Raiders notes: Wisniewski says he's 100 percent


Raiders notes: Wisniewski says he's 100 percent

ALAMEDA -- Stefen Wisniewski said he feels "100 percent" after the right calf strain he suffered in the Raiders' preseason opener on Aug. 13 shut him down until this week.But will he regain his starting gig at center in place of Alex Parsons for Monday night's season opener against San Diego?"I don't know that," said coach Dennis Allen, "but he will be (active) for the game."It's been a trying offseason for Wisniewski, who missed all of the offseason activities recovering from shoulder surgery before the calf injury turned him into a spectator again."Yeah, it's tough standing and watching," he said following Saturday night's practice at Coliseum. "I want to be out there working and I had to miss some reps this camp. Feels good to be back in there working again and I feel like I'm ready to go."But is he ready mentally and physically?"I mean, I'm real close physically," he said. "I'd like to get some more reps to feel a little more comfortable but I'm ready to play at a high level, I think."It's also interesting to note that Wisniewski is also getting reps at left guard, where he played last year as a rookie."I feel pretty good," he said, "pretty good at guard."There have been no announced setbacks in Jacoby Ford's rehab from his sprained left foot, suffered on Aug. 17 in Arizona, but there has also been little, if any, progress.He has not practiced since the Raiders' second exhibition game so it was no surprise that he was ruled out of Monday night's opener."Were a little bit at a standstill with him right now," said coach Dennis Allen. "Were going to keep evaluating him and see where hes at, but hes obviously out this week."I asked Allen if here was a potential for surgery on Ford.Said Allen: "I dont know that."Rookie receiver Juron Criner, meanwhile, said his sore right ankle will not keep him from playing against the Chargers."Im going to play whenever I get put in," he said. "Its not really my call, but Im just going to go in when I get asked to go in."Im definitely fired up about it. Monday night game, under the big lights, Im just ready to go out there and perform and do whats asked of me."And while Denarius Moore and his sore right hamstring made it through a third straight practice without incident, Allen was not ready to proclaim him good to go Monday."I haven't made that decision yet on him," Allen said. "He's questionable for the game. He was out there again practicing today. All those things are good signs."

Relocation approval 'offers more clarity' when Raiders recruit future free agents

Relocation approval 'offers more clarity' when Raiders recruit future free agents

PHOENIX -- The Raiders are entering a limbo period, with just a few seasons in Oakland before relocating to Las Vegas. NFL owners formally approved a move on Monday, though the Raiders don’t want to leave the East Bay until a new stadium is ready in 2020.

While there are contingencies to leave the market early based upon how fans react to the Raiders remaining in Oakland after committing to Las Vegas, that isn’t what the Raiders want. After years of stadium uncertainty, they leave the NFL owners meetings with clarity regarding their long-term future.

General manager Reggie McKenzie believes that should help free agents considering silver and black. The uncertainty prompted questions in recent years that McKenzie can answer when recruiting veteran talent now that relocation has been approved.

“By Mark saying that the plan is for us to be in Oakland for two more years (at least), but we will be in Vegas, I think it offers more clarity,” McKenzie said. “It lets the players know. It’s better than two months ago, when everyone had questions. When you were talking to a free agent, they know we want to move but weren’t sure if it was going to pass. They didn’t know. Now they know a decision has been made by the league to let us move.”

That will help McKenzie more in the future than present. Roster turnover is high these days, meaning most currently employed by the Raiders won’t play for the home team in Las Vegas. Only David Amerson, Kelechi Osemele and Marquette King are would be under contract when the team wants to move.

The Raiders are working on extensions for Derek Carr, Gabe Jackson and Khalil Mack, with others possibly locked up down the line.

In addition to playing with Carr and Mack and for head coach Jack Del Rio, there’s another attraction to signing with the Raiders. There’s no state income tax in Nevada, meaning a contract there is worth more than the same deal in California. The Golden State generally takes 13.3 percent of significant income earned there.

There will be other issues about playing in Las Vegas, where gambling is legal, a drink can be had 24 hours per day and vices abound in a place called Sin City.

The Raiders will construct a support system to keep players focused, and are ready to handle any questions players and their families may have about an upcoming move.

“Now there are questions from the drafted guys about when they become free agents, because they might be in Vegas. That’s going to be different. There are questions that way, but it’s not going to alter the way we go after players. Some of the guys, parents and agents may have questions, but I don’t think it’s anything out of whack.”


NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

NFL centralizes replay reviews, Del Rio wants more freedom in challenges

PHOENIX – Fans won’t see special teams players leaping over the long snapper in an attempt to block a field goal or extra point. Seattle’s Kam Chancellor made some big plays with that technique, but won’t have the chance anymore.

The NFL outlawed that option on Tuesday as one several rule changes enacted at the league meetings.

“There are some safety concerns,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said. “that are legitimate.”

The NFL also centralized replay reviews, taking that power away from officials on the field. NFL head of officiating Dean Blandino and associates at the NFL’s command center will handle reviews in an effort to add consistency to important calls.

Del Rio hoped replay challenges would be expanded further, but a proposal by Seattle and Buffalo allowing coaches to challenge any play save scoring plays and turnovers, which are automatically reviewed, did not pass.

“I think there are a number of coaches who feel like, if there’s an obvious error, we should have a mechanism to correct it,” Del Rio said. “We catch most of them, so you’re talking about a small percentage. It’s hard to move the needle for such a small percentage. That’s the problem. The fact is, if it’s important enough that we’re willing to use that challenge, we’d like that right and ability. Things happen, and you don’t want to lose a big game, a game that decides whether you advance in the playoffs or make the playoffs and it’s something you could overturn, that you could challenge or change. Why not?”

Here's a list of new rules and bylaws adopted by the league on Tuesday.