Jul 30, 2022; Lake Forest Illinois, US; Chicago Bears offensive lineman Cody Whitehair answers questions after training camp at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Raiders sign OL Cody Whitehair to 1-year deal

The Las Vegas Raiders have signed free-agent guard/center Cody Whitehair to a one-year, $2.5 million contract, Pro Football Network reported Monday.

The deal includes $1.4 million guaranteed and is worth up to $3 million with incentives, per the report.

The Chicago Bears released Whitehair, 31, on Feb. 15 after eight seasons and 124 games (118 starts). He played all 17 games last season, with 11 starts.

Chicago drafted the 6-foot-3, 316-pound lineman out of Kansas State in the second round in 2016.

Whitehair made the Pro Bowl in 2018, when the Bears finished 12-4 on the way to the NFC North title.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Aces owner Mark Davis and part-owner Tom Brady talk before the game between the Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty during game one of the 2023 WNBA Finals at Michelob Ultra Arena. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Tom Brady’s bid for stake in Raiders likely on hold

Tom Brady’s attempt to own a piece of the Las Vegas Raiders is likely to be delayed with no vote expected at the annual NFL meeting next week, according to a Washington Post report.

The retired NFL great had hoped to be on track to approval by league owners by adjusting his bid for 10 percent of the team after the finance committee’s earlier concerns about a price below market value.

Brady initially came to an agreement with Raiders majority owner Mark Davis in May that would make the seven-time Super Bowl champion a minority owner of the NFL’s Las Vegas franchise with a 10 percent stake for a reported $175 million.

The Raiders were valued by Forbes at $6.2 billion in August.

There are concerns that Brady is receiving too much of a discount from what is generally accepted for limited partners, the Post reported. Some owners also see a possible conflict of interest in Brady being an owner while working his new job in the broadcast booth as Fox’s lead NFL analyst. He reportedly is under contract for 10 years and $375 million, beginning next season.

Brady, 46, who retired after the 2022 season after a stellar career with the New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, would be seeking access to other teams’ training facilities and practice fields as part of his preparations for Fox broadcasts.

He is partnering with Tom Wagner, the co-founder of Knighthead Capital Management, in the bid for a share of the Raiders.

The owners meeting is slated to begin Sunday in Orlando. The Raiders’ arrangement with Brady must be approved by at least 24 of the 32 league owners, who generally follow the finance committee’s recommendation.

The owners are meeting again in May in Nashville.

–Field Level Media

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Gardner Minshew (10) throws in the first quarter during a Week 14 NFL game between the Indianapolis Colts and the Cincinnati Bengals, Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023, at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati.

Report: Raiders add QB Gardner Minshew on $25M deal

The Las Vegas Raiders are poised to have a quarterback battle through training camp and into the exhibition season after Gardner Minshew II was signed to a two-year, $25 million deal with $15 million fully guaranteed, NFL Network reported Monday.

The Raiders also have another quarterback in the fold in Aidan O’Connell, who started 10 games as a rookie in 2023, and threw for 2,218 yards and 12 touchdowns with seven interceptions in 11 overall games. Las Vegas won five of O’Connell’s starts.

Minshew, 27, threw for 3,305 yards and 15 TDs with nine interceptions in 17 games (13 starts) for the Indianapolis Colts last season. He was playing for his third team in five seasons after also spending time with the Jacksonville Jaguars (2019-20) and Philadelphia Eagles (2021-22).

In 49 career games (37 starts), Minshew has thrown for 9,937 yards, 59 TDs and 24 interceptions.

–Field Level Media

Dec 24, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) looks on against the Dallas Cowboys during the second quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Raiders sign DT Christian Wilkins for $110M

The Las Vegas Raiders agreed to sign star defensive tackle Christian Wilkins to a four-year, $110 million contract, NFL Network reported Monday.

The Miami Dolphins opted not to use their franchise tag on the former first-round draft pick, who started all 17 games for the third straight season in 2023 and set a career high with nine sacks.

The Raiders are giving Wilkins $84.75 million guaranteed. His average annual salary of $27.5 million would trail only the Kansas City Chiefs’ Chris Jones ($31.75 million) and Los Angeles Rams star Aaron Donald ($31.67 million), per Spotrac.

Wilkins, 28, would have earned $22.1 million playing under the franchise tag in 2024.

Drafted 13th overall out of Clemson in 2019, Wilkins has recorded 20.5 sacks, 50 quarterback hits, 355 tackles and seven takeaways (one interception, six fumble recoveries) in 81 career games (77 starts).

Adding Wilkins to a defensive front that includes pass rusher Maxx Crosby gives Las Vegas an upgrade in the trenches with head coach Antonio Pierce lloking to improve the Raiders’ defense, which ranked No. 15 in the NFL last season.

