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3/25/15: Running back Trent Richardson was highly touted when he came out of the University of Alabama. He was the third overall pick by the Cleveland Browns, and had a good rookie season. He was traded to the Indianapolis Colts at the beginning of his second year. He did nothing in two years in Indy, so they released him. Now he is with the Oakland Raiders, and figures to be the lead running back. It is a small two year deal for about $3.5 million with only $600,000 guaranteed. Not a bad low risk move for the Raiders. If Richardson can regain his rookie form, he may be quite a steal for Oakland.
3/18/15: The Oakland Raiders have a lot of money to spend, but the problem is that not many seem to want it. There was a lot of speculation that Detroit Lions' defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh would go to Oakland, but he ended up signing a record deal (for defensive players, at least) with the Miami Dolphins. Running back DeMarco Murray was also on the Raiders radar, but he ended up signing a big deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. Oakland was able to sign defensive tackle Dan Williams (formerly of the Arizona Cardinals) as well as middle linebacker Curtis Lofton (formerly of the New Orleans Saints), and both should be starters next season.
3/11/15: In a twist that is only fitting for the Oakland Raiders, their situation improved on two fronts by actually not doing anything at all. First, the Detroit Lions opted against giving defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh the franchise tag, so he is a free agent. Many people have the Raiders linked to Suh and he would instantly upgrade their defensive line. That ended up not mattering, though, as the Dolphins signed Suh. Additionally, the San Diego Chargers got Goldman Sachs to agree to underwrite a new stadium in the Los Angeles area. The Raiders and Chargers agreed to partner on a new shared stadium, and getting Goldman Sachs ensures that there is the needed financing in place. That should put the pressure on the City of Oakland to actually get something done.
3/4/15: The Oakland Raiders could be a team to watch this offseason in terms of signing free agents and adding to the roster. There have been a lot of criticisms of GM Reggie McKenzie, particularly with the poor records that the team has posted in the past few years. However, remember that McKenzie inherited a salary cap mess and he did a terrific job of clearing that up. Now it is time to spend and get some talent back on the team. Two possible impact players the Raiders could be targeting are Detroit's defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh and Green Bay's wide receiver Randall Cobb.
2/25/15: The Race to Los Angeles got a lot more interesting last week. When St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke put his cards on the table by announcing he was building his own stadium in the L.A. area, the big question was if the other owners would let him move or if he would move regardless. Now the Raiders and San Diego Chargers have teamed up to try to build their own shared stadium in the L.A. area. Both have poor stadium situations now - worse than St. Louis - and neither has been able to get new stadiums built in their current markets.
2/18/15: While the Oakland Raiders play chicken with the city about building a new stadium, or else, those that actually have something to do with the actual playing of the game have their own issues to worry about. New head coach Jack Del Rio was noncommittal about the future of running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Once upon a time, MJD was one of the best backs in the league for the Jacksonville Jaguars, whom Del Rio coached. Age and injuries have taken a toll on the running back and there is a good chance that he will not be back for a second season with the Raiders.
2/11/15: The Raiders were able to convince safety Charles Woodson to stick around for another year and he wants to make the team better so they can end their long playoff drought. The Raiders have not been to the playoffs since they were defeated in the Super Bowl by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and that was a dozen years ago. To improve the team, Woodson wants to get defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh in the Silver and Black. Suh is expected to command a huge salary wherever he signs, but the Raiders are one of the few teams that actually have a lot of cap space readily available.
2/5/15: The 2014-15 NFL season is over, so it is time to rev up the rumor and speculation engines to see where top free agents may end up. The Lions' Ndamukong Suh is the top defensive player available and will command big money - money that the Lions may not willing and/or able to afford. There is a lot of speculation that Suh could end up in Oakland, and that seems like a natural fit considering his 'edgy' play. Suh claims that his agent will make the determination of which team to go to, but the Raiders could really start building a great defense if they can get him.
1/28/15: Last week came the news that Jack Del Rio was hired by the Oakland Raiders to be their most recent head coach. Now comes word that Del Rio has hired Bill Musgrave to be the new offensive coordinator. Musgrave most recently was the quarterbacks coach in Philadelphia under head coach Chip Kelly. However, he was also offensive coordinator for two seasons under Del Rio back in Jacksonville a few years ago. Some may scoff at the Jacksonville connection, but Del Rio was actually fairly successful in his seasons there and had a few runs to the playoffs.
1/21/15: In what has become basically an annual or biannual tradition, the Raiders have announced that they have a new coach. This time, the temp job falls to Jack Del Rio. Del Rio was head coach of the Jacksonville Jaguars for nine years and made two playoff appearances. More recently, he spent the last three years as the defensive coordinator for the Denver Broncos and his defense sported the lowest QBR of any unit over that time frame. Del Rio has several challenges ahead of him, but at least it looks like there is a franchise quarterback in place with Derek Carr.
1/14/15: The biggest question still surrounding the Oakland Raiders is who will be the next head coach. There is a chance that the team will remove the interim tag from Tony Sparano's title and turn the reigns over to him. It is rumored that owner Mark Davis likes him. Rex Ryan is off the table since he went to Buffalo. A late entrant may be Adam Gace, who was the offensive coordinator for Denver until Monday. Of course, every candidate should realize that being the head coach in Oakland is a temporary move, not many coaches there last more than two years.
1/7/15: It is back to square one for Oakland now that the regular season is over. With a 3-13 record, which included winning three of their final six games, the Raiders are slotted in the fourth position, behind Tampa Bay, Tennessee and Jacksonville. While the scouts are doing their thing, the front office must find a permanent head coach. Tony Sparano is the interim coach and may get the full time job. He was previously the head coach in Miami, so he has experience. But other names are being floated such as Rex Ryan and Doug Marrone. What has yet to be seen is if they will need a new General Manager as well.
12/3/14: The Raiders earned their first win of the season two weeks ago by stunning the Kansas City Chiefs (and turning the AFC West upside down at the same time). They went for two straight in St. Louis last Sunday but came away with a lot more questions than answers in a 52-0 rout. There was nothing pretty about this game from Oakland's viewpoint. The Rams looked like the Greatest Show version with two passing TDs, three rushing TDs and a pick-six for good measure. Oakland fell to 1-11 on the season and now heads home to face the desperate San Francisco 49ers.
11/19/14: Oakland continues to be outmanned in all facets of the game and it appears increasingly obvious that they need to overhaul the organization. The Raiders dropped to 0-10 on the season and have now lost 16 straight games dating back to last season. The San Diego Chargers got this one 13-6, sweeping the season series. QB Derek Carr managed only 172 yards passing, while six different rushers combined for only 71 yards on the day. Obviously, that is not nearly enough to win games in the NFL. Oakland has a short week. The Kansas City Chiefs come to town for the Thursday Night Game.
