Eagles crush many Raiders fans hopes by landing Pro Bowl CB James Bradberry
Hard to believe it was just nine days ago that James Bradberry was cut by the Giants. The former Pro Bowl cornerback had long been rumored to be let go in New York and thus long had fans across the NFL hoping their team would land him… None more so than the Raiders.
As of this morning, the push for his services ended with the Eagles landing the highly sought-after free agent according to NFL media’s Ian Rapoport.
The Eagles land Bradberry on a one-year, $10 million deal, giving Bradberry the opportunity to earn a lucrative long-term deal next offseason. While also allowing him to face his former team twice this season.
All that makes sense, but at the time of his release, no team was considered more of an ideal destination than the Las Vegas Raiders, where former Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham is now the DC.
Bradberry had the best seasons of his career under Graham the past two years, putting up a combined seven interceptions and 35 pass breakups and heading to the Pro Bowl in 2020.
The Raiders’ current projected starting cornerbacks are Trayvon Mullen, Rock Ya-Sin, and Nate Hobbs.
Bradberry would have figured to be an upgrade over Mullen or Ya-Sin on the outside. However, the team would have had to wait until June 2 to make the deal when they get cap relief from a pair of June 1 cut designations.
3 new Raiders and 2 cuts following rookie minicamp tryouts
Rookie minicamp is in the books for the Raiders. And the result is three new players in the fold following tryouts over the weekend.
The Raiders have added undrafted free agent TE Travis Koontz, former Packers CB Stanford Samuels III, and former Bears T Tyrone Wheatley Jr.
With the new additions, the team waived C Brett Heggie and WR Tre Turner who had been added as an undrafted free agent last week.
Koontz put up 21 catches for 306 yards and four TD’s last season at Texas Tech.
Samuels III went undrafted in 2020 out of Florida State. He spent all of last season on the Packers’ practice squad, getting called up for two games.
Wheatley Jr. is a converted college tight end who spent last season on the Chicago Bears’ practice squad. And of course he’s the son of former Raiders running back Tyrone Wheatley.
Tyrone Wheatley Jr has signed with the Raiders. Yes, you read that right.
Don’t adjust your screen. And don’t look at your calendar. Yes, the Raiders signed Tyrone Wheatley Jr, according to his agent.
Yes, the son of former Raiders great running back Tyrone Wheatley.
Wheatley Jr isn’t a running back, though. He’s a tackle.
This isn’t the first time Jr has followed in his father’s footsteps. The former tight end attended Michigan for college ball, just like his dad. But Jr’s time there would be short.
After two seasons with the Wolverines in which he twice broke his foot and ultimately left the team and transferred to FCS Stoneybrook.
The 6-6 Wheatley Jr conversion to tackle happened in 2021 when he joined the Spring League, going from 265 to 290 pounds. And by June, he had signed with the Chicago Bears.
Though he didn’t make the Bears’ regular season roster, he was signed back to the practice squad and was then re-signed in January to a reserve/future contract.
He was waived a week ago, giving him the opportunity to join the Silver & Black, just like his dad did six seasons, including three trips to the postseason and a trip to the Super Bowl.
Garrett Gilbert out after trade for Jarrett Stidham
Garrett (clocking out, nods): Jarrett.
Jarrett (clocking in, nods): Garrett.
Reports today had the Raiders making a trade with the New England Patriots, sending a 6th round pick their way in exchange for QB Jarrett Stidham and a 7th round pick.
With one of Josh McDaniels’s guys now in the fold for backup QB, it was a pretty sure thing Garrett Gilbert’s most recent short stint with the Raiders had come to an end.
That’s because a little over a month ago the team signed former Browns and 49ers QB Nick Mullens, making him the immediate favorite over Gilbert to be Derek Carr’s backup.
Now Mullens has some legitimate competition for that spot with the former fourth round pick Stidham and the days of teams carry four camp arms on the offseason roster, or even three QB’s on the active roster are gone for the most part.
The team made the Garrett release official as a corresponding move with the addition of WR Keelan Cole.
After visiting the Raiders earlier this week, Nick Kwiatkoski gets his reunion but it isn’t with his former team in Las Vegas
Less than two months ago, the Raiders cut Nick Kwiatkoski, saving some $3.24 million against the cap and leaving behind $5 million in dead money. Now the former starter has finally found a new home.
Kwiatkoski had visited the Raiders most recently, in what looked like a potential return. But after testing the Las Vegas reunion waters, the former starter decided a reunion with his former GM in Chicago was his best option. Or perhaps his trip to visit his former team upped the Falcons’ offer.
Meanwhile the Raiders signed free agent Kenny Young instead.
The Raiders cleaned some house at linebacker this offseason, taking on a good deal of dead money in the process.