–Field Level Media

Oct 8, 2023; Las Vegas, Nevada, USA; Las Vegas Aces owner Mark Davis and part-owner Tom Brady talk before the game between the Las Vegas Aces and the New York Liberty during game one of the 2023 WNBA Finals at Michelob Ultra Arena. Mandatory Credit: Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Tom Brady in line to be approved as part owner of Raiders

After a lengthy delay due to concerns by other NFL owners about the potentially low price, it appears Tom Brady is on track to be approved as a part owner of the Las Vegas Raiders, NFL Network reported on Sunday.

Brady’s contribution to the ownership group reportedly has been adjusted to line up with the Raiders’ market value and will be reviewed by the NFL’s Finance Committee when it meets in New York on March 4 or 5.

Brady initially came to an agreement with Raiders majority owner Mark Davis in May that would make the seven-time Super Bowl champion a minority owner of the NFL’s Las Vegas franchise with a 10 percent stake for a reported $175 million.

However, several owners, including Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay, expressed concern that Brady’s initial investment did not match the Raiders’ market value, necessitating the adjustment, according to multiple reports earlier this week.

“We’re trying to work through,” Irsay said of the ongoing review of Brady’s deal. “The number just has to be a reasonable number for purchase price for Tom, is the only thing. If reasonable value says that 10 percent should be $525 million, you can’t pay $175 million.”

The Raiders were valued by Forbes at $6.2 billion in August.

A league spokesman told NFL Network on Saturday the “matter remains under review by the finance committee.”

Final approval of the former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers star’s ownership could come during the NFL Annual League Meeting on March 24-27 in Orlando.

Brady already is part-owner of a sports team primarily owned by Davis. In March, Brady acquired a minority stake in the WNBA’s Las Vegas Aces.

Regardless of what happens with his ownership attempts, Brady will be watching the upcoming NFL season from his position in the broadcast booth as Fox’s lead NFL analyst. He reportedly signed a 10-year, $375 million contract for the gig.

–Field Level Media

Jul 28, 2022; Lake Forest, IL, USA;  Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy talks with the media during training camp at PNC Center at Halas Hall. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Raiders interviewing Luke Getsy for OC post

The Las Vegas Raiders are interviewing former Chicago Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy for the same position, NFL Network reported Tuesday.

The Bears fired Getsy on Jan. 10 after a 7-10 season. Chicago finished 28th in total offense in 2022 and 20th in 2023 with Getsy directing the offense for head coach Matt Eberflus.

Chicago finished No. 2 in the league in rushing in 2023 and No. 1 in 2022 but struggled to move the ball through the air with quarterback Justin Fields.

New Raiders head coach Antonio Pierce also is considering Los Angeles Rams quarterbacks coach/passing game coordinator Zac Robinson for the OC role, per reports.

Las Vegas did not retain interim offensive coordinator Bo Hardegree, who took over when OC Mick Lombardi and head coach Josh McDaniels were fired midseason.

The Raiders (8-9) finished 23rd in scoring offense and 27th in total offense in 2023.

–Field Level Media

Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Las Vegas Raiders quarterback Aidan O'Connell (4) talks with head coach Antonio Pierce during the second half against the Las Vegas Raiders at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders heat up, while Colts also hope to keep playoff hopes alive

Antonio Pierce intends to be the Las Vegas Raiders’ coach beyond the end of this season.

And judging from the way his players have competed in the seven games he’s been at the helm, it seems like they’d like him to be their coach for years to come.

Coming off a Christmas Day upset of the Kansas City Chiefs, Las Vegas tries to keep its long-shot AFC playoff hopes alive Sunday when it travels to Indianapolis for a showdown with the Colts, who have their own playoff dreams to realize.

At 7-8, Las Vegas has to win out and hope for help from other teams. But if nothing else, Raiders players have shown the willingness to fight under Pierce, which is far more than they appeared to want to do under former coach Josh McDaniels.

The Raiders are 4-3 under Pierce, who said Tuesday that he’s hoping to remain in charge after the season concludes.

“As long as it looks right, sounds right and smells right, I’m fine with it,” he said. “Win, lose or draw, and I’m going to be me and (the players) are going to be them. And when this bad boy’s over with, hopefully, it all works out and we’re together for more years to come.”

It was probably fitting that Las Vegas’ defense has made a big mark on its last two wins, since Pierce played nine years in the NFL as a linebacker and won a Super Bowl ring with the 2007 New York Giants. The Raiders have scored two defensive touchdowns in each game, creating their winning margin in a mere seven second span of the second quarter in Kansas City.