11/12/14: The long season for the Oakland Raiders gets even longer, and the possibility of going 0-16 gets more real every week. This week's loss was at home to the Denver Broncos by a score of 41-17. It looked promising early as the Raiders picked off Peyton Manning twice. But the Broncos got their bearings and Manning ended up throwing for 340 yards and five touchdowns in just three quarters of work. There are no real answers for the Raiders, they just have to keep moving on. The have another AFC West game this Sunday when they visit the San Diego Chargers.
11/5/14: The Raiders are still looking for their first win of the season. They did not get it last Sunday in Seattle, falling 30-24, but may have played their best game of the season. Oakland trailed 24-3 at halftime, but rallied in the second half. The defense was actually pretty strong, limiting the reigning Super Bowl Champs to 326 yards of total offense and two touchdowns (and three field goals). While they did not get this win, the team is certainly improving and will pull out a victory sooner or later. Oakland is back home on Sunday to host Denver.
10/29/14: Oakland went into Cleveland looking for their first win of the season, and will go into Seattle this coming Sunday still looking for victory number one. The Raiders played some pretty good defense through three quarters, allowing only nine points. Unfortunately, Cleveland put up two touchdowns in the final frame to pull away 23-13. QB David Carr is amassing a lot of yards, he threw for 338 and a score with no interceptions, but also had to throw the ball 54 times, completing only 34. The running game was not much help, gaining only 71 yards on the day.
10/22/14: The miserable season for the Oakland Raiders continued with the Cardinals coming to town and winning 24-13. Despite firing head coach Dennis Allen and replacing him (for now) with Tony Sparano, the offense still is not doing nearly enough. QB Derrek Carr managed only 173 yards passing, while the running game only scraped together 56 yards and a touchdown. The speculation is flying about who the next head coach will be, and some believe it may be former Raiders coach Jon Gruden. Until then, the Raiders are at Cleveland to face the 3-3 Browns this Sunday.
10/15/14: Oakland had their best chance to earn their first victory of the season last Sunday, but allowed 10 points in the final six minutes to fall 31-2 to AFC West rivals San Diego Chargers. Oakland shocked the league a year ago when they upset the Chargers at home, and nearly did it again. Rookie QB Derek Carr was solid with 282 yards, four touchdowns and only one interception - easily the best game of his career. The loss leaves the Raiders winless on the season. It does not get any easier as the Raiders host the red-hot Arizona Cardinals this coming Sunday.
10/8/14: The Raiders are off to an 0-4 start, and really have not been competitive in any game except for the loss at New England. To the surprise of very few, the team fired head coach Dennis Allen. Former Miami Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano was named interim coach to finish out the rest of the year. In the meantime, the rumors are running wild that the Raiders are focusing on trying to hire former Raiders head coach John Gruden. Gruden built up the team in the early 2000's, only to be traded to Tampa. Then he coached against his former team and won the Super Bowl in 2002.
10/1/14: Sometimes even the experts in the media get it right. There was concern before the season started that Oakland would struggle this year and that prophecy is coming true. The Raiders went to London to face the Miami Dolphins last Sunday. To acclimate themselves to the climate and time change, they left from Boston rather than returning home. Unfortunately, it did not help as they were outmanned 38-14. Oakland scored first, but then it was all Miami. The loss leaves the Raiders at 0-4 on the season. Oakland will have to wait another week to get their first win, as they are on a bye this week.
9/24/14: The rough start to the 2014 season continues for the Oakland Raiders. Oakland had the unenviable task of heading to New England in Week 3, and came out as many experts expected. The Patriots topped the Raiders 16-9 in a defensive battle. Oakland's defense actually held up pretty well and limited Tom Brady to just 234 yards and one touchdown. However, the offense could not contribute much and was limited to three field goals. At 0-3, it will be a tough road to get to the playoffs this season. The Raiders are back at home this Sunday to host the Miami Dolphins.
9/17/14: In only his second start, Derek Carr is finding out how tough life can be in the NFL. The Raiders dropped their home opener 30-14 to the visiting Houston Texans. Carr did manage 263 yards in the air with one touchdown, but also threw two picks. Oakland also fumbled three times, losing two of those. Oakland is still a work in progress, and these are the kind of games they are going to have to learn from to develop as a team. Now 0-2 on the season, the Raiders are headed to New England to face the 1-1 Patriots on Sunday.
8/28/14: The Raiders are filled with question marks this season on offense, defense and where they are going to decide to play their games in the future. The offense is the near term concern as new QB Matt Schaub (and the entire unit) has struggled in the preseason. In the 'dress rehearsal' third preseason game, Schaub threw for only 110 yards on 13 of 27 attempts. If it were a full game, then those would be Tim Tebow numbers. Still, Schaub expresses confidence in the offense, which was highlighted by RB Maurice Jones-Drew breaking off a 40 yard TD run.
8/21/14: The Raiders have been paying lip service, at least publicly, that rookie QB Derek Carr could push veteran Matt Schaub for the starting job. Even though Schaub's 2013 season was a train wreck, few really expected him to lose the starting job to a mid-round rookie. Now the job is all but certainly going to Schaub. Carr suffered his first NFL concussion last Friday after taking a big hit from Larry Webster of the Lions. Carr had been improving and he may have the starting job in Oakland (or wherever the team will be) one day. But for now, the team looks like it will have to ride with Schaub.
8/14/14: All summer long the Raiders have insisted that they found a diamond in the rough by signing QB Matt Schaub. Schaub, of course, was miserable last season in Houston, but had been an effective NFL starter for years before that. The team got their first look at Schaub last week against Minnesota and even Schaub believes he did not play up to expectations. He played three series against the Vikings and did not register a first down. All series ended up in punts. But he should keep the starting job for now as rookie Derek Carr did not perform well either. But at least this is just the preseason.
8/7/14: The Oakland Raiders have been trying to get a new stadium for several years now, but nothing has come of it. So the Raiders are taking manners into their own hands and actively looking around. Team owner Mark Davis recently made a visit to San Antonio, Texas, and toured the facilities available now and possibly in the future. Perhaps this is a leverage move by the Raiders, but it should signal that they are willing to move in the event that they cannot get a new stadium deal with the City of Oakland. The only odd thing is that they would look at San Antonio rather than Los Angeles.
7/31/14: The Raiders seem to be rallying around the 'no one believes in us' mantra this offseason, and that is a positive thing. Many 'expert' analyses rank the Raiders at the bottom (or near it) of all teams in the NFL. Perhaps a lot of this is due to a negative perception of the team over the last decade or so. It also does not help that several expected key contributors did not pass their conditioning tests at the beginning of training camp. That being said, the team has quietly added a lot more talent to their roster than they are given credit for. It will be an uphill battle in the AFC West, but the Raiders may surprise a few teams along the way.
7/24/14: The Oakland Raiders' stadium situation is a mess right now. The team wants, actually needs, a new stadium because the O.com Coliseum is ancient and not in great shape. But a new stadium is complicated because the Oakland A's have a new 10 year lease. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell suggested that the Raiders share the new Levi's Stadium with the 49ers, but the Raiders do not seem to want that solution. Team legend Marcus Allen has weighed in on the situation and he wants the team to move back to Los Angeles. That would solve a lot of problems, but would leave the Oakland fans displaced. Again.
