthers coach Matt Rhule to show Samuel’s full value, helping him to top 1,000 yards from scrimmage with a mix of route trees and surprisingly potent inside runs. He’s a perfect weapon for today’s wide-open offenses.

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Kenny Golladay

WR · Age: 27

An injury-marred 2020 season won’t erase memories of Golladay skying over defenders and winning 1-on-1 matches on the outside, a difficult skill set to find.

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Haason Reddick

Edge · Age: 26

In one year, Reddick went from a potential roster cut to a contract-year revelation. I’d be wary of expecting 2020 production from Reddick again, but his first-round pedigree will help him get paid.

 

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8 minutes ago, LawFitz said:

Lots of cap left to play with, now that Trent Williams is off the market. Here are some value names to add depth/upside to this roster...

 

I like the idea of getting some veteran leadership in the secondary. Sherman obviously, I'm interested in Neal as well. Can't recall if he's the ballhawking type of free safety or the box type like we already have in Abram. If he's a FS I'm interested. 

Why is there no talk of Malik Hooker? Has he not recovered from his injuries? I'd think a young, former 1st round pick coming back from injury on a prove it deal would fit the Raiders budget.

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2 hours ago, LawFitz said:

Niners re-up Trent Williams at $23.6 MM per. Funny how this FA period was billed as a time for value deals due to the reduced cap. Not so for the A tier.

It took longer than I’d expected, but I expected that deal to get done. 

I thought it would take 25M to lock him up, tbh which is why I thought the Raiders might have lured him away with low state taxes.

I am now very concerned with Carr staying vertical. I hope he calls his brother for advice on playing behind what might be a rough OL. 

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13 minutes ago, LawFitz said:

Lots of cap left to play with, now that Trent Williams is off the market. Here are some value names to add depth/upside to this roster...

 

Some excellent names on this list.

Reports are that WAS WFT are the frontrunners for Samuel. With Fitzmagic & McClaren he’d be a rock solid #2 for them so that makes sense. 

Golladay is likely a Dolphin or a Giant. 

Peterson, Sherman, Suh, Butler & Reddick could all be good fits with the Raiders. 

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3 minutes ago, Hot Sauce Guy said:

It took longer than I’d expected, but I expected that deal to get done. 

I thought it would take 25M to lock him up, tbh which is why I thought the Raiders might have lured him away with low state taxes.

I am now very concerned with Carr staying vertical. I hope he calls his brother for advice on playing behind what might be a rough OL. 

Raiders have huge holes at RT and Swing T now. TBD how they fill them, but by far the worst players on their OL the last year - Sam Young and Brandon Parker - are the only OTs they have left behind LT Miller. Carr isn't good at anticipating or evading pressure. This is potentially a season derailer if not addressed well.

One solution is Denzel Good - who played well at OG and RT last year, but is an unnerved FA right now, after being low-balled by the Raiders and then watching all his homie OL disrespected by the org this offseason. Another is formerly broken down Kyle Long, who supposedly is healthy now and ready to make a comeback at 32. Or one of the potentially serviceable RTs left in the free agent pool.

Not a fan of any of the above solutions, so I'm thinking best option is going to come from the draft. That stinks though, because the best drafts come from taking BPA, not being desperately needy at particular positions. :(

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  • Hankmoody changed the title to ☠ ☠ ☠ Official 2021 Las Vegas Raiders thread ☠ ☠ ☠ - only 3.5 more months of talking about draft reaches until real football arrives

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