Aug 4, 2022; Canton, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) runs against Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Shaquille Quarterman (50) in the first quarter at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders coach: RB Josh Jacobs not on trading block

Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs is not on the trading block, first-year head coach Josh McDaniels told reporters at training camp in Henderson, Nev., on Monday.

Rumors that Jacobs, who is entering his fourth NFL season, all with the Raiders, began to circulate when he was among a few offensive starters to play in the preseason opener on Thursday, a 27-11 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio.

“We have a lot of confidence in J.J., and, you know, he did well with his opportunities, which we hoped he would. … But, no, we have no desire to do that at all,” McDaniels said, referring to a possible trade.

Jacobs rushed five times for 30 yards and caught a pair of passes for 14 yards against Jacksonville. It marked his first preseason snaps since 2019.

Jacobs has played in 43 games, with 42 starts, over three seasons. He rushed for 1,150 yards and seven touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie in 2019 and followed up with 1,065 yards and 12 scores in 15 games the next season. Last season, his rushing yards (872) and carries (217) declined, although he still racked up nine touchdowns.

Jacobs also was targeted as a receiver 64 times last season, easily a career high, and made 54 catches for 348 yards.

McDaniels says his players, including most of the starting offensive line, were being given an early opportunity “to actually get tackled, take care of the football and get acclimated to a new system, quite honestly, I think is the goal. Each man’s different.”

The Raiders did not pick up Jacobs’ fifth-year option this offseason, a decision that comes before a player begins his fourth season.

This year’s draft added to competition for playing time among Raiders running backs, however. Zamir White, a fourth-round draft pick out of Georgia, rushed 11 times for 52 yards on Thursday. Austin Walters, who also is going into his fourth NFL season, had eight carries for 49 yards.

–Field Level Media

Jan 15, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) throws during the first quarter in an AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Raiders committing to Derek Carr at QB

The new leadership of the Las Vegas Raiders is ready to commit to Derek Carr as the quarterback of the future, NFL Network reported Sunday.

While speculation has abounded that the Raiders wanted to move on from Carr, new head coach Josh McDaniels and general manager Dave Ziegler are ready to embrace him and discuss a contract extension, per the report.

Carr has one year left on a five-year, $125 million extension he signed in 2017 and will earn about $20 million in 2022.

The Raiders finished 10-7 in 2021 and lost to the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-19, in an AFC wild-card game. On the season, Carr completed 428 passes for 4,804 yards, both career highs, and threw for 23 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

Now 30, Carr was the No. 36 overall selection (second round) of the 2014 NFL Draft. In eight seasons as the Raiders’ starter, Carr has a 57-70 record and has thrown for 31,700 yards with 193 touchdowns and 85 interceptions. He has been named to the Pro Bowl three times.

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2021; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Raiders could hire Josh McDaniels as head coach this weekend

New England Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels is interviewing for the Las Vegas Raiders head-coaching job this weekend, NFL Network reported.

There is believed to be significant interest between both sides, and NFL Network said the Raiders could hire him this weekend.

The Raiders are seeking a replacement for Jon Gruden, who resigned in October after being linked to derogatory emails uncovered in the league’s investigation into the workplace culture with the Washington Football Team. Interim coach Rich Bisaccia led the team to a 7-5 record the rest of the season and a playoff berth.

The Cincinnati Bengals beat the Raiders 26-19 in the AFC wild-card round.

Bisaccia talked to owner Mark Davis about being elevated to the role full-time, and Tampa Bay defensive coordinator Todd Bowles and New England inside linebackers coach Jerod Mayo also interviewed for the job.

But the focus is on the 45-year-old McDaniels now, and he reportedly could come as part of a package with Patriots director of player personnel Dave Ziegler, who would move into the general manager role.

GM Mike Mayock was fired after the season.

Should McDaniels be offered — and accept — the job, it would be his second go-round as an NFL head coach. He led the Denver Broncos to an 11-17 record before being fired after Week 13 in his second season in the job in 2010.