7/17/14: The on-again, off-again, on-again nature of the Oakland A's lease at the O.com Coliseum continues to be a thorn in the side of the Oakland Raiders and their quest for a new stadium (or possible move). With a new 10-year lease to the A's, the city is not planning on building a new stadium, which may force the Raiders to move to a new city. The Raiders say they have plans for a new stadium in Oakland, right where the current stadium is, to open in 2016 or 2017. But the A's lease requires two years notice to vacate. This really looks like a threat from the Raiders, but with no teeth. They and their stadium developers cannot dictate the construction, so this looks like it is far from over.
7/10/14: It is too soon to say, but the Raiders may be starting to seriously look around at other cities to call home (namely Los Angeles, again). The Raiders want a new stadium and the City of Oakland is not prepared to build one. The Oakland A's finally reached an agreement with the City and O.com Coliseum on a 10 year lease extension, so there are no real plans to build another stadium. That may force Raiders owner Mark Davis to relocate. Incidentally, former Raiders player David Humm stated publicly that former owner Al Davis would have loved to move the team to Las Vegas, had that been an option.
7/3/14: Raiders running back Maurice Jones-Drew has some extra motivation heading into his first season not in a Jaguars uniform. He says that it has been tough listening to people say that he has lost a step and cannot be the same dominating runner he was a couple years ago. MJD led the NFL in yards in 2011. He had a serious foot injury that cost him most of 2012 and hampered him last season. He is finally healthy again and ready to prove his critics wrong. He has embarked on a vigorous training program that should help him this coming season. That is good news for the Raiders as they try to climb the ranks of the AFC West.
6/26/14: This should come as no surprise to anyone who is following the Raiders this offseason, but rookie QB Derek Carr has made his way up to second on the depth chart. The team traded with Houston for veteran Matt Schaub, who still occupies the starting position, though that may change before the season gets underway. Head coach Dennis Allen raves about Carr, and make no mistake, Carr will be the starter at some point. The question is when will the team make that move. If recent history tells us anything, it could be in training camp.
6/19/14: It is just a rumbling now, but the quarterback situation in Oakland looks primed to evolve into a full-fledged quarterback controversy very soon. The Raiders acquired Matt Schaub to lead the team, at least for this coming season, and also drafted Derek Carr - presumably to be the franchise QB of the future. They also traded away Terrelle Pryor to the Seahawks. Carr, according to reports out of Oakland, has been better than anticipated. He is doing well enough and learning at a strong enough clip that he may end up being the starter when the season opens. Not good news for Schaub, but tantalizing for the team and fans.
6/12/14: The Raiders made some noise (the noise being a lot of people asking 'why') when they signed former Texans QB Matt Schaub as their starter earlier in the offseason. The Raiders also selected Derek Carr to get the job in the future. Carr has performed well so far in OTAs and in the classroom, so now there is the thought that he will not get a redshirt year and could get the starting job right away. The Raiders have not learned their lesson on signing veteran marginal QBs (Matt Flynn comes to mind), so they may be paying Schaub a lot of money to do nothing. Incidentally, Schaub took the job from Derek Carr's older brother, David, in Houston seven years ago.
6/6/14: One can expect a lot of these types of stories in the near future as the Oakland Raiders PR machine gets moving into high gear. Reportedly, head coach Dennis Allen is impressed with the leadership of new QB Matt Schaub. Schaub will be the starter on opening day, barring an injury, so that is nice for the fans to hear. At the same time, everyone remembers what a terrible season Schaub had last year in Houston. It seems to be forgotten that he has been a pretty good QB in years' past, and even led the Texans to the playoffs a couple of times. Of course, he will continue to be criticized if the Raiders do not win.
5/29/14: This is shaping up to be a big year for new Raiders' QB Matt Schaub. It is widely known how his 2013 season was a complete disaster (with the Houston Texans). The low point may have been when Texans' fans were cheering after he got hurt in a game against St. Louis. But he has a fresh start with the Raiders, who traded a sixth round pick for him. Oakland is still rebuilding, but he does provide veteran leadership and has shown that he can play. It is also a potentially great deal for Oakland. There is little chance that they would have been able to draft an NFL ready QB in the sixth round because Tom Bradys do not come around everyday.
5/22/14: It sounds odd to say, but the Oakland Raiders may be one of the better teams in the NFL next season and beyond. The team has done a lot to improve themselves this offseason and may take a lot of teams by surprise. First off, they have an established QB in Matt Schaub now. Sure, Schaub had a terrible 2013 season, but he is healthy now and has been efficient in the past. They also drafted the consensus second best defensive player in Khalil Mack. That will give them a stronger front seven. They made several other improvements, so this may be a team to look out for come fall.
5/15/14: The Raiders have said for a while now that they would not be picking a QB with their first pick (#5) in the draft. They held true to their word and instead selected the consensus second best defensive player available in Khalil Mack from the University of Buffalo. Mack could have come out last year as a junior, and was projected to be a fourth round pick. Staying in school paid off for him as now he is the fifth overall. Some actually think he is better than first overall pick Jadaveon Clowney and has no questions about his work ethic.
5/8/14: Back when the late Al Davis was still running the team, he rarely hesitated to take a game changing player. He may be passed now, but his legacy seems to be around still. General Manager Reggie McKenzie says that they will not pass on a 'great' wide receiver. That sounds like they would take Sammy Watkins out of Clemson if he is still available when the Raiders pick. Watkins is probably the closest thing to a sure thing in the draft at his position. But he may not be available when the Raiders pick, so they may have to make a move (with St. Louis?) if they really want to get him.
5/1/14: Many people around the NFL seem to have given up on QB Matt Schaub. True, he had a disastrous 2013 season with the Houston Texans, though he was injured through a lot of it. The Raiders believe he is worthy of being a starter, so they shipped Terrelle Pryor to the Seattle Seahawks for a late seventh round pick. Schaub has shown that he is better than he played last season, and he will need to be. The Raiders, like all of the AFC West, will play the NFC West this coming season, and those are four excellent defenses.
4/24/14: Well, the Terrelle Pryor Era in Oakland is officially over. It was widely expected that the team would either trade or release him by last Monday, and they finally did trade him. The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks actually got him for a seventh round draft pick (he cost the Raiders a third round pick a few years ago). Of course, if Seattle was interested, that meant that San Francisco was sniffing around as well. The Seahawks are expected to have him compete for a backup QB role, but with Pryor's athleticism, he may be used in wildcat or kick return situations.
4/17/14: It is common knowledge that the Oakland Raiders want a new stadium. And they want their own stadium in Oakland, not share one with the 49ers an hour away. Oakland is struggling to find the money for a new venue, and eventually that may lead the Raiders to relocate to L.A. if nothing can be resolved. Help may be on the way in the form of a Dubai prince. When the words Raiders, Dubai prince, and stadium financing are paired in a sentence, it can cause some curious stares. However, even Oakland's mayor has confirmed the possibility of the partnership.
