Oakland Raiders Sign CB SaQwan Edwards To Active Roster

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed CB SaQwan Edwards to the active roster from the practice squad, the club announced Wednesday.

Edwards originally signed with the Raiders as an undrafted free agent in May 2015. After being waived by the team at the end of training camp, he was signed to the Raiders’ practice squad on Sept. 6 and has remained there for the first 16 weeks of the season.

The 6-foot, 200-pounder played three years at New Mexico after transferring from Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. He appeared in 31 games for the Lobos, totaling 65 tackles (57 solo), three interceptions and 19 passes defensed. Last season as a senior, Edwards played in 12 games and posted 42 tackles (30) with three interceptions and nine passes defensed.

In a corresponding move, the Raiders have placed S Nate Allen on the Reserve/Injured List.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Punter Marquette King Wins AFC Special Teams Player Of The Week

Photo by Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif.Oakland Raiders P Marquette King has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his Week 16 performance against the San Diego Chargers, the National Football League announced today.

This marks the first time in King’s career that he has been named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week. A Raider has now won the award 23 times, with King’s recognition being the first since K Sebastian Janikowski won it in 2012 after his Week 15 effort against the Kansas City Chiefs. In total, a Raiders player has won AFC Offensive, Defensive or Special Teams Player of the Week 82 times.

In last Thursday night’s win over the Chargers, King punted eight times for 400 yards (50.0 gross average; 49.8 net average) with a long of 65 in the Raiders’ 23-20 overtime victory over the San Diego Chargers. Six of his punts were downed inside San Diego’s 20-yard line. His 49.8 net average led the NFL in Week 16, and his six punts downed inside the 20-yard line ranked second. King pinned his 39th punt of the season inside the opponents’ 20-yard line (second in the NFL this year), setting a new single-season franchise record since the statistic became official in 1976.

This is the second time this season that Oakland has had a player win a Player of the Week Award, as DE Khalil Mack won the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 14 performance against the Denver Broncos. Additionally, S Charles Woodson was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign DB Dewey McDonald To Active Roster

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed DB Dewey McDonald to the active roster from the practice squad, the club announced Tuesday.

McDonald has played in 14 games over his career with the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots, and appeared in three postseason games with Indianapolis in 2014. He was originally signed by the Colts as an undrafted free agent in May 2014, and he appeared in 12 games with Indianapolis as a rookie and ranked second on the team with 13 special teams tackles. McDonald played in one game in 2015 for Indianapolis before being waived and claimed by the Patriots in October 2015. He made one appearance with New England before being waived and signed to the Raiders’ practice squad earlier this month.

The 6-foot, 220-pounder played one season at California University of Pennsylvania in 2013 after transferring from Fairmont State. He finished his collegiate career with 12 interceptions, including five as a freshman. As a senior captain with the Vulcans, McDonald earned first-team PSAC West honors by tallying a career-best 89 tackles, six tackles for loss, three interceptions (all returned for touchdowns) and eight passes defensed.

Additionally, the Raiders have signed DB Chris Hackett and G Cole Manhart to the practice squad.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Woodson, Reece and Mack Selected To Pro Bowl

Photos by Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif.Oakland Raiders S Charles Woodson, FB Marcel Reece and DE Khalil Mack have been named to the 2016 Pro Bowl, the NFL announced Tuesday.

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QB Derek Carr, WR Amari Cooper and RB Latavius Murray were named as alternates for the annual all-star game, scheduled to be played at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Jan. 31, 2016.

After announcing his intention to retire at season’s end, Woodson has been selected to his ninth Pro Bowl and fifth as a Raider. He has started all 14 games at safety this season, totaling 82 tackles (59 solo), five interceptions, nine passes defensed, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. His five interceptions are tied for sixth in the NFL and his 82 tackles are second on the team. Earlier this year, was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for October after posting three interceptions in three games, including a season-high two picks in Week 5 vs. Denver.

Reece has been selected to his fourth straight Pro Bowl, as he has been chosen every season since 2012. The four-time Pro Bowler has played in all 14 games for the Raiders this year, starting six, and totaled 28 receptions for 266 yards (9.5 avg.) with three touchdowns and 10 carries for 36 yards. Reece’s 9.5 yards per reception rank seventh among all running backs and fullbacks this season. In Week 1 vs. Cincinnati, Reece posted his first career multi-touchdown game, hauling in two touchdown receptions.