He spent the following season as the offensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams, then returned to the same role with the Patriots, which he previously held from 2006-08.

In 2018, he accepted — and then backed out of — the job as head coach of the Colts. Sports Illustrated later reported that it wasn’t because the Patriots put a deal in place to make him the heir apparent to Bill Belichick, as was rumored, but instead over concerns about the football operations chain of command in Indianapolis.

–Field Level Media

AFC East Preseason Grades

BUFFALO BILLS

Key Acquisitions: QB Josh Allen, QB AJ McCarron, DT Star Lotulelei, DE Trent Murphy, CB Vontae Davis, C Russell Bodine, RB Chris Ivory, LB Tremaine Edmunds, DT Harrison Phillips

Key Losses: QB Tyrod Taylor, OT Cordy Glenn, OG Richie Incognito, C Eric Wood, CB E.J. Gaines, WR Jordan Matthews, LB Preston Brown, OT Seantrel Henderson

Give Buffalo credit for recognizing that its playoff run, after being outscored by 57 points in the regular season, was a little fluky. The front office wisely took a longer view this offseason rather than spending to fight for a wild-card spot again.

Shipping off Tyrod Taylor (for the 65th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft) and Cordy Glenn (to jump nine spots in Round 1) was a start, and the returns helped the Bills trade up for Josh Allen and Tremaine Edmunds. Buffalo found bargains in AJ McCarron (two years, $10 million) as a bridge quarterback and Vontae Davis (one year, $5 million) as a buy-low cornerback. That said, the contracts for Star Lotulelei (five years, $50 million) and end Trent Murphy (three years, $22.5 million) were steep for players who affect quarterbacks less than they clog running lanes. Russell Bodine (two years, $5 million) doesn’t move the needle much, but the line was in desperate need of bodies.

That line didn’t get as many reinforcements as needed, in part because of the team’s trade-ups in the draft. It’s also fair to question the choice of Allen over Josh Rosen, who is clearly more pro-ready at this stage. If Allen can’t fix his accuracy issues and work through reads more quickly, it won’t matter that his arm can cut through Buffalo’s worst weather.

Our Take: The Bills were smart to exercise patience, but the offensive line remains leaky, which is worrisome as the team tries to develop its QB of the future — C

 

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Key Acquisitions: DE Robert Quinn, WR Danny Amendola, WR Albert Wilson, S Minkah Fitzpatrick, OG Josh Sitton, RB Frank Gore, TE Mike Gesicki, C Daniel Kilgore, LB Jerome Baker

Key Losses: DT Ndamukong Suh, WR Jarvis Landry, C Mike Pouncey, QB Jay Cutler, TE Julius Thomas, TE Anthony Fasano, OG Jermon Bushrod, K Cody Parkey

Adam Gase and the Dolphins were determined to “change the culture” in Miami, but the result was an awful lot of talent walking out the door. Three players whose resumes include a combined 11 Pro Bowls are gone after Jarvis Landry (three) was traded and Ndamukong Suh (five) and Mike Pouncey (three) were released.

The $14 million that Miami didn’t want to spend on Landry went to Danny Amendola (two years, $12 million) and Albert Wilson (three years, $24 million) in free agency. Meanwhile, Mike Gesicki was drafted to replace the ineffective Julius Thomas as the team’s receiving tight end, so Ryan Tannehill has some options. The QB, who has Gase’s full support as he returns from a torn ACL that kept him out for all of 2017, also received extra protection up front in Josh Sitton and Daniel Kilgore, who will replace Jermon Bushrod and Pouncey, respectively. Frank Gore should still be able to help the offense a bit, even at age 35. The trade of Jay Ajayi opens up an avenue for Kenyon Drake to take over as lead back.

Suh’s absence will certainly be felt in the interior pass rush, though Robert Quinn’s arrival via trade could bring more heat the edge. Drafting Minkah Fitzpatrick and Jerome Baker gives Miami better matchup pieces against opposing passing games, and their versatility could help defensive coordinator Matt Burke mix things up if he chooses.