But they would like to get more out of rookie quarterback Aidan O’Connell, who followed a four-touchdown performance against the Los Angeles Chargers by completing no passes in the last three quarters at Kansas City. Las Vegas has the 25th-ranked scoring offense in the NFL.

As for Indianapolis (8-7), it again starts the week in the final wild-card spot in the AFC despite tumbling 29-10 last week in Atlanta. The Colts scored on their first drive of the game and then did next to nothing after that.

First-year coach Shane Steichen said opportunity awaits this team.

“We didn’t play our best in Cincinnati, but we bounced back against Pittsburgh,” he said. “We didn’t play our best against Atlanta and now we’ve got an opportunity at home to bounce back against the Raiders.”

Part of the problem was that Michael Pittman, the team’s top receiver, didn’t play in Atlanta after suffering a setback of concussion symptoms after taking a hit from Pittsburgh’s Damontae Kazee on Dec. 16. The NFL felt that hit was so dirty that it suspended Kazee for the season’s remainder.

Pittman, whose next catch will be his 100th of the year, is still in protocol and it’s unknown if he’ll be able to go Sunday. The offense also missed leading rusher Zack Moss (764 yards) last week.

The Raiders own a 10-9 advantage in the all-time series, although Indianapolis won last year’s matchup 25-20 in Las Vegas.

–Field Level Media

Dec 25, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Las Vegas Raiders defensive tackle Bilal Nichols (91) scores against the Kansas City Chiefs after picking up a fumble during the first half at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Raiders’ defense provides offense in upset of Chiefs

Bilal Nichols and Jack Jones scored defensive touchdowns seven seconds apart in the second quarter to lead the Las Vegas Raiders to a 20-14 upset of the host Kansas City Chiefs on Monday afternoon.

Zamir White rushed for a career-high 145 yards on 22 carries as Las Vegas (7-8) remained alive in the AFC West race. Malcolm Koonce recorded a career-high three sacks as the Raiders won their second straight game.

Patrick Mahomes completed 27 of 44 passes for 235 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Kansas City (9-6), which had a chance to clinch its eighth straight AFC West crown. Mahomes also had a team-high 53 rushing yards for the Chiefs, who have dropped three of their past four games and five of their last eight.

The victory was just the Raiders’ fourth in their past 22 meetings against the Chiefs.

Las Vegas played without standout running back Josh Jacobs (quadriceps).

Kansas City’s Isiah Pacheco, who rushed for a touchdown, sustained a concussion late in the third quarter and was later ruled out.

The Chiefs cut their deficit to six when Mahomes threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Justin Watson with 2:42 left.

But the Raiders put the game away on runs on back-to-back runs of 43 and 15 yards by White.

The Las Vegas defensive touchdown sequence began when Pacheco lined up as the Kansas City quarterback and botched a handoff to Mahomes. Nichols picked up the ball and went 8 yards for the score with 4:55 left in the half. Holder A.J. Cole bobbled the extra point snap so there was no kick and the Raiders led 9-7.

On the next offensive play, Jones jumped the route and easily picked off Mahomes. He returned it 33 yards for a touchdown with 4:48 to play. Brandon Bolden tacked on a two-point conversion run to give Las Vegas a 10-point lead.

The Raiders increased their lead to 20-7 on Daniel Carlson’s 35-yard field goal with 24 seconds left in the third quarter.

Kansas City had minus-18 yards of total offense in the first quarter as the Raiders used a 24-yard field goal by Carlson for a 3-0 lead.

The Chiefs didn’t have a single first down in the opening period and their initial one came on a defensive holding call in the opening minute of the second quarter.

Later in the quarter, the Chiefs traveled 74 yards on 10 plays. Kansas City found the end zone when Pacheco lined up as the quarterback, faked a reverse handoff to Mahomes and scored on a 12-yard run with 7:34 remaining in the half.

–Field Level Media

Oct 22, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears running back Darrynton Evans (25) rushes the ball against Las Vegas Raiders cornerback Marcus Peters (24) in the second half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Raiders release veteran CB Marcus Peters

The Las Vegas Raiders released veteran cornerback Marcus Peters on Monday, multiple news outlets reported.

The three-time Pro Bowl selection was benched before halftime in Sunday’s 31-17 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs.

The move reportedly saves the Raiders about $1.5 million in incentives that Peters, 30, was on pace to earn.

Peters registered 43 tackles and one interception in 12 starts this season. He returned the pick 75 yards for a touchdown against the Detroit Lions in Week 8, his seventh career pick-six.

Peters has 33 interceptions and 389 tackles in 116 games (115 starts) with the Chiefs (2015-17), Los Angeles Rams (2018-19), Baltimore Ravens (2019-20, 2022) and Raiders.

He was named the 2015 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year after being selected 18th overall in that year’s draft.

–Field Level Media