In his second season, Mack has started all 14 games, totaling 62 tackles (46 solo), 15 sacks, two forced fumbles and three passes defensed. His 15 sacks lead the NFL and he is just one sack away from tying the franchise single-season record. Mack owns four multi-sack games this year, including a 2015 NFL single-game high five sacks in the team’s Week 14 victory at Denver, a performance for which he was named AFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The three Pro Bowlers for the Raiders mark the most the team has had since 2011 when they had four.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Raiders Charles Woodson Announces He Will Retire After 2015 Season

Photos by Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif.Oakland Raiders S Charles Woodson announced today that he will retire from football at the conclusion of the 2015 season. Woodson retires after 18 seasons as one of the most decorated defensive players in league history.

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GM Reggie McKenzie

“Charles Woodson is one of those players that comes along and reminds you why you love the game,” said General Manager Reggie McKenzie. “He is truly a one of a kind player that goes above and beyond his Heisman trophy and future gold jacket. It has been an honor to have worked alongside Charles for so many years and have the confidence to call him what he truly is: the G.O.A.T. He is, without a doubt, the embodiment of what it means to be a Raider.”

Over his remarkable football career, Woodson has excelled at every level. He is one of only two players (Marcus Allen) in history to win the Heisman Trophy, Associated Press Rookie of the Year, Associated Press Player of the Year and a Super Bowl over their career. He is a three-time first-team All-Pro and an eight-time Pro Bowler.

Originally selected by the Raiders in the first round (fourth overall) of the 1998 NFL Draft, Woodson played his first eight seasons for the Silver and Black from 1998-2005. He was named the Associated Press Rookie of the Year in 1998 and was selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his first four seasons (1998-2001). He helped the Raiders to three straight AFC West titles from 2000-02 and an appearance in Super Bowl XXXVII.

After the 2005 season, Woodson joined the Green Bay Packers, where he played for seven seasons from 2006-12. In 2009, he was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year, becoming the oldest defensive back to ever win the award and the first cornerback since 1994. In 2009, he set a career high and tied for the league lead with nine interceptions. The following year, Woodson led the Packers on a run to the Super Bowl XLV title, as he started all 20 regular season and postseason games.

Woodson rejoined the Raiders in 2013, allowing him to finish his NFL career where it started. He has started all 46 games for the Silver and Black since 2013 and has totaled 10 interceptions. This season, Woodson was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for the fifth time in October after recording three interceptions. Since turning 39 in October 2015, Woodson has tallied three interceptions, making him one of only three NFL players to record an interception at age 39 or older.

For his career, Woodson has played in 252 regular season games with 249 starts, totaling 1,363 tackles (1,065 solo), 65 interceptions (966 interception return yards), 11 interceptions returned for a touchdown, 227 passes defensed, 20 sacks, 34 forced fumbles and 16 fumble recoveries. He has played an additional 17 postseason games with 16 starts, posting 85 tackles (70 solo), one interception, 15 passes defensed, one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

At the University of Michigan, Woodson was a three-year starter and letterman from 1995-97. The Fremont, Ohio, native finished his collegiate career with three All-Big Ten and two All-American selections. In his junior season of 1997, he became the first predominantly defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy, helping the Wolverines to a 12-0 record and the Associated Press National Championship.

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WOODSON AT A GLANCE

· Woodson is one of two players in football history to win a Heisman Trophy, Associated Press Rookie of the Year, Associated Press Player of the Year and a Super Bowl in their career. The other player is former Raiders RB Marcus Allen.

· Woodson is a three-time first-team All-Pro, an eight-time Pro Bowler and was named the Associated Press Defensive Player of the Year in 2009. He has been named the AFC/NFC Defensive Player of the Month five times.

· The 1998 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, Woodson became the first Raiders defensive back to start every game in his rookie season since Jack Tatum in 1971. He finished his rookie campaign with five interceptions with one return touchdown and two forced fumbles.

· In 1997, Woodson became the first predominantly defensive player to win the Heisman Trophy and is one of nine Heisman winners to wear the Silver and Black.

· Woodson has recorded 65 career interceptions and is tied with Ken Riley (65) for the fifth most interceptions in NFL history and the most by any player not currently enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

· Along with Hall of Famer Darrell Green (19), Woodson is one of only two players in NFL history to intercept a pass in at least 18 straight seasons.

· Woodson is one of three players in NFL history to record an interception at age 39 or older, joining Hall of Famer Darrell Green and Clay Matthews, Jr. With two interceptions on Oct. 11, 2015 vs. Denver, Woodson became the only player 39-or-older with two interceptions in a game.