Our Take: The Dolphins had a clear plan to prioritize character over talent, but it’s hard to see how they actually got better in the process. — C-

 

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Key Acquisitions: DE Adrian Clayborn, OT Trent Brown, OT/G Isaiah Wynn, RB Sony Michel, CB Jason McCourty, RB Jeremy Hill, WR Jordan Matthews, CB Duke Dawson

Key Losses: OT Nate Solder, WR Brandin Cooks, CB Malcolm Butler, RB Dion Lewis, WR Danny Amendola, TE Martellus Bennett, OT Cameron Fleming

It would easy to panic at the slate of names walking out the door, but each of the departures is understandable. New England wasn’t going to make Nate Solder the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history, nor was it going to hand Brandin Cooks the five-year, $80 million extension he received from the Rams. Malcolm Butler’s fate was sealed at the Super Bowl, and Dion Lewis and Danny Amendola each got much more money elsewhere than New England would offer.

The Pats did manage a Hail Mary to keep offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels (and special-teams coordinator Joe Judge) in house, and they restocked the offensive line with Trent Brown (via trade) and Isaiah Wynn (first-round pick). One of the two should be the answer at Tom Brady’s blind side, while the other could provide an upgrade at guard. New England also jolted its offense (which didn’t need jolting) with the drafting of the dynamic Sony Michel, and Jeremy Hill or Jordan Matthews could pop as well.

On defense, Adrian Clayborn and Jason McCourty are typical Patriots additions — reliable veterans who do their jobs without much flash. Clayborn isn’t an explosive pass-rusher, but he sets the edge exactly how Bill Belichick prefers, and McCourty should pair with his brother, Devin, to soothe some of the communication issues that cost the secondary last year.

Our Take: The Patriots lost more talent than usual, but they regrouped and reloaded like they do every offseason. Until No. 12 declines, they aren’t going anywhere. — B-

 

NEW YORK JETS

Key Acquisitions: QB Sam Darnold, CB Trumaine Johnson, QB Teddy Bridgewater, OG/C Spencer Long, RB Isaiah Crowell, LB Avery Williamson, WR Terrelle Pryor, C Travis Swanson, K Cairo Santos, DT Nathan Shepherd

Key Losses: DE/DT Muhammad Wilkerson, LB Demario Davis, TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, DE Kony Ealy, RB Matt Forte, C Wesley Johnson, K Chandler Catanzaro

The Jets’ offseason will ultimately come down to the future of Sam Darnold, who the team was delighted to nab at No. 3 overall despite having to burn three second-round picks to get there. Combined with the re-signing of feted mentor Josh McCown and the arrival of Teddy Bridgewater — who drew rave reviews for his play in offseason workouts — the quarterback depth chart is markedly improved. Elsewhere on offense, Isaiah Crowell should help replace Matt Forte, and Spencer Long and Terrelle Pryor could each pay dividends after arriving from Washington via free agency.

GM Mike Maccagnan spent even more of the team’s wealth of cap space on defense, inking former Ram Trumaine Johnson (five years, $72.5 million) to be a matchup man-coverage cornerback in a blitz-heavy scheme that demands one. That should push Morris Claiborne, who re-signed at a reasonable price (one year, $7 million), and Buster Skrine into friendlier matchups, giving Todd Bowles more freedom with his game plans and play calls.

Bowles would have loved to reunite with former Cardinal Tyrann Mathieu, who opted instead to join Houston, but the defense still gained disruptive front seven pieces in Avery Williamson (free agency) and Nathan Shepherd (draft). The release of Muhammad Wilkerson was a necessary evil given his lack of commitment since receiving a big paycheck.

Our Take: The Jets were surprisingly competitive in 2017 and probably improved this spring while grabbing a possible QB of the future. Not a bad offseason’s work. — B-

–Field Level Media