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Raiders Notes: Brown, Peterman, Good

We’ve got a new twist in the seemingly never-ending Antonio Brown saga. The last we had heard, the NFL had given the Raiders receiver the go-ahead to find a helmet of his usual model that was less than ten years old. The league had told him he would be able to play in it if he could find one less than ten years old, but they apparently changed course and told him the new helmet would still need to be tested, a source told Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Brown was able to find “several” of the Schutt AiR Advantage helmets made in the last ten years, but “earlier today, Brown was informed that the helmet failed the test,” Florio writes.

Brown has already reported back to the Raiders, so hopefully this doesn’t cause too much new drama. He had appeared to have gotten over the helmet issue, before this potential loophole came to light. Unfortunately, this doesn’t appear to be the final word on the helmet. The same source told Florio that “we haven’t heard the last of Brown on this issue,” so we should all buckle up. It’s hard to see what his next move would be, although he apparently has at least one more trick up his sleeve. We’ll keep you posted when we find out what it is.

Here’s more from Oakland:

  • Speaking of Brown, he at least seems to be headed in the right direction health-wise. Brown appears to be almost over his foot issue, and Raiders coach Jon Gruden said “I think so, yeah,” when asked earlier today if Brown would be a full participant in practice soon, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com. Gruden added that “he took all the reps today in our walkthrough.” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said “you can tell Antonio’s been studying because he came out and didn’t miss a beat,” and that Brown “was a part of everything we did today.” While the helmet issue doesn’t seem to be going away, it looks like Brown’s frostbitten feet won’t be a story moving forward.
  • There’s been a lot of talk about Oakland’s backup quarterbacks this offseason, mostly due to the infamy of Nathan Peterman. Gruden caused quite the uproar a few weeks ago when he heaped praise on Peterman, leading many to believe he had a legitimate shot to become Carr’s primary clipboard holder. That being said, Vic Tafur of The Athletic predicts he’ll end up getting cut in his new 53-man roster projection. Mike Glennon has been impressive during the preseason, so this isn’t too surprising. There’s also a chance the Raiders decide to keep three quarterbacks because of Gruden’s affinity for Peterman. Notably, Tafur also projects veteran receiver Ryan Grant and defensive tackle Justin Ellis, who just got a $15MM extension last offseason, to miss the cut.
  • More good injury news for the Raiders, as guard Denzelle Good has been activated off the PUP list and will return to practice, Tafur tweets. “That’s huge for us,” Gruden said. He’s not wrong, as the Raiders are very thin at guard at the moment. Gabe Jackson is currently sidelined with a knee injury and Richie Incognito is suspended for the first two games of the season, so Oakland will be without both of their starting guards in Week 1. Good started three games at guard for the Raiders last season after being claimed off waivers from the Colts. He’ll now presumably join the competition to fill in for Jackson and Incognito. The Raiders are also said to be exploring the trade market for veteran guards.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/17/19

Today’s minor moves:

Baltimore Ravens

  • Waived/injured: Mike Onuoha

Oakland Raiders

  • Signed: OL Cameron Hunt
  • Waived: WR Jordan Lasley

Philadelphia Eagles

Washington Redskins

  • Signed: LB Gary Johnson
  • Placed on IR: LB Myles Humphrey

Jets Sign LB Albert McClellan

In the wake of Avery Williamson‘s unfortunate ACL tear, the Jets are making a move. The team is signing linebacker Albert McClellan, a source told Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter link).

Williamson’s injury left the Jets thin at linebacker, so this move makes some sense. McClellan spent the first nine seasons of his career with Baltimore, but was cut by the Ravens early on last season. He latched on with the Patriots and spent the last couple months of the year with New England, ultimately earning his second Super Bowl ring in the process.

McClellan has always been known as an elite special teamer, but he’s also capable of playing defense. He missed the entire 2017 campaign with an ACL tear, but he started 11 games in 2016. For his career, McClellan has appeared in 103 games and made 24 starts. He played almost exclusively on special teams for the Pats, making only four tackles in seven games.

McClellan certainly won’t be able to replace Williamson, who was supposed to be the Jets’ defensive signal-caller, by himself. But he is a decent cheap depth piece to add this late in the process, and can contribute in a pinch. That being said Williamson was Pro Football Focus’ No. 18 traditional linebacker last season, so this move doesn’t come close to making them whole.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Mike Shanahan On Broncos’ Interest, Coaching Plans

Mike Shanahan revealed his side of the late-2017 discussions centered around the Broncos bringing him back as head coach. The two-time Super Bowl-winning HC said he was “close” to taking the job, had it been offered.