· Woodson’s 13 defensive touchdowns are tied with Rod Woodson and Darren Sharper for the most all-time, and his 11 interception-touchdowns are second all-time to R. Woodson’s 12.

· In 2011, he became the first NFL player to record an interception-touchdown in six straight seasons.

· In 2014, Woodson became the first player in NFL history with 50 interceptions and 20 sacks in his career. Later in the season, Woodson also became the first player to reach 60 picks and 20 sacks for a career.

Sacramento Republic FC Signs Free Agent Mike Da Fonte

Da Fonte served as captain for New York Red Bulls II in 2015.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC have agreed to a contract with defender Mike Da Fonte for the 2016 USL season. Da Fonte served as the captain of New York Red Bulls II during their inaugural season in 2015.

“Michael will be an outstanding new addition to the squad and fill a position that was needed,” said Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “I’ve gotten to know Michael, as a person as well as a player, and I really like him and his values. He served as captain of New York Red Bulls II, and as such, will bring great leadership qualities to the club.”

Da Fonte spent the 2015 season with New York Red Bulls II. Da Fonte led Red Bulls II in minutes (2,003), games started (23) and was second in games played (25) in 2015. He also appeared in both of the club’s two USL playoff matches. Da Fonte was named to the USL Team of the Week for his performance in Week 13.

Prior to joining Red Bulls II, Da Fonte spent two seasons playing in Portugal, making 23 appearances with Espinho and 23 appearances with Pedras Salgadas, both of the Terceira Divisão Portuguesa (Portuguese third division). Da Fonte then returned to the United States and made the Red Bulls II roster through a tryout hosted prior to the season.

Sacramento Republic FC training camp will commence on February 1, 2016. For more information, including Da Fonte’s full profile, visit SacRepublicFC.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Raiders Eliminated From Playoffs With 30-20 Loss to Packers; Cooper Eclipses 1,000 Receiving Yards

ALAMEDA, CALIFORNIA – The Oakland Raiders officially eliminated from playoffs contention in 30-20 loss to the Green Bay Packers. Derek Carr threw a pair of interceptions in the first quarter to put Oakland in an early 0-14 hole. 

The second year quarterback fought through the adversity in the first half and the Raiders only trailed by one point 13-14 headed into half-time. Carr responded with a pair of touchdowns to rookie wide receiver Amari Cooper. 

Derek Carr

“It hurts. It hurt my heart to be honest because I know how much work I put into this, how much work our team puts into this, our coaches,” Carr said.

“I know the sacrifice during the week and even during the offseason. Everyone’s ultimate goal is to go to the playoffs and win the Super Bowl. That’s always my goal, that will never change.

Despite the Packers 14-0  Green Bay fell behind 20-17 midway through the third quarter on Carr’s second touchdown pass to Cooper.

The Raiders lead was short-lived as Jeff Janis returned the ensuing kickoff to the 47. Three plays later, former Raider and San Jose native James Jones scored a 30-yard touchdown on busted coverage in Oaklands’ secondary.

Charles Woodson

“Those kind of mistakes, they kill you as a team,” safety Charles Woodson said. “We gave ourselves a chance. Just didn’t come up at the end when we needed to.”

Rodgers engineered a 19-play field goal drive on Green Bay’s next possession and Mason Crosby’s third field goal made it 30-20 with 4:25 left to put the Packers in control.

Amari Cooper 1,000 Yards Receiving

The highlight for the Raiders was rookie Amari Cooper. He caught six passes for 120 yards on Sunday. He reached the 1,000-yard mark on a 41-yard grab in the third quarter, becoming the first Oakland player with 1,000 yards receiving since Randy Moss in 2005. That was the longest current drought in the NFL. He also added two more touchdowns. He now holds a Raiders franchise rookie record with six touchdowns.

The rest of the accolades went to the Packers, who got 2.5 sacks from Julius Peppers to win their third straight game.

Carr threw two interceptions in the first quarter to set up Green Bay touchdowns. Hyde’s interception set up the Packers at the 18, and John Kuhn ran it in from the 5 for the first score.

Carr’s next pass was high to Seth Roberts and Randall returned it 43 yards for a touchdown that made it 14-0.

The Raiders rallied with a pair of field goals in the second quarter, but the Packers still looked to be in control as they drove into scoring range late in the half.

But Benson Mayowa forced and recovered a fumble by James Starks at the Oakland 21 with 1:22 to go and Carr connected on a 19-yard TD pass to Cooper four plays later to make it 14-13 at the half.