4/10/14: We do not know how the Raiders' season will finish in 2014, but most experts agree that they will not be in the playoffs. While that is yet to be determined, the Raiders look like they are actually in pretty good shape for the next several years. General Manager Reggie McKenzie has done a remarkable job of reshaping the organization from a business standpoint. Oakland's five highest paid players (by average yearly salary) in 2012 were not on the team in 2013. However that led to $55 million in dead money last season. McKenzie's purge gave them $60 million in cap space this offseason, and in a great position to rebuild the team.
4/3/14: The Raiders may have an unusual problem on their hand in the near future. They have not fielded a quality team in several years, so they purged their roster - nothing unusual about that. They also found themselves with an extraordinary amount of salary cap space. They have barely touched it this offseason, even though they have signed several free agents (Maurice Jones-Drew) and traded for a new QB (Matt Schaub). They may find themselves paying under the salary floor, which could put them into trouble with the league and NFLPA. It is not a terrible problem, but a problem nonetheless.
3/27/14: The Oakland Raiders continue to show that they seem to have an allergy to great quarterbacks. In their latest headline-grabbing news, the Raiders traded a late round draft pick to the Houston Texans for embattled QB Matt Schaub. Schaub is not terrible. He is a veteran that has had some success and struggled mightily last season. He can be a decent option, but is not considered elite, or even 'next level down'. This does not mean that the Raiders will not take a QB in the draft, but is just another chapter in hoping they catch lightning in a bottle, rather than draft and develop a top talent.
3/20/14: Interesting week in Oakland. On the first day of free agency, the team signed St. Louis Rams offensive lineman Roger Saffold to a lucrative deal. Then they cancelled the contract as he did not pass a physical. The Raiders, reportedly, were worried about his shoulder. That shoulder injury likely occurred in college and has never had an effect on his play. He has had other injuries that have limited his availability, but not the shoulder. After losing the contract, Saffold was right back in St. Louis. He signed a new contract with the Rams and will be their starting guard for the foreseeable future.
3/13/14: It is always a shame when injuries derail an otherwise promising career. Such is the case with Darren McFadden. The running back has been in the league since being drafted in 2008. He has shown some flashes of brilliance, but has never been able to make it through a 16 game regular season. Indeed, there are scores of fantasy teams that have had their league hopes ruined because their first round pick, McFadden, only showed up for a handful of games. McFadden is now a free agent as the Raiders are moving on to someone more durable or consistent.
3/6/14: The Raiders are now posturing about making a move out of Oakland. The head of the franchise, Mark Davis, claims that Oakland is on its 'last chance' to get them a new stadium. The team's lease expired on the old and dilapidated Coliseum, though Davis agreed to a one year extension as financial backers were brought in. According to Davis, there has been no progress in months, so he is basically giving the city an ultimatum. The team had the opportunity to share the new stadium in San Jose with the 49ers, but that was rejected.
2/27/14: The Oakland Raiders are veterans of drafting near the top of the first round, and it is fair to wonder how they will do this season. Everyone agrees that the team needs a franchise QB because clearly Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor are not the answer. Of course, there are three top candidates in Johnny Manzeil, Blake Bortles and Teddy Bridgewater. But the Raiders may have to move up in the draft to ensure they get one of them. St. Louis is an obvious trade partner possibility. The Rams are committed to QB Sam Bradford and are willing to deal their second overall pick. Time will tell if a move happens, but it seems to make sense on paper.
2/20/14: No one doubts Darren McFadden's talent. He is (or at least was) one of the best running backs in the NFL only a few years ago. But that statement comes with a caveat: the dreaded "WH" or "When Healthy". McFadden seems to be chronically injured which means that he eats up a lot of cap space to not play. The Raiders seem likely to release him in the near future and possibly give Rashad Jennings more responsibility. Run DMC will find work elsewhere, but probably not at the same salary and not as the featured back.
2/13/14: And with the fifth pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select…. Well, that is anyone's guess at this point. There is no denying they need a quarterback. Or wide receivers. Or a running back. Or help in the secondary. The list goes on. The Raiders have always been a wild card on draft day so there is no telling who they may draft. They also may try to trade up (hello, St. Louis) to get one of the top rated QBs or an offensive lineman or a defensive end. To be fair, that is what makes watching the Raiders' draft so much fun. We still have a couple of months, but let the games begin.
2/6/14: It is no secret that the Raiders have had a lot of misses when it comes to drafting or trading players. The obvious example is taking Jamarcus Russell first overall several years ago and giving him $40 million. There are other examples as well (does Darius Heyward-Bey come to mind with the eighth overall pick?). So it is nice when something works out for Oakland. The Raiders signed Rashad Jennings last offseason to a one year deal. Starting RB Darren McFadden (of course) got injured, and Jennings started eight games. He ran for over 700 yards. He is a free agent now, but wants to stay with the team. Oakland - do yourself a favor and bring him back.
1/30/14: The Raiders do not find themselves in an eviable position. The other three teams in the AFC West (Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Diego Chargers) all made the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Raiders (who are veterans of top 10 picks) find themselves without a viable candidate at QB and chasing everyone else. The Raiders need to decide if they believe that Terrelle Prior or Matt McGloin can be a pro quarterback or if they need to draft one early this year. There is always the opportunity to trade with St. Louis for the second overall pick and land either Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles, or Johnny Manziel.
1/23/14: Oakland is sitting at the number five pick overall in the draft and there is general consensus that the team really needs a franchise QB. There are three certain top-10 QB picks in the draft: Johnny Manzeil from Texas A&M, Blake Bortles from UCF, and Teddy Bridgewater from Louisville. Experts may disagree about the order, but they are considered the top three. However, Houston (No. 1 pick), Jacksonville (#3) and Cleveleand (#4) all need QBs as well. This leads to the obvious speculation that the Raiders may seek out a trade with St. Louis (#2). And the Rams have said they are open for a trade.
1/16/14: It was announced last week that head coach Bruce Allen will keep his job. After another 4-12 season (and there are rumors that the team may change their name to the Oakland 4-12's), owner Mark Davis decided to give Allen another chance to turn the team around. It remains to be seen how good of a coach Allen is, but it is good for the team in general to have some semblance of stability. The Raiders have a top pick in the draft and need a quarterback. It may actually make sense for them to trade up with St. Louis (at No. 2) to ensure one of the best QBs in the draft.
1/9/14: While the rest of the AFC West is in the playoffs, the Raiders are preparing for next season. The top priority should be a new quarterback that can lead them for a decade rather than hope for a veteran fill-in or the unlikely emergence of an undrafted rookie free agent. They also need to protect that QB. The team and left tackle Jared Veldheer seem to be on the same page there. The Raiders want him long-term and he wants to stay. They will probably work out a multi-year extension this offseason, which will make everyone happy.