I was close. I was close,” Shanahan said, via The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala (subscription required). “But one thing that has to happen: You all have to be on the same page. And one thing you have to make sure of when you are a head football coach is the owner, the GM, the quarterback are all on the same page. If it doesn’t happen, the chance of you winning a Super Bowl aren’t very good.

So, anyway, if that situation had happened, I was going to take it. If not — but anyway, I had a great conversation with John as everybody knows and it didn’t work out. Sometimes it works out for the right reasons.”

John Elway made the initial contact regarding the short-lived reunion, Jhabvala reports, and the Hall of Fame quarterback-turned-GM discussed the job — which then belonged to Vance Joseph — with his former coach. But at the time, Broncos CEO Joe Ellis informed Elway his firing Joseph after one season would have required him to conduct a thorough search — rather than earmark the job for Shanahan. The Broncos would have obviously needed to comply with the Rooney Rule as well.

As for the quarterback component of this, Kirk Cousins may or may not have been part of the equation. Conflicting reports emerged on then-free agency-bound passer following Shanahan to Denver. But the Shanahan process did not progress too far, and the Broncos made other plans. They retained Joseph for the 2018 season and signed the player Cousins wound up replacing in Minnesota, Case Keenum. They are now on another HC-QB combo in Vic Fangio and Joe Flacco.

Shanahan’s greatest coaching moments came in Denver. He helped the Broncos to two Super Bowl titles and four playoff byes. His Raiders and Redskins tenures did not go as well. The 66-year-old coach has not ruled out a return to the sidelines.

You always miss coaching,” Shanahan said. “But it’s been five years. I made the decision a long time ago, right when I got fired. I said if I didn’t get the right job right away where we had a chance to win a Super Bowl that I was probably going to do what I’m doing, which is kind of being a dad and following (my) son and the organization and being a part of it.”

Elway did enlist Mike Shanahan’s help while securing a deal with new OC Rich Scangarello, who worked for Kyle Shanahan for two seasons. Scangarello’s offense will look somewhat similar to what the Broncos primarily ran under the elder Shanahan.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Falcons Release LB Stephone Anthony

Stephone Anthony‘s return trip to the NFC South proved short. The Falcons announced the former first-round pick’s release on Saturday, his departure making room on the 90-man roster for cornerback Jalen Myrick.

Atlanta added Anthony at the outset of its training camp, but he will now venture back to free agency. This continues a lengthy swoon for 2015’s No. 31 overall selection.

The former Saints draft choice spent one season as a starter and recorded the NFL’s first two-point conversion return, during a 112-tackle 2015 season. But that year was spent on a bottom-tier New Orleans defense, and the Saints opted against keeping him as a starter for long in 2016. Following the 2017 trade to Miami, Anthony still could not gain much of a foothold. Although, he did play in all 16 Dolphins games last season.

A former Jaguars backup in 2017, and a Georgia native, Myrick bounced on and off the Vikings’ practice squad last season. Minnesota waived the former seventh-round pick in April.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Giants Still Eyeing Daniel Jones Redshirt?

People inside the Giants organization acknowledge the perception of Daniel Jones has changed over the summer, with Ralph Vacchiano of SNY.tv noting the rookie’s rise has been “dizzying” to many staffers. The No. 6 overall pick has surprised most of the football community with his preseason readiness.

After a take-notice drive in his preseason debut, Jones completed 11 of 14 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown (while losing two fumbles) against the Bears on Friday. Eli Manning was 4-for-4 in limited duty. Despite Manning’s struggles in recent years and Jones’ August work, the hope remains the incumbent will play throughout 2019, per Vacchiano. The team does not believe Jones needs to be rushed.

Big Blue will not hold a quarterback competition in the near future. The belief still appears to be that Jones is not ready to usurp Manning, and Vacchiano adds the plan will be for the 16th-year starter to keep his job until at least the playoffs are out of reach. The Giants believe Manning can keep them in contention, so Dave Gettleman‘s hope to execute the “Kansas City model” — where Jones would play the Patrick Mahomes role to Manning’s Alex Smith — would be in play in this unlikely (per Las Vegas) scenario. John Mara said recently he hopes Jones “never sees the field” in 2019.

If the Giants fall out of contention, it should be expected their 22-year-old hopeful heir apparent will see the field. But for now, the organization does not look to be giving legitimate consideration to demoting its 38-year-old cornerstone.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Keenan Allen Expected To Miss Rest Of Preseason

A semblance of past injury-related storm clouds are creeping onto the Chargers’ radar. Derwin James may be an IR-return candidate, and one of the contending team’s other top players will miss time as well.

