Raiders turn to rookie returners?

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Raiders turn to rookie returners?

ALAMEDA -- Not to spill any state secrets here, but it's no mystery that the Raiders' return game has been underwhelming, to say the least.Most of the reason, of course, is because Jacoby Ford is injured and missed the last game with a tweaked hamstring. And Nick Miller, who is averaging 15.3 yards on four kickoff returns with a long of 18 yards, and 19.0 yards on two punt returns with a long of 12 yards, struggled so mightily on return duty in Buffalo he was replaced by Rock Cartwright on the last kickoff.And while coach Hue Jackson has understandably been playing it close to the vest as to who his returners will be for the Raiders' home opener Sunday against the Jets -- "No, you know I'm not going to do that," he said Thursday when asked who his returners would be -- a pair of rookies lined up deep at the start of practice Friday.Denarius Moore was fielding punts, alongside Miller; Taiwan Jones was returning kickoffs.Moore practiced fielding punts in training camp and returned three for 20 yards in the exhibition season while having a 57-yard return nullified by penalty, though there are no stats of him returning punts in college at Tennessee.
Jones, meanwhile, averaged 22.8 yards per kickoff return at Eastern Washington, bringing back one of his 50 returns for a touchdown. He returned one for 17 yards in the preseason.So if Jones were to return kicks, just how comfortable would he be?"Yeah, I'm comfortable with it," Jones said Friday. "I've done it in high school, also in college, like you said. So, if (Coach) wants me back there, I'm just as excited as he is."Asked if he would have a different mentality returning kicks as opposed to running the ball out of the backfield, Jones shook his head."No, I think it's the same way," he said. "The way I think is, once I get the ball, I'm aiming to score. That's my mentality."The ball gets in your hands and if the coach is confident for you take it out no matter how deep it is, then I've got that confidence in myself as well. And if I get it, I'm shooting to score."Green Bay rookie Randall Cobb returned a kickoff 108 yards for a touchdown in the NFL season opener against New Orleans on Sept. 8."Yeah, I saw that," Jones said. "It's definitely on my mind. But we'll see."Two games into his rookie season, the speedy Jones has carried the ball once, for four yards. Frustrating? Or learning experience?"Like you said, it's a learning experience and I trust Coach Hue knows what he's doing so it's just, for me to just be patient and my time will come," Jones said. "I'm just going to go to practice and put my work in out there and when it's my time, it's my time."

Raiders head to NFL owners meetings looking for Las Vegas approval

Raiders head to NFL owners meetings looking for Las Vegas approval

PHOENIX -- All signs point to the Raiders being approved for relocation to Las Vegas. It could happen as early as Monday, when the topic will be discussed at the NFL owners meetings in Phoenix. It could be Tuesday. Or in May. Or at any point in a conference call.

The timing is less important than the ultimate outcome. The when is uncertain. The what seems likely, though not guaranteed, at this stage.

The Raiders need 24 of 32 approval votes to relocate and start construction on new digs.

The Raiders have presented a solid application to the NFL, centered on a stadium proposal in Las Vegas that includes $750 million in public funds for stadium construction. Bank of America, who is financing the project, is expected to loan the Raiders money to complete a financing plan that includes the public contribution and $500 million from the team and the NFL.

The Sports Business Journal reported on Sunday that the estimated stadium cost has dropped to $1.7 billion, and will receive $200 million in infrastructure improvements not included in their construction contribution.

League sources continue to say approval is expected. There is great confidence within the Raiders organization a vote will go their way.

Some issues remain, though none are significant roadblocks. A stadium lease hasn’t been finalized and a site hasn’t been formally announced – it’s reportedly set for a spot just off the Las Vegas Strip near Russell Road – so approval would likely come with conditions that could be met in time.

The Raiders worked a sweetheart deal that mines significant money from the public. They don’t have investors with direct ties to gambling. And, as important as anything else, the NFL doesn’t believe Oakland has a viable plan to keep the Raiders in an otherwise attractive, booming market.

That includes the latest proposal from the Oakland and financial partner Fortress Investments announced on Friday that makes certain concessions aimed at getting the Raiders back to the table.

The Silver and Black haven’t worked with East Bay officials in more than as year, as they’ve shifted complete focus to their Las Vegas quest.

The revised Oakland plan didn’t move the needle, a league executive said. That point was made crystal clear in a letter NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent to Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf.

“The material that we reviewed earlier today confirms certain information that had previously been communicated orally, such as a willingness to bring bank financing to a stadium project, and a proposed valuation of the land at the Coliseum site,” Goodell wrote in a letter obtained by Bay Area News Group. “It also confirms that key issues that we have identified as threshold considerations are simply not resolvable in a reasonable time. In that respect, the information sent today does not present a proposal that is clear and specific, actionable in a reasonable timeframe, and free of major contingencies.”

That virtually eliminates the prospect of Oakland planting doubt in NFL owners’ minds heading into a pivotal discussion on the topic Monday at the Arizona Biltmore hotel.

It’s possible the stadium and finance committee will make a formal recommendation on the Raiders application to relocate. That could precede a vote, and generally holds significant weight among undecided owners.

A league source said the new Oakland plan will be a talking point, though it may not be viewed in a flattering light. That’s especially true in light of Goodell’s letter.

“At this date, there remains no certainty regarding how the site will be fully developed, or the specific and contractually-defined nature of the participation by Fortress or other parties,” Goodell wrote. “In addition, the long-term nature of the commitment to the A’s remains a significant complication and the resolution of that issue remains unknown. Other significant uncertainties, which we have previously identified, remain unaddressed. We had hoped that the past two years would have allowed both of us to develop a viable project.”

Peterson blasts report over salary demands, outlines main objectives

Peterson blasts report over salary demands, outlines main objectives

Adrian Peterson played defense on Friday night.

Hours after a report suggesting that the four-time All-Pro running back was still a free agent due to salary demands, the former Viking posted a lengthy statement on Instagram along with a video of his running an agility drill.

"YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD"

Early in the free agency period, the Raiders were linked to Peterson, but nothing came of those rumors.

The Raiders, in need of a feature back after Latavius Murray signed with the Vikings, are reportedly pursuing the possibility of luring Oakland-native Marshawn Lynch out of retirement.

Peterson was scheduled to make $18 million in 2017, but the Vikings declined to exercise his contract, making him a free agent. The 2012 NFL MVP turned 32 on March 21 and played in just three games in 2016 due to a major knee injury.

According to the ESPN report, Peterson was looking for a contract that paid him over $8 million in the first year of the deal.

YOU CANT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ OR HEAR PEOPLE. The last thing I'm worried about is playing ball this coming season ... that WILL HAPPEN! It's not all about the money as EVERYONE is speculating here lately. You'd THINK these analysts spoke to me directly. When you don't know what's going on people will say anything to create or make a story! How prideful is it for me to put out ... I won't play for anything less than 8 million! But see, when you don't know a person or what they stand for it's easy to paint YOUR OWN PICTURE. Unfortunately, this is the world we live in! Here is something Straight from the horse's mouth ... finding the best fit & helping a team in a major way win a championship is my main objective! I'm in no rush. Let me eliminate questions or speculation as to why... I believe whole heartedly my God will land me right where I need to be to accomplish what I've asked from him PERIOD

A post shared by Adrian L Peterson (@adrianpeterson) on