1/2/14: Oakland finished the season on a down note, losing to Denver in the final game of the regular season. The Raiders now own the fifth overall pick thanks to their 4-12 record. The biggest priority must be getting a franchise quarterback to lead the team for a lengthy period because it is obvious that neither Terrelle Pryor or Matt McGloin is the answer. Dennis Allen survived Black Monday and looks to have at least another year to turn things around. That will be tough, given the Raiders play in the AFC West, where three teams made the playoffs.
12/26/13: The Raiders lost 26-13 to the San Diego Chargers last Sunday, dropping their record to 4-11. There are plenty of questions now of who will be the head coach next season as Dennis Allen appears to be on the hot seat. The news this week is that Terelle Pryor will start on Sunday over Matt McGloin. Pryor's agent says this is a set up and that Allen is hoping that Pryor has a bad game to justify the McGloin move seven weeks ago. Pryor has apologized for his agent. In any case, the tension is building in Oakland and the team may have yet another new coach next season.
12/19/13: With all the speculation on Mike Shanahan and his coaching future in Washington, it is easy to overlook the distinct possibility that the Raiders may be shopping for a new head coach this offseason. The Raiders fell to KC 56-31 last Sunday. There may be solace that they scored 31 points, but giving up 56 - which includes five touchdowns to Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles - is nothing to be proud of. Oakland is simply playing out the string at this point. The Raiders visit sunny San Diego to face the Chargers (7-7) this Sunday.
12/12/13: The Oakland Raiders' season, for all intents and purposes, is over. The Raiders fell 37-27 to the New York Jets for their third consecutive loss. It was also the 13th consecutive loss for the Raiders in the Eastern time zone, so they are happy to get out of there. Marcel Reece got the majority of the running work, as the Raiders' top three running backs are out of commission with injury. He was actually pretty effective, going for 123 yards and a score on the day. Oakland (4-9) host the Kansas City Chiefs (10-3) this Sunday.
12/5/13: Oakland gave undrafted rookie QB Matt McGloin another start, leading his team to Dallas for the traditional Thanksgiving. Day game. McGloin started very strong helped give the Raiders a 21-7 lead early in the second quarter. However, the wheels came off at that point and the Raiders defense gave up the next 24 points. Oakland added a late field goal, but the game was out of reach with the final score being Dallas 31, Oakland 24. Oakland (4-8) has 10 days off before heading back on the road to face the New York Jets in Week 14.
11/28/13: Undrafted Matt McGloin was serviceable in his first NFL start, so the Raiders gave him another shot. Unfortunately, the Titans were ready for him. Oakland lost 23-19 on a last minute touchdown, another loss that will haunt the team. McGloin threw for 260 yards and a score, which is better numbers than some of his more established counterparts did against the Titans defense. But ultimately they could not get into the end zone enough to pull out the win. It will be a short week for Oakland (4-7) as they head to Dallas (6-5) for the second of three Thanksgiving Day games.
11/21/13: They say when you have two quarterbacks you have none. And when you have no quarterbacks, you really have none. The Raiders started undrafted rookie Matt McGloin against the Texans last Sunday, as Terrelle Pryor was out with an injury. McGloin threw for only 197 yards, but did toss three touchdown passes as the Raiders beat the depleted Texans 28-23. McGloin may keep the job, at least for another week, which may spark a quarterback controversy. McGloin has a better arm than Pryor, but Pryor can make more plays on his own. In any case, the Raiders are now 4-6 and host the 4-6 Titans this weekend.
11/14/13: A week after the Raiders allowed Nick Foles to throw an NFL record-tying seven touchdowns against them they had a shot at redemption against the New York Giants. It wasn't to be as the Giants rolled up a 24-20 win, dropping the Raiders to 3-6 on the season. Neither QB was very effective as Terrelle Pryor and Eli Manning combined for less than 300 yards passing. But the Giants' defense made the big plays and even scored a touchdown. Oakland now finds themselves in last place in the AFC West and will look to regroup in Week 11 when they travel to Houston (2-7) who has lost seven straight games.
11/7/13: Hopefully, no one had the Raiders defense on their fantasy team this past week because they would have a lot of negative points. The Raiders were beat down 49-20 by the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday. Eagles QB Nick Foles had his way with the Oakland defense, notching 406 yards and tying the NFL record for passing touchdowns in a game with seven (and that was in only three quarters). Terrelle Pryor had good numbers, for what it is worth. He had almost 300 yards passing and another 91 on the ground. Oakland (3-5) travels to New York to play the Giants (2-6) this Sunday.
10/31/13: Not many people saw this coming, but the Oakland Raiders took down the Pittsburgh Steelers last Sunday. Oakland typically does not win the week following a bye, but made an exception this season. On the first play from scrimmage, Raiders' QB Terrelle Prior ran for 93 yard touchdown - which is the longest in NFL history by a quarterback. Darren McFadden reminded everyone that he can still be an effective running back with two touchdowns and 73 yards. The Oakland defense took care of the rest as the Raiders won 21-18. Oakland hosts the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday.
10/24/13: Like the New Orleans Saints, the Raiders had their bye week in Week 7. Unlike the Saints, they are 2-4 and at the bottom of their division. Oakland is pretty much the team that the experts expected this year minus Matt Flynn. It looks like Terrelle Prior has a solid grip on the quarterback position and should not have any challenges barring injury. With the trade deadline approaching, it is possible that the Raiders try to make some moves to build up their draft picks for next year and beyond. Oakland gets back on the field in Week 8 when they host the Steelers.
10/17/13: Everyone understands that Oakland is rebuilding (for the tenth straight year), but many also think the Raiders got a steal in drafting QB Terrelle Prior in the supplemental draft a few years ago. Prior has been pretty good this season, though does need a stronger supporting cast around him. The Raiders visited the Chiefs last Sunday and came away with a 24-7 loss. Prior threw three second half interceptions, which ended any chance of a comeback. The loss puts the Raiders at 2-4 on the season, and miles behind the undefeated Broncos and Chiefs. Oakland has a bye this week and will return in week 8.
10/10/13: Oakland won the latest starting game in NFL history with a 27-17 win over division rival San Diego. The game was moved back to 8:30pm Pacific Time because the Oakland A's had a playoff game against the Detroit Tigers that afternoon. The late start did not bother QB Terrell Prior as he threw a 44 yard touchdown pass on the first play from scrimmage. Oaklands' defense allowed the Chargers to move the ball - San Diego QB Phillip Rivers had over 400 yards passing - but limited them to two TDs and a field goal on the night. Oakland cut QB Matt Flynn the following morning, admitting that mistake pretty quickly. The Raiders (2-3) play at Kansas City (5-0) on Sunday.