All three 2020 starters Kwiatkoski, Cory Littleton, and Nicholas Morrow were let go, while they added competition in the form of Young, Jayon Brown, Micah Kiser, and Kyler Fackrell.
Last season starters Denzel Perryman and Divine Deablo return as well.
Raiders add free agent former Jets, Jaguars WR Keelan Cole on one-year deal
Two of the Raiders three wide receiver spots are settled. The third starting job is not. Today the Raiders added one more veteran competitor for that job, signing former Jets and Jaguars WR Keelan Cole to a one-year deal according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Cole isn’t exactly the speed demon the Raiders could use at receiver, but he’s been productive and started 11 games last season in New York. And finding speedy deep threats isn’t exactly the easiest thing to do in mid-May.
The 6-1, 194-pounder has a decent 14.4 yards per reception with 13 touchdowns over his five NFL seasons.
It’s important also to take his stats into consideration when figuring the lack of quality passers on the Jaguars and Jets during these past five years.
Cole is expected to compete with the the likes of Demarcus Robinson, Tyron Johnson, and Bryan Edwards at outside receiver across from Davante Adams. Cole would also potentially backup Hunter Renfrow in the slot, as he has scored seven of his 13 NFL touchdowns from the inside.
Former Raiders LB Nick Kwiatkoski visits the team on Monday for a possible reunion
During the 2020 offseason, the Raiders made a few big splashes in free agency as they signed linebackers Cory Littleton and Kick Kwiatkoski. Fast-forward two years and both are off the team as the Raiders released them in March.
Heading into the 2022 season, the Raiders have big dead cap hits due to neither Littleton nor Kwiatkoski working out with the team. However, could one of them return to help this season?
According to Tom Pelissero of NFL Media, Kwiatkoski visited the team on Monday on a free-agent visit. Could a reunion be possible as the Raiders have a new front office and coaching staff?
Kwiatkoski will turn 29 this month as he has a ton of experience in the NFL. While he did not start a game last year for the Raiders, he was an adequate backup that could play on all three downs.
The Raiders are pretty young and thin at the linebacker position, so it might not hurt to bring him in for one year on a veteran minimum deal. Don’t be surprised if this gets done, as he can still be a quality backup for the Raiders.
Kwiatkoski appeared in 20 games for the Raiders since 2020, totaling 102 tackles.
Raiders sign former Rams, Broncos LB Kenny Young
With a couple of roster spots available after the draft and undrafted free agent signings, the Raiders continue to add players today. They have signed former Rams and Broncos linebacker Kenny Young.
The 6-1, 235-pounder was originally a fourth round pick by the Ravens in the 2018 draft out of UCLA.
After spending the better part of two seasons with the Rams, he was traded to the Broncos midway through last season.
Young started 13 games split between the Broncos and Rams in 2021 putting up 75 combined tackles, six tackles for loss and two sacks, making for his best season in the pros.
The 27-year-old inside linebacker joins a group led by Denzel Perryman coming off his first Pro Bowl in 2021. The Raiders also added Jayon Brown, Micah Kiser, and Kyler Fackrell this offseason.
Also see: Top 5 wide open position battles for Raiders
These 5 positions are up for grabs for Raiders this offseason
If you really want to get down to it, there are only a few positions that are completely settled for the Raiders at this very moment. But there are levels to this. Some offer a pretty good idea of who is on track to be the starter. While others the picture is far less clear.
This is about those positions at which the picture is quite unclear. Ones you can’t with any kind of certainty pin down a sure starter, or even, in some cases, a depth chart.
For that we look at five particular positions which will likely take through training camp to settle.
CB James Bradberry had his best seasons for Raiders new DC Patrick Graham. Bradberry has now been released.
New head coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler have been busy this offseason adding familiar faces. It helps when taking a new job to have people with whom you are familiar. A pretty big name familiar face just hit the market.
The Giants cut former Pro Bowl CB James Bradberry, who spent the past two seasons under new Raiders defensive coordinator Patrick Graham in New York.
Bradberry is just 28 years old. He has 15 career interceptions and has had double-digit pass breakups every one of his six NFL seasons, including 18 and 17 the past two seasons with Graham as his DC.
Obviously, this figures to make him a great fit with the Raiders, where he would be an instant starter and upgrade their defense significantly.
Currently, the Raiders’ outside starters figure to be Trayvon Mullen and Rock Ya-Sin. Neither of whom have had careers that make them sure starters. While Bradberry has started nearly every game since he entered the league with the Panthers in 2016.
Whether the Raiders can afford him right now is the question. Right now, they have around $5 million in cap space. They will free up a lot of money in a few weeks with June 1 designations placed on Cory Littleton and Carl Nassib.
Bradberry figures to have many suitors, one of whom was said to be the Chiefs when the Giants were trying to trade him. This means, should the Raiders NOT sign Bradberry, they could then be looking at facing him twice next year.