JBB’s Raiders Mailbag: Offseason Edition #7

May 30, 2017; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) and quarterback Derek Carr (4) react at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
May 30, 2017; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch (24) and quarterback Derek Carr (4) react at organized team activities at the Raiders practice facility. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The seventh offseason edition of JBB’s Oakland Raiders mailbag, answering questions sent to our Twitter account about all things Silver and Black.

We’re officially in the “dead period” of the NFL offseason. The Oakland Raiders have wrapped up free agency, the draft and just about done with OTA’s. Between now and the start of the regular season, there is likely very little that will change in regard to the roster. There could be a minor move here and there, perhaps a roster cut and hopefully a contract extension or two, but for the most part, this will be the 2017 Raiders.

So this seems like as good of a time as any to rollout the latest edition of our mailbag. Raider Nation had plenty of questions, so let’s get to the answers.

Note: Some of the questions were duplicates or similar to other questions that had already been asked. If you don’t see your question specifically responded to, that is likely the reason why.

Of course. And I’m sure Carr will be paid prior to the Training Camp deadline he recently set. The bottom line here is that both sides want to get this deal done, so eventually, it will. But with numbers this big — perhaps record-setting — it’s understandable that it has taken this long.

The way Reggie McKenzie does contracts is basically the opposite of how an NFL agent would want a deal done for his client, so both sides will have to compromise in order to get this done. Neither side will want to have Carr go into the season with this still hanging over his head. Especially with him going down with a severe injury at the end of the season. Carr will want his security and the team will want their franchise quarterback locked up.

Many will point to Taiwan Jones as a potential roster cut, as has been the case for the last two or three seasons. But with a $1.15M salary, his special teams value is worth that.

Austin Howard has a $2.8 million dead money hit, so it’s hard to see McKenzie eating that money just to get rid of him. Reggie Nelson was very up and down last season, but he was elected a team captain and the staff is counting on him as a mentor to Karl Joseph and Obi Melifonwu. Sean Smith isn’t going anywhere — at least this offseason — and Marshall Newhouse reportedly as a leg up at the right tackle spot.

There are really very few veterans cuts I can see happening. If you count Keith McGill as a veteran, he’s probably the most likely contracted player to be let go.


Seth has been clutch, no doubt about that. And the fact the Raiders have won literally every game in which he’s caught a touchdown pass has happened enough times to where you start to question if it’s just by chance or if there actually might be something to it.

But with that being said, above all else, the key for slot wide receivers is to be reliable. And Seth Roberts is not reliable. He’ll randomly pop up with a big catch here and there, but slot receivers should have sure hands and be dynamite route runners. Roberts is not those things. He is a great run blocker with a penchant to perform in clutch situations.

So that’s why so many fans want to upgrade the position.

Is it enough? Yeah, it probably is. This team went 12-4 in 2016 with basically the same exact group, so they’ve proven they can win despite linebacker being such a weak point.

But is it ideal is another question, and it absolutely is not ideal. And if they can win a Super Bowl is a more serious question, and it’s tough to say whether or not they can. The Raiders will have to hope Marquel Lee can outplay his draft slot, that Cory James develops and that Perry Riley Jr. decides to play football.

To answer the last part of the question — no, don’t expect McKenzie to do anything beyond Riley for help. He’s had several opportunities to do so and seems content to roll with the group that’s already in house.

Nope, not worried. We have David Amerson, who plays like he’s Deion Sanders against the Titans.

I’m only half-kidding about that, so jokes aside, this isn’t a game to “worry” about, per say. Tennessee is a quality team and should not be looked over whatsoever, but the Raiders should be able to win this one without *too much* trouble.

Latavius Murray carried the ball 195 times in 14 games, which is an average of just under 14 per game. That’s a reasonable number for Marshawn to hit, so yes, he should get just about the same amount of carries as Latavius did last year. And probably a bit more if he can play in all 16 games.

Sources from OTA’s say that Derek Carr and Jared Cook have quickly formed quite a tandem, developing a nice rapport in their short time together. There have been a handful of ridiculous throws and catches between the two, so this might turn out to be a pretty nice addition by Reggie McKenzie.

Considering the depth at the position — more specifically, the lack thereof — Vanderdoes will have a great opportunity to make a significant impact from very early on.

Don’t expect him to start right away, but he should at least be featured with a healthy dose of snaps. And if he can keep him conditioning in order, his playing time will definitely increase as the season goes on.

It might be a toss up between Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel in terms of who is the better quarterback, but regardless, it’s going to be Cook’s job to lose. Trading up in the fourth round to pick him makes the investment in Cook greater than the investment in Manuel, so he’ll get the first chance to backup Carr.

Plus, he already has familiarity with the playbook and with the team, so he’ll have a leg up on Manuel heading into camp. Also, just in his second season, there is still plenty of time for him to grow and develop whereas we already know what Manuel brings to the table. Perhaps Cook can turn into a nice trade chip at some point.

Amari Cooper was born on June 17, 1994. He will be turning 23 years old in less than two weeks.

Cooper is only a few months older than Mike Williams, who the Chargers drafted 7th overall. Amari might be younger than some guys who get drafted next year, too. Which is crazy, and it speaks to how he truly is only scratching the surface of what he can do.

The most action we’ll get from Elijah this year is in the preseason. In my opinion, it’s a longshot he makes the 53-man roster — it just doesn’t make sense to carry four running backs when other positions are in need of depth.

Oakland can stash him away on the practice squad, and if they need to, they can put him on the active roster later.

Not at this point. Jeremy Maclin is too expensive and David Harris is washed.

Eric Decker will be intriguing if he gets let go, as will NaVorro Bowman. But price tag will be a concern for both, and for Bowman, his health. At this point, the only free agent I can see coming on board is Perry Riley.

Word out of OTA’s is that he looks really good. Finally healthy, and has no limitations. As Mario said himself, he is “ready to be a dominant player”.

We’ll see this season if that is true, but he has flashed that level of play. He just has to stay healthy — that’s really the only thing holding him back.

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Nah, the team is happy with Connor Cook and E.J. Manuel. Plus there is some drama leftover between Aldon Smith and Kaepernick, and even though Aldon isn’t around at the moment, the team seems willing to hang onto him.