10/3/13: QB Matt Flynn finally got another start in the NFL last Sunday. Starter Terrelle Pryor was held out of the game due to concussion suffered the previous week. Flynn started off well. He threw a touch down pass and the Raiders led 14-0 over Washington after one quarter. But that was all the Raiders could muster for the entire day. Washington's defense tightened up and QB Robert Griffin III went to work. Griffin rallied Washington to 24 unanswered points for the 24-14 win. The loss drops the Raiders to 1-3 on the year and last in the AFC West. Oakland hosts division rival San Diego (2-2) on Sunday afternoon.
9/26/13: The Oakland Raiders got a glimpse of prime time NFL football when they visited the Denver Broncos for the Monday Night Game. Unfortunately for the Raiders, they are not quite ready for prime time. Denver took a 17-0 lead before Denarious Moore scored the weekend's longest touchdown - a 73 yard score. Four plays later, Peyton Manning got the lead back to 17 points. Oakland (1-2) ended up losing 37-21 and QB Terrelle Prior suffered a concussion in the loss. He said on Tuesday that he does not have much memory of the game. Oakland will try to rebound in Week 4 when they host 0-3 Washington.
9/19/13: Oakland will not be 0-16 this year as they were able to soundly beat the lowly Jacksonville Jaguars at home 19-9. Oakland was led by QB Terrelle Pryor who had 50 yards on the ground to go with 129 from running back Darren McFadden. Pryor is still learning the QB position and runs at the drop of a hat. For the team to improve, Pryor must become a better passer and better at reading defenses. Still, it is a win which puts the Raiders at 1-1 on the season. Oakland now travels to Denver to face the Broncos in the Monday Night Game.
9/12/13: Expectations are not high in Oakland this season, so maybe there is a moral victory for the Raiders in their 21-17 loss to the Indianapolis Colts. Terrelle Pryor got the nod as the starting QB over offseason acquisition Matt Flynn, and displayed his athleticism. He will get the next start, which is Sunday against the 0-1 Jacksonville Jaguars at home. In other news, the Raiders are trying to secure their own stadium in Oakland, a smallish 58,000 seat venue. The team does not want to share a stadium with the 49ers, and also recognizes that a small stadium will suit them better.
9/4/13: Quarterback Terrelle Pryor is making a strong case to be the starter in Oakland when the season begins. Pryor has displayed amazing athleticism and playmaking ability in his opportunities, and probably deserves a chance to start. Meanwhile, Matt Flynn may be looking at his second consecutive season of going into training camp as the starter only to be overtaken by a more talented athlete. Flynn still has a lot years and money left on his contract, so even if he is the backup, he is not going hungry anytime soon. Makes one wonder if the Packers knew something when they let him walk a couple years ago.
8/29/13: Maybe Matt Flynn is not supposed to be a starting quarterback, and maybe the Packers knew his ceiling and sold him off when his value was at its absolute highest (note to the Seahawks: quit trading with NFC North teams). Regardless, the Oakland QB job is Flynn's to lose, and it looks like he doing just that. Flynn has been unimpressive in preseason games, while Terrelle Pryor has been electric. Prior has more athletic ability, but is very raw. However, if he can move the ball, score a bit, and put some excitement in the Raiders' offense, then there is no reasons he should not get the chance to start this season.
8/22/13: It looks like Matt Flynn will finally get his chance to be a starting quarterback in the NFL. He stood behind Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay for a few years. His one start garnered six touchdown passes and a big contract in Seattle. Then he was beaten out of the job by rookie Russell Wilson. Now with the Raiders, it looks like he will get his chance. He does not have the talent around him that he may be accustomed to, but he should fare decently. After all, Carson Palmer threw for 4,000 yards with the Raiders last year, so there is certainly a chance that Flynn will be a serviceable QB for the team for the next few years.
8/15/13: There has been no formal announcement yet, but it really looks like the starting QB job is Matt Flynn's to lose. No other QB has made any significant strides to displace the presumed starter, and it is not likely that anyone but Flynn will open up the regular season - barring (of course) an injury. The Raiders will need Flynn to recapture the magic he had in his start at Green Bay that yielded a franchise high 6 touchdowns if the Raiders are going to have a chance at competing for a playoff spot this season.
8/8/13: Quick, name the top wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders right now? Most people would guess Heywood-Bay, but the reality is that Rod Streeter may hold that distinction. There has been so much turnover on the Raiders' roster that even die hard fans may have trouble keeping up. In fact, only 17 players remain from the 2010 roster. That is not necessarily a bad thing. The Raiders have not been relevant for a long time, so bringing in new blood cannot make the situation worse. One player that is still there is place kicker Sebastian Janakowski, who recently signed an extension.
8/1/13: Matt Flynn is expected to be the starting QB in Oakland this season - the same way he was expected to be the starting QB in Seattle one year ago. Back then, he was beaten out by third round draft pick rookie Russell Wilson, who went on to lead the team to a playoff birth and set the Seahawks up as a major contender. This time, Flynn will have to beat out rookie Tyler Wilson for the starting job. Flynn now contends that his style and Seahawks' head coach Pete Carroll's style did not mesh well, and he is welcoming the opportunity to prove himself this season.
7/25/13: The Raiders are trying to get a new stadium to replace the current mess they play in. The problem is that they are looking at a smaller stadium, in the area of 50,000 to 56,000 seats, rather than a standard 70,000 seat venue. They would like the NFL to kick in $200 million towards the funding - something the league may do if they can get bigger crowds. Until the Raiders can consistently sell out 70,000 seats, there will be a big problem in the funding of a new stadium in Oakland, and may send the team south to Los Angeles (again).
7/18/13: Raiders running back Darren McFadden remains a bit of mystery even though he has been in the league for a number of years now. No one doubts his talents. He has all the tools to be considered elite - he can run, catch, and block. However, he cannot stay healthy. He missed most of last year with injury, and has missed much of his career, in fact. But like it or not, he is the engine the Raiders need this season. They are deficient of talent at most positions, so they need a strong (and healthy) season from McFadden to cover other blemishes - just like Adrian Peterson last year.
7/11/13: The saga of the biggest bust in draft history is about to end a major chapter. The Raiders and JaMarcus Russell settled on a $3 million buyout of the remainder of his rookie contract which was valued at $68 million including $40 million guaranteed. The Raiders sued Russell to reclaim $10 million and Russell sued the team to get the full value. After six years, the saga is over with the team having paid Russell about $40 million for three largely terrible years of service. Russell, meanwhile, is getting back into shape and is trying to catch on with anyone who will take him.
7/4/13: The Oakland Raiders have been known to make a few bad trades in their day - such as giving up multiple first round picks to the Bengals for QB Carson Palmer. They may have another one on their hands with trading for QB Matt Flynn and his huge and unearned contract. The reason why this may be a bad trade is the possible emergence of rookie QB Tyler Wilson. Flynn and Tyrelle Prior have a total of three NFL starts, so Wilson winning the job outright is not out of the question. If he can learn the system quickly, Flynn will find himself with another clipboard in his hand this coming season.
