Raiders don't tender QB Gradkowski


Raiders don't tender QB Gradkowski

March 7, 2011RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOPaul Gutierrez

So Bruce Gradkowski tells a Bay Area newspaper he was not offered a tender by the Raiders and theres a hint of shock?

No disrespect to Gradkowski, one of the classier guys in the Raiders locker room, but its no surprise the Raiders issued protective tenders to the likes of tight end Zach Miller and running back Michael Bush (both received first- and third-round tenders) and longsnapper Jon Condo (second-round) rather than to Bruce Almighty. All you had to do was pay mind to the mounds of praise heaped upon Jason Campbell by owner Al Davis and new coach Hue Jackson since the season ended and the backhanded compliment Davis paid Gradkowski while wondering aloud about his injury history.

I also realized that as good as Gradkowski is for a single game, we cant hold up the injury factor from happening, Davis said in his memorable Jan. 18 media conference. He incurs injuries, and that worries the hell out of me.
At the Combine, Jackson said he looked forward to Campbell leading the Raiders to a division title after a season of getting acclimated to his new surroundings.

Over the last half of the season, he did a tremendous job of leading our team and making the plays that big-time players have to make in this league, Jackson said of Campbell. So Im expecting him to take that next jump. Were an 8-8 football teamthis past year, but I dont anticipate or do I look for that to happen this year. I expect him to take us where we want to go.

As such, and with the trigger-happy Tom Cable long gone, there will be no quarterback controversy in Oakland in 2011. Campbell is the unquestioned starter. And while Gradkowski was too much of a professional to be a distraction in Cables QB Carousel, the journeyman quarterback has long let it known he does not consider himself a backup.

Last year, Gradkowski was 1-3 in his four starts, though he sparked the comeback victory against St. Louis; Campbell was 7-5 in his 12 starts and came off the bench to lead the comeback win against San Diego at home.

Cable so badly mismanaged the QB situation he turned Campbell into a sympathetic figure and Gradkowski into a teachers pet -- profiles neither man deserved.

REWIND: Oakland's 2010 QB quandary

It all adds up to a seeming end to Gradkowskis tenure in Oakland -- according to the Contra Costa Times article -- unless it does not.

Thing is, the tenders might actually be worthless in a new Collective Bargaining Agreement. And if so, the lack of one assigned to a player would mean less than that.

Gradkowski, who worked as an NFL playoff analyst for CSN Bay Area in January, did not immediately return a message for comment. He complied a passer rating of 73.3 in two seasons in Oakland, with 2,066 yards on 53.7 percent passing, 11 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He will always be remembered by Raiders fans for his epic comeback victory at Pittsburgh in 2009, and for his two seasons ending prematurely due to injury.

Still, its hard to imagine Gradkowski -- a five-year pro who received a second-round tender last year -- returning to the Raiders without at least the chance to compete for the starting gig.

Plus, theres the speculation that a new CBA will set the bar at unrestricted free agency at four years, down from six. As such, Gradkowski would be free to sign elsewhere.

And that would leave the Raiders with just one quarterback under contract in Campbell as the contracts of Kyle Boller, Charlie Frye and J.T. O'Sullivan are expiring. Frye has a reputation as a coach-like backup in the QB room after spending all of last season on IR while Boller saw some reps and has a little history with Jackson.
VIDEO: Gradkowski's offseason workout

With Campbell entering the final year of his contract, could the Raiders then look at drafting a quarterback in the draft? Many mock drafts have Washingtons Jake Locker and Arkansas Ryan Mallett falling into the second round. The Raiders first pick is at No. 48, though many draftniks have them selecting Penn State offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski.

Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence


Report: Former Raiders RB arrested for domestic violence

Trent Richardson is reportedly in some trouble.

Richardson was arrested on Thursday night for domestic violence, according to TMZ Sports.

The former running back was taken into custody on a third degree charge, the report states, with bail being set for $1,000.

The arrest was made in Hoover, Alabama.

The Browns selected Richardson with the third overall pick in the 2012 draft.

He was traded to the Colts in 2013 and played for Indianapolis in 2014.

He signed with the Raiders in 2015 and appeared in three exhibition games, but did not make the team.

The 26-year old was cut by the Ravens last August.

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Downing: Carr will have increased influence on Raiders game plan

Derek Carr and Todd Downing are tight. A strong friendship was forged between the Raiders’ franchise quarterback and his position coach these past two seasons, one that should help the Raiders now that Downing will call plays.

The Raiders new offensive coordinator will use his young signal caller as a resource formulating a game plan. Carr has a bright offensive mind – he called his own plays in high school and in college at times – and Downing plans to use it to put his quarterback in positions to succeed.

Carr’s influence in preparation will expand over previous seasons under coordinator Bill Musgrave.

“Where I see him needing a little bit more command is just being able to share his thoughts of game plans,” Downing said Wednesday in a conference call. “Being a student of the game, as he already is, but vocalize what he likes and doesn’t like. I think my relationship with him is something that’s going to give him the opportunity to voice his opinions. I look forward to him really taking charge of expressing his thoughts on the offense.”

Carr has always had freedom to adjust at the line of scrimmage, but that could increase with Downing in charge. Derek Carr’s brother Davis Carr told 95.7 The Game as much a few weeks ago, a topic Downing addressed on Wednesday.

“There’s been a lot made about his command at the line of scrimmage,” Downing said. “There’s certainly going to be opportunities for Derek to do that. That’s not something I feel we’ll even have to get into until we’re much further into this offseason and into training camp.”

Downing had opportunities to interview with other teams this offseason, but head coach Jack Del Rio wanted to pair Downing and Carr together. The young duo have similar personalities and a strong working relationship based on a love of the game.

“My relationship with Derek starts there,” Downing said in Wednesday interview on 95.7-FM. “We both love coming to work each day and respect the heck out of each other. When you have that kind of relationship with any coach, you’re taking a step in the right direction. Derek’s the leader of our franchise. In my opinion, he’s the best young quarterback in football. We’re fortunate to have him. Why wouldn’t I be in a good mood every time I am around him?”

Carr made great progress working with Downing the past two years, and was an MVP candidate in 2016. Downing sees continued room for growth and refinement as next season approaches.

“I think Derek made big strides in 2016, just in terms of his command of the offense, being the field general, being able to get through progressions more efficiently,” Downing said. “His footwork took big strides. I certainly want him to remain focused on all of those attributes. You don’t want to feel like you’ve arrived in a certain area of your game and then have it go backwards when the next season starts. Certainly, I want him focused on all of those.”