Where do Raiders find another WR?


Where do Raiders find another WR?

ALAMEDA -- Toward the end of training camp in Napa, I asked Carson Palmer about his former teammate Chad Johnson, and if he thought he could help the Raiders.Palmer could not praise the purportedly high-maintenance diva enough, while giving props to his own young receiving corps."I don't think we're banged up where we've got guys that are going on IR, you know what I mean? I think that's a different situation," Palmer told me at the time."I had a great time playing with Chad. I had no issues with him at all. He'd be a great add for any team but we've got young guys that are just coming along. I mean, Denarius will be back any day. Jacoby's deal is not that bad. So we're not going to give up on any of those guys."Times, though, have changed.RELATED: Raiders' Ford to undergo foot surgery
With Jacoby Ford undergoing surgery on his troublesome left foot Tuesday in North Carolina, the Raiders are not only out a playmaker, but also a receiver.The logical move for a budget-conscious outfit like the current Raiders would be to promote from within -- Brandon Carswell and Travionte Session are already on the practice quad.But a more bold move would be to look Johnson's way. If you watched HBO's "Hard Knocks" series on the Miami Dolphins, you saw in last week's finale that Johnson was working out in the ocean, trying to stay afloat in the NFL consciousness.And guess who the Raiders are playing this week. The same team that cut Johnson in camp, after he was arrested for allegedly head-butting his wife. He might know a little something about the Dolphins' playbook, no?I asked Raiders coach Dennis Allen Tuesday if there might be any interest in Johnson, specifically."I mean I wouldnt specify him specifically as theres interest there," Allen said. "Like Ive told you guys before, were going to look at everybody thats available, and if we feel like theres somebody that can help us, give us a chance to be better and help this team win, then were going to do that."If he fits that category then I wouldnt rule anything out."Other "name" pass catchers still flitting about include Plaxico Burress and Terrell Owens. And since the opening weekend has come and gone, any free agent signed now would not have a guaranteed contract anyway.It was a lifetime ago, in NFL years, but Palmer and Johnson were a very successful duo in Cincinnati.From 2004 through 2010, Johnson had 564 receptions for 7,933 yards and 50 touchdowns and was named to five Pro Bowls and twice a first-team All-Pro, mostly with Palmer under center. And in 2006, Johnson's 1,369 receiving yards led the NFL, as well as his 85.6-yards-per-game average.His production, though, has tapered off in recent years as his off-field issues have risen."But just knowing Chad, he's been through harder things in his life," Palmer said at the time, "and he'll bounce back from this."With circumstances now changed and Oakland needing a receiver, might the Raiders now offer that landing spot?

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

Donald Penn: Raiders players trust McKenzie will add right pieces

The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.

They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.

Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.

“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”

While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.

The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.

“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.

"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Raiders LT Donald Penn: QB Derek Carr 'almost 100 percent'

Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.

Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.

Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.

“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”

Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.

“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”