6/27/13: In the eyes of odds makers, the Raiders are the 15th best team. That is in the AFC, not the whole league. To put it another way, they are second worst team in the AFC, ahead of only the Jacksonville Jaguars. Matt Flynn should be the opening day starter. That is a risk, but the Raiders had to get a QB in place to develop. Flynn had one superb game in Week 17 of the 2011 season. He threw for six touchdowns while with the Packers. The Seahawks quickly signed him to a huge deal, then he was beat out by rookie Russell Wilson last year. Now he is with the Raiders and should be able to hold on to the job.
6/20/13: How long does kicker Sebastian Janikowski have left? He was a first round pick over a decade ago, but is truly ingrained in the lore of the Oakland Raiders at this point. He holds the team record for points and even made a 63 yard field goal - tying for the longest in NFL records. Janikowski says he wants to play several more years, and truth be told, he still has the leg for it. He is also built like a linebacker, so he is not a liability on kickoffs. He will have a new holder this year though, as punter Shane Lechler left for greener pastures.
6/6/13: As it stands right now, Matt Flynn is at the top of the depth chart for the Oakland Raiders. The QB was in the same position a year ago with Seattle, but was beaten out in training camp by rookie Russell Wilson - the sixth QB selected in the 2012 draft. This year, he has competition from Tyler Wilson - a rookie who was the sixth QB selected in the 2013 draft. Flynn has been in the pros for a few years, but only has two starts to his credit. Wilson has a better deep ball, but no experience. Flynn has to be hoping that history does not repeat itself. At least he has a big contract to fall back on.
6/6/13: In the years since former Raiders' owner Al Davis' death, the team has apparently tried to shed its dysfunctional image - the one that makes it the laughingstock of the league. Al's son, Mark, is now in charge of the operation, and many people lauded his moves, such as hiring Reggie McKenzie as GM. In the past two weeks, longtime Raider CEO Amy Trask resigned and now Mark Davis fired Public Relations Director Zak Gilbert - apparently because an unflattering article was written about the organization. It looks like nothing has changed in Oakland, regardless of who owns the team.
5/30/13: Oakland brought back former son Charles Woodson. Woodson was drafted by the Raiders many years ago, and had some good seasons in the Silver and Black. He went on to Green Bay where he became one of the best defensive players in the league. Now he is in the twilight of his career, but still wants to play. He may have lost a step over the years, but he can still be an effective leader in the locker room and on the field. He also can be good for the young Raiders as a role model of how to play the game and be a professional.
5/23/13: Unemployed defensive star Charles Woodson is still looking for an employer for the next season. He has visited a few teams, including the Raiders' arch rival Denver Broncos. There is a good chance, however, that Woodson will return to Oakland. The Raiders drafted Woodson a long, long time ago. He may have made his name in the NFL with the Packers, but Oakland was home. Woodson says that he is willing to go to a rebuilding team - sounds like a guy looking for one last paycheck rather than a guy looking to get one last championship.
5/16/13: It may be hard for both Raiders' lovers and haters to understand, but the team is actually making good moves. However, there has been a bit of a management shake up in the front office. Amy Trask, the NFL's only female chief executive officer resigned last week. Trask is a trailblazer for women sports executives and was very close to the late Al Davis. Unfortunately, Trask and Davis' son (the new owner) were not on the same page, and after 25 years, she decided to call it a day. Hopefully, she will resurface in a similar management position soon.
5/9/13: In probably the most publicized story about a third string quarterback getting cut of all time, the New York Jets parted ways with Tim Tebow - just as everyone expected. Tebow is now a free agent, though his options may be nonexistent if he insists on playing QB. Is there a chance that he could end up in Oakland? If Al Davis was alive then he probably would have already been there. Oakland historically does not mind the distraction and media circus, though this is a new regime. Also, how would the angelic Tebow fit into the Black Hole?
5/2/13: This is certainly not Al Davis' team anymore, its Reggie McKenzie's. The Raiders made a smart trade and picked logically this year. The Raiders held the third pick overall and reportedly wanted University of Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden. Instead of reaching for him at No. 3, they wisely traded down to the Dolphins who took Oregon defensive end Dion Jordan. The Raiders got Hayden at 12, and picked up extra picks in the meantime. Other notable picks included offensive tackle Menelik Watson (Florida State, round 2, No. 10) and quarterback Tyler Wilson (Arkansas, round 4, No. 15).
4/25/13: The Raiders have provided some of the more memorable draft moments, particularly in the past decade or so. Who could forget taking JaMarcus Russell first overall in 2007 and paying him $40 million? He only became the biggest bust in NFL history. But times may be changing in Oakland. General Manager Reggie McKenzie seems to be competent, and not likely to waste the number three pick overall. With Matt Flynn in at QB (most likely), he needs some protection, so assuming that the Chiefs take Luke Joekle number one, then it makes sense for the Raiders to draft offensive tackle Eric Fisher from Central Michigan.
4/18/13: Raiders owner Mark Davis says that the Super Bowl is the only goal Congratulations on such a bold statement. On Davis and 31 other owners would have the guts to make such an announcement. To be fair, the Raiders seem to be on a better track than they have been in the last decade (since they made a Super Bowl appearance in 2002). General manager Reggie McKenzie seems to have brought a semblance of fiscal responsibility, countered by paying players on talent and not just 40 times. Oakland still has a ways to go in the AFC West, but they are improving.
4/11/13: Oakland is in the middle of a three year purge on their roster. Rebuilding this once proud franchise takes patience, and general manager Reggie McKenzie knows it. McKenzie may have the good fortune of working for Mike Davis, the son of Al Davis. Had Al still been in charge, then McKenzie may already have been looking for new work. But the braintrust in Oakland seems to understand that they need to get rid of dead weight and develop through the draft - not free agency. It also helps to draft players on a basis other than a 40 yard dash time.
4/4/13: Oakland has been a busy team this week, trying to make their roster better and shed some dead weight (salary). The Raiders first traded draft picks for Seattle Seahawks backup QB Matt Flynn. Flynn had one sensational game in week 17 of 2011, so of course the Seahawks signed him to a massive contract. Then they found Russell Wilson, so everyone knew that Flynn's days in Seattle were numbered. The team finally traded away QB Carson Palmer who refused a pay cut. Arizona got Palmer, and the Raiders got some salary cap space and a bag full of nothing.
3/28/13: The Raiders made their first offensive move this free agency period by signing offensive tack Alex Barron. Barron was selected in the first round by the St. Louis Rams in 2005, and the team was overjoyed to get the top tackle in the draft that year. Barron was a standout at Florida State University, but never made the adjustment to the NFL. He was constantly flagged for false starts and not knowing the snap count while in St. Louis. Barron has not played in two years. He was out in 2011 with a knee injury and did not make a roster last season.
