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Oakland Raiders T Matt McCants Signs Exclusive Rights Tender

April 18th, 2014 at 10:23 AM
By Nick Gill

For the second straight day, the Oakland Raiders have retained a player on an exclusive rights tender. Yesterday, it has linebacker Kaelin Burnett and today, it is tackle Matt McCants. The exclusive rights tender allows the Raiders to keep players with two or fewer years in the NFL at a veteran minimum salary without them being able to negotiate with other teams. McCants signed his tender to remain in Oakland for 2014.

'JPP' photo (c) 2013, Maxim Pierre - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
 

The 24 year-old McCants proved to be a valuable depth option and spot starter along the offensive line in 2013. With the team dealing with a bevy of injuries to offensive linemen last season, McCants took his opportunity and proved his worth. He appeared in 13 games for Oakland, making three starts at right tackle. 

McCants was a sixth-round pick by the New York Giants in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Alabama-Birmingham. He made it to their final cuts, but was released and placed on the practice squad. He spent a season on the Giants practice squad, before the Raiders signed him to their practice squad last season. The 6'5", 310 pound tackle, was activated to Oakland's roster when Jared Veldheer went on injured reserve with torn triceps. 

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Oakland Raiders 2014 Preseason Times and Dates Set

April 18th, 2014 at 9:51 AM
By Nick Gill

Earlier in the month, the NFL announced the Oakland Raiders preseason schedule. They would play three NFC North teams including the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions, and Green Bay Packers. They will also face the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks in the final week of preseason action. Now, the Raiders have announced the exact times and dates for those match-ups.

'Vikings v Green Bay -DSC_1482- 12:30:12' photo (c) 2012, Joe Bielawa - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

In the preseason opener, Oakland will travel to Minnesota to face the Vikings on Friday, August 8th at 5:00 p.m. pacific time. The following Friday on August 15th, the Raiders will host the Detroit Lions at 7:00 p.m. pacific time. On Friday, August 22nd, Oakland will travel to face the Green Bay Packers in a nationally televised game on CBS at 5:00 p.m. pacific time. In the preseason finale, the Raiders will host the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, August 28th at 7:00 p.m. pacific time.

With the way the Raiders preseason schedule is set, the team will do a serious amount of traveling. With trips to Minnesota and Green Bay, Oakland boasts one of the heavier travel schedules in the league.

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Oakland Raiders LB Kaelin Burnett Signs Exclusive Rights Tender

April 17th, 2014 at 1:21 PM
By Nick Gill

The Oakland Raiders will retain linebacker Kaelin Burnett after he signed his exclusive right tender today. Because of the exclusive rights tender, Burnett is only allowed to negotiate with the Raiders making the deal easier to get done. It is the second consecutive season Burnett returns on the exclusive rights deal.  He joins his brother Kevin Burnett for a second season in silver and black. They are the only pair of brothers in the NFL on the same team and they are the first to play together in the Raiders' history. 

'Oakland Colosseum' photo (c) 2005, Chris Yunker - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

Burnett came to the Raiders as an undrafted free agent after the 2012 NFL Draft out of Nevada. He became a member of the practice squad out of training camp as a rookie. He made it to the active roster in his first season appearing in six games as a member of the special teams unit. 

Last season, Burnett made improvements, making Oakland's 53 man roster out of training camp. He was one of five linebacker kept after camp with Miles Burris landing on the physically unable to perform list. Burnett played in all 16 games for the Raiders. The 6'4", 240 pound linebacker made 10 special teams tackles and forced a fumble in 2013. The forced fumble came in the Thanksgiving Day game against the Dallas Cowboys.

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Oakland Raiders Will Have Difficulty Getting Anything for QB Terrelle Pryor

April 17th, 2014 at 12:38 PM
By Nick Gill

The Oakland Raiders are in the process of trying to find trade partners for quarterback Terrelle Pryor. Earlier this offseason, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said that Pryor wanted to be traded or released because of his desire to be a starting quarterback. He was not going to get that opportunity in Oakland with quarterback Matt Schaub on board and the team's preference for Matt McGloin to be the back-up. 

'Terrelle Pryor Of Oakland Raiders Shines In Debut v. Colts' photo (c) 2013, Zennie Abraham - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/

Pro Football Talk is reporting that the Raiders are trying to trade Pryor before the team starts its offseason program on April 22nd. That is going to be a very difficult task for Oakland with the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. 

Once information comes out that a team wants to trade a player, it usually means they will eventually release him. Look no further than running back Chris Johnson or wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who were on the trade block, but released instead. Pryor doesn't have the financial obligation of a Jackson or Johnson, but he also doesn't have their production either.

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Oakland Raiders Looking to Blend Youth with Experienced Defense for Success in 2014 and Beyond

April 16th, 2014 at 1:51 PM
By Nick Gill

The Oakland Raiders used free agency to rebuild their defense for a second straight season. This time, Oakland was able to go after impact players and not just piece what they could together. As a result, the team should be far better on the defensive side of the ball. In order for that to happen, the Raiders are going to need huge contributions from their young players. 

'Justin Tuck: Calm Before the Storm.' photo (c) 2009, Heath Brandon - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

As of right now, the Raiders will have eight projected starters who are 28 years of age or older. Defensive linemen Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith, Pat Sims and LaMarr Woodley fit that bill as well as linebackers Kevin Burnett, 32, and Nick Roach, 28. Cornerback Tarell Brown is 29, and safety Charles Woodson is 37. On the other hand, the Raiders have some youth in their defense to blend with that experience. Safety Tyvon Branch is 27. Cornerback DJ Hayden and linebacker Sio Moore are both 23 years old. Key rotational reserves like linebacker Miles Burris and defensive tackle Stacy McGee are 25 and 24 years of age. 

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