Keenan Allen is expected to miss the remainder of the Bolts’ preseason slate, with Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reporting (via Twitter) the Pro Bowl wide receiver suffered an ankle injury in practice this week. This marks the second setback Allen has suffered during camp. The seventh-year wideout also ran into knee trouble during the Chargers’ joint practices with the Rams, per The Athletic’s Daniel Popper (on Twitter).

This being the Chargers, who have lost several key players to severe early-season injuries in recent years, concern is natural. But Schefter cautions Allen’s ankle ailment is not considered serious. He is expected to be ready in time for the team’s opener against the Colts.

Allen has done well to shake the injury concerns that plagued his mid-2010s run. He missed 23 games between the 2015 and ’16 seasons, the latter instance because of a Week 1 ACL tear. With Tyrell Williams now gone, the Bolts’ receiving corps is now thinner and would be less equipped to withstand an Allen absence. But the 27-year-old standout has not missed a game over the past two seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Progress Elusive In CBA Talks

While the NFL and the NFLPA continue to set up meetings, the sides still look to have a long way to go toward finalizing the league’s next collective bargaining agreement.

The parties will reconvene on Monday, and ESPN.com’s Dan Graziano reports another session is scheduled for Tuesday (Twitter link). However, for a process both sides once set out to finish before Week 1, no immediate end is in sight. The talks throughout this offseason have yielded little in the way of progress, Graziano adds, with the revenue split being the main point of contention.

As of late July, the league and the union were far apart on the central component of these discussions. It does not appear that has changed, but Graziano notes both sides do not believe a 2021 work stoppage is likely. The players’ current share of league revenue cannot fall below 47%, and they would like that figure to rise under the next CBA. Discussing the raising of the league’s spending floor, or reformatting it, represents another way the union has attempted to increase salaries for the next NFL era.

The current CBA covers the 2019 and ’20 seasons, and the NFLPA has consistently warned its talent base about the prospect of another stoppage. The union again issued some pointers to prepare players in the event this happens again. Every scheduled regular-season game has unfolded since 1987, the last in-season stoppage. Fifteen games occurred that year, although only 12 involved the league’s full workforce. In 2011, the lockout ended in late July.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Witten, 49ers’ QB Trades, Kessler

Jason Witten made his return to the Cowboys after one year away from the club. As a former locker room leader of the franchise, integrating himself back into the fold could have been tricky, as new leaders have emerged in his absence. However, according to coach Jason Garrett, Witten has had no issues rejoining the team.

“Witt has been very mindful of that coming back,” Garrett said of Witten’s locker room role (via ESPN’s Ed Werder on Twitter). “He doesn’t want to be a guy the younger guys are constantly deferring to. He wants to integrate himself back into it, and he’s done that beautifully.”

Here’s more from around the league:

  • It appears the 49ers will hang on to both Nick Mullens and C.J. Beathard rather than trading one of the quarterbacks. “We haven’t had talks at all,” GM John Lynch said of the possibility of trades (via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports’ Twitter feed).
  • Jimmy Ward was in full pads for the first time this week since he fractured his collarbone, Maiocco tweets. The 49ers gave him a one-year deal this past offseason.
  • Cody Kessler remains in the concussion protocol, per the EaglesTwitter feed. The franchise signed Josh McCown earlier today to add depth at the QB spot.
  • While the Texans may want picks if they are going to trade Jadeveon Clowney, Eliot Shorr-Parks of WIP (Twitter link) contends that the Eagles should offer Derek Barnett straight up for him. Barnett, who was a first-round pick back in 2017, has two years remaining on his deal.

Derwin James To Undergo Surgery, Miss Extended Time

Chargers safety Derwin James will undergo surgery on his foot and is expected to miss roughly three months of action, according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network (Twitter link). It’s a stress fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot, as we passed along on Friday. The injury occurred during practice earlier this week.

The team should have a firmer timeline after the surgery, though a mid-November return appears to be the most optimistic scenario. The surgery will be performed by ankle specialist Robert Anderson. Anderson is on the NFL’s Injury and Safety Panel.

James started all 16 games for the Chargers last season after the team drafted him in the first round out of Florida State. He was a strong candidate for the NFL’s Defensive Rookie Of The Year award last season, notching 105 tackles while adding 3.5 sacks.

We’re going to miss him a lot,” Lynn said after the injury. “But we’re a team. We have a good team and we have guys that will step up, and we’ll be fine.

NFL News & NFL Rumors

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