3/21/13: GM Reggie McKenzie gave the press a predictable sound bite about how the team was excited to add veterans Kaluka Maiava (linebacker), Pat Sims (defensive line) and Tim Hunter (defensive line) to bolster the defense. The rest of the league said "Who"? The Raiders are under some salary cap constraints and do not have much in the way of draft picks after surrendering a king's ransom for Carson Palmer a year and a half ago. Oakland, in all objectiveness, has a ways to go to clear out the roster and salary obligations before they can rebuild and contend in the AFC West.
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3/14/13: The Oakland Raiders are getting around to their spring cleaning by releasing two former top ten picks. Oakland released wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey and safety Michael Huff. DHB was the number seven pick overall in 2009. He never recorded a 1,000 yard season. Huff was the seventh overall pick in 2006 out of the University of Texas. Huff was solid but not spectacular in his Raider days, and was forced in to playing cornerback with all the Raiders' injuries last season. Cutting the two will save the team almost $12 million next season which is much needed cap space.
3/7/13: Oakland, like New England, decided not to use their franchise tag this offseason. Does that make the Raiders organization as smart as the Patriots. Not hardly. But it does prevent the team from overpaying a middle of the road veteran much more than he is worth. The Raiders are still $800,000 over the salary cap (which is remarkable considering how little talent the team has) and really does not have the financial flexibility to give out any big contracts. Actually, it looks like the opposite, with Raiders likely having to cut some big contracts before the start of the season.
2/14/13: If past seasons are any indication, then life will be the same in Oakland next season. That means that they will not be able to score and they will not be able to stop anyone from scoring. Like many other teams, the Raiders need a quarterback. Carson Palmer put up some respectable numbers when he was healthy, but he is not going to lead this team through a rebuilding. Matt Leinart is, well, Matt Leinart. And Terrelle Prior may have talent but there is not enough to go by yet. Additionally, the Raiders need for Darren McFadden to get healthy and stay healthy. He is hurt every year, but is a top running back when he can play.
2/7/13: Oakland has struggled both on the field and with selling out the Coliseum in recent years, so the team made an adjustment to the seating in the stadium to reach the league-mandated sellout rules to get on local TV. 8,000 upper tier seats, known as Mount Davis were added in the mid 1990's. Those have now been removed and ticket prices slashed. The league changed the blackout rules to allow local broadcasts at 85% non-premium seat sellout, and the Raiders hope the new rules and seating arrangement will get more games on the tube next season.
1/31/13: The Raiders have been among the most thunderstruck franchises in the NFL for the past several seasons. Theirs drafts have been memorable only from the standpoint of who they did not take rather than who they got in the first few rounds. A few years ago, they fell in love with the speed of Darius Heyward-Bey rather than Oklahoma State standout Michael Crabrtee. Heyward-Bey has not been a total bust, and Crabtree really only came on in the second half of this year, but still. Most notably, they drafted JaMarcus Russell number 1 overall all and he was a collosal bust. He is now trying a comeback, after cashing the Raiders' $40 million check. But they could have had Colin Kaepernick, twice, in 2011 and passed. Now CK is starting in the Super Bowl and the Raiders are left with Terrelle Pryor and Matt Lienart.
1/24/13: One of the more interesting Super Bowl stories this week is former Raider wide receiver Tim Brown claiming that former head coach Bill Callahan sabotaged the team against the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl several years ago. Apparently, the team had a run-heavy game plan to take advantage of the team's size advantage on the offensive line. However, the game plan was changed at the last minute, and the Raiders only ran 9 times. Tampa won 48-21, and Brown claims Callahan threw the game because he hated the Raiders and was good friends with Tampa head coach John Gruden.
1/17/13: It may be hard to believe, but one of the greatest offensive minds in professional football has been out of the league for a few years now. Mike Martz, best known as the architect behind "The Greatest Show on Turf" has served as a game day analyst on television since being fired by the Bears - ironically, Lovie Smith was the head coach and Martz gave Smith the opportunity to be a defenisive coordinator with the Rams. Martz and the Rams were an offensive juggernaut from 1999-2004, winning one Super Bowl and appearing in another. Now the Raiders have interest in Martz and have interviewed him for their OC job.
1/10/13: Oakland is a franchise known for taking chances and opting for the unconventional route. Case in point was spending heavily in the form of draft picks to acquire Carson Palmer two seasons ago. Palmer has had a mild resurgence in the Black and Silver, but the team has struggled on the whole. When he got injured in Week 16, third string quarterback Terrelle Prior got his first start. Now there are rumblings that Prior may inherit the starting QB job next year. The Raiders are yet to make that move official, but there is a strong chance that it could happen.
1/3/13: Oakland ended yet another difficult season with a thrilling 24-21 loss to the San Diego Chargers. San Diego took a 21-7 lead into the fourth quarter. Terrelle prior, making his first start due to an injury to Carson Palmer, led the Raiders to a pair of late touchdowns. The Chargers, however, were able to hold on for the win. Prior finished the day with 13 completions on 28 attempts, good for 150 yards, 2 TDs, and 1 pick. The good news for the Raiders is that their 4-12 record earned them the third overall pick in the April draft.
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Next 20 Games
|Aug 14, 2015||St. Louis Rams vs Oakland Raiders|
|Aug 22, 2015||Oakland Raiders vs Minnesota Vikings|
|Aug 30, 2015||Arizona Cardinals vs Oakland Raiders|
|Sep 3, 2015||Oakland Raiders vs Seattle Seahawks|
|Sep 13, 2015||Cincinnati Bengals vs Oakland Raiders|
|Sep 20, 2015||Baltimore Ravens vs Oakland Raiders|
Scores and Schedule
|Dec 28, 2014||Oakland Raiders - Denver Broncos||14 - 47|
|Dec 14, 2014||Oakland Raiders - Kansas City Chiefs||13 - 31|
|Dec 7, 2014||San Francisco 49ers - Oakland Raiders||13 - 24|
|Nov 30, 2014||Oakland Raiders - St. Louis Rams||0 - 52|
|Nov 20, 2014||Kansas City Chiefs - Oakland Raiders||20 - 24|
|Nov 16, 2014||Oakland Raiders - San Diego Chargers||6 - 13|
|Nov 9, 2014||Denver Broncos - Oakland Raiders||41 - 17|
|Nov 2, 2014||Oakland Raiders - Seattle Seahawks||24 - 30|
|Oct 26, 2014||Oakland Raiders - Cleveland Browns||13 - 23|
|Oct 19, 2014||Arizona Cardinals - Oakland Raiders||24 - 13|
|Oct 12, 2014||San Diego Chargers - Oakland Raiders||31 - 28|
|Sep 21, 2014||Oakland Raiders - New England Patriots||9 - 16|
|Sep 14, 2014||Houston Texans - Oakland Raiders||30 - 14|
|Sep 7, 2014||Oakland Raiders - New York Jets||14 - 19|
|Aug 22, 2014||Preseason: Oakland Raiders - Green Bay Packers||21 - 31|
|Aug 8, 2014||Preseason: Oakland Raiders - Minnesota Vikings||6 - 10|