Despite a lack of depth in the Raiders receiving corps, general manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday he was not interested in acquiring any of the currently unemployed veterans still looking for work.That means the not-so-Holy Trinity of wideouts Chad Johnson, Plaxico Burress and Terrell Owens are not headed to Oakland, even with only five healthy wideouts on the roster."It's not just (their) age," McKenzie told the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune. "If the right player could add to the groupwe just didn't feel those three were the right ones. Clear and simple. If I felt like they could have added something to what we were doing, I would have strongly considered it."Currently, Darrius Heyward-Bey is Oakland's No. 1 receiver while Denarius Moore is expected to make his season debut Sunday at Miami after dealing with a balky right hamstring since June. Then there's rookie Rod Streater, who started his fifth-round draft pick Juron Criner, who is dealing with a sore right ankle, and veteran Derek Hagan, who is still learning the playbook after signing last week.Otherwise, Jacoby Ford underwent Lisfranc surgery Tuesday that might end his season and the Raiders also have Travionte Session on the practice squad."It starts with a foundation and you have to have the guys around long enough to develop and see that development," McKenzie added to the newspapers. "And we do have a couple of guyswe were just hit with injuries at that position so early, especially with your No. 1 going down. Then, a guy like Jacoby, who we had plans for."Going into it, you felt good but you miss one guy and that can trickle down quickly. If we add guys, I want to make sure and add a guy that's going to help this team. I just didn't think those three guys were the guys."
Raiders rookies have reported to Napa for some pre-training camp instruction. Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu are not among them.
This year’s top draft picks remain unsigned as activity ramps up toward the first full-squad practice on Saturday. Every practice, meeting or moment of instruction is important for young defensive backs expected to make an immediate impact.
It is, however, still early in the season preparation process. Head coach Jack Del Rio isn’t concerned about his first-round cornerback Conley or his second-round safety Melifonwu being away long term.
“These are issues that should get resolved shortly and they’ll join the team,” Del Rio said Tuesday in an interview with 95.7-FM The Game in San Francisco. “It’s one of those situations where, years ago, ...those were issues. Holdouts could last the whole camp and into the season. The structure is in place now (with the NFL’s rookie wage scale), and we expect these things to get resolved shortly and they’ll be getting their work in.”
There isn’t much wiggle room in rookie contract negotiations these days, which is why just four NFL draft picks remain unsigned at this stage.
Conley’s legal issues, however, could be considered complicating. The No. 24 overall pick was accused of sexual assault stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland.
The Cuyahoga County District Attorney’s office has said the investigation is ongoing. Conley’s lawyer did not return a call seeking comment.
There is no timetable to complete the process. Conley has maintained his innocence, and passed a lie detector test just before the draft. The Raiders have stood by their selection from the start, confident in their pre-draft research that Conley will be cleared of wrongdoing and be a productive member of the squad.
Del Rio said that’s still the case several months later.
Marshawn Lynch is getting to live out the dream of most pro athletes.
He's getting to finish his career by playing for his hometown team.
One fellow Oakland-native and AFC West rival can appreciate the opportunity in front of Lynch, but also had some fighting words for the Raiders running back.
“For Shawn to finish off this last little stretch of his career here at home, that’s dope,” Chiefs CB Marcus Peters told the Bay Area News Group on July 8.
“It’s going to feel good for him. It’s going to be a good feeling. It’s going to be a good feeling for Oakland. But when [the Chiefs] come here, we’re going to beat the dog s--- out of him,” Peters said.
So you can circle Thursday, Oct. 19 on your calendars. The Raiders host the Chiefs in Week 7. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:25pm PT.