In-Game Injuries

Packers LB Jayrone Elliott (quadriceps) and OL David Bakhtiari (ankle) left with injuries. … Raiders DE Mario Edwards Jr. left after the first drive with a neck injury and WR Seth Roberts (abdominal) also was injured.

Oakland Raiders DE Khalil Mack Wins AFC Defensive Player Of The Week

ALAMEDA, Calif.Oakland Raiders DE Khalil Mack has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week for his Week 14 performance against the Denver Broncos, the National Football League announced today.

This is the first time in Mack’s career he has been named the AFC Defensive Player of the Week. The award marks the 31st time a Raider has won it and first since S Charles Woodson won the award in 2014 after his Week 12 effort against the Kansas City Chiefs. In total, a Raiders player has won AFC Offensive, Defensive or Special Teams Player of the Week 81 times.

In last week’s victory over the Broncos in Denver, Mack posted nine tackles (six solo), a career-high five sacks and one forced fumble. His five sacks tied a single-game franchise record, matching Howie Long’s performance on Oct. 2, 1983. Mack became just the sixth player since 1982 to record five sacks and one forced fumble in a game, and he tied the mark for most sacks in a half since 1991. After posting nine sacks over the last three weeks, Mack now leads the NFL with 14 sacks this season.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Sacramento Republic FC Re-Sign Agustin Cazarez, Exercise Option On Adnan Gabeljic

Cazarez will return to Republic FC for third year, Gabeljic will return for second year.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Sacramento Republic FC announced that they re-signed defender/midfielder Agustin Cazarez and exercised the contract option on forward Adnan Gabeljic.

“Augie is such an unsung hero for our club,” said Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “He should be proud of himself. His attitude in training is first class and has given him the opportunity to perform when given the chance. He is versatile and capable on the ball, which allows us to use him in multiple positions in our line-up. He is exactly what you look for in a professional.”

Cazarez originally signed with Republic FC on August 19, 2014. Cazarez has appeared in 23 matches for Sacramento Republic FC over the last two seasons, scoring one goal and recording one assist. His lone goal of the 2015 season was a match-winning goal against Arizona United SC on June 13. Cazarez started each of the last five matches of the 2015 season, including Sacramento Republic FC’s lone playoff match on September 26.

Gabeljic returns to Sacramento Republic FC after joining the club in 2015. Gabeljic appeared in 17 matches for Republic FC in all competitions in 2015, starting four. He scored five goals in all competitions, including a hat trick against Chula Vista FC in the U.S. Open Cup and two USL goals. Gabeljic’s hat trick was the first by a player of Bosnian heritage in U.S. Open Cup history.

In addition, Gabeljic is currently training with Liga MX club Atlas FC. The forward will train with the Atlas FC first team during the USL off-season. Gabeljic caught the eye of the Mexican club during their friendly in Sacramento, and they requested that he train with their club.

“Adnan has a lot to offer to our club,” said Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle. “A great sign of this is that he is currently training with Atlas FC. This was a remarkable opportunity for him, as well as, a chance for him to return to our training camp fit and strong. He has a big potential and he can score goals – he knows were the net is and we’ve seen this in training. He is over 6 foot tall, quick and strong.”

Sacramento Republic FC training camp will commence on February 1, 2016. For more information, including full bios for Cazarez and Gabeljic, visit SacRepublicFC.com.

Press Release Courtesy of the Sacramento Republic FC Media Relations

Raiders Come From Behind On The Road To Upset Broncos 15-12

Denver, CO. – The Raiders traveled to Denver and laid an egg in the first half. Oakland battled back in the second half fueld by two Derek Carr Touchdown passes, and Khalil Macks‘ five sacks of Brock Osweiler including one in the end zone for a safety. Oakland (6-7) upset the Broncos(10-3) on the road 15-12.

The Raiders trailed at the half 0-12 as Oaklands’ defense  held the Broncos to four first-half Brandon McManus field goals. The Raiders offense struggled on all fronts. They only ran 15 plays the entire first half for a total of -12 yards.

Derek Carr Struggles & Fights Through Adversity

Derek Carr completed just 12 of 29 passes for 135 yards. But two of his throws were for touchdowns, and the Raiders (6-7) beat the Broncos for the first time since Sept. 12, 2011 despite being held to minus-12 yards in the first half — the worst performance by a team heading into halftime in nearly a quarter-century.

The Raiders drove 80 yards to open the second half and trim Denver’s lead to 12-7 when Carr threw an 11-yard pass to Seth Roberts.

Khalil Macks’ Huge Day

Mack’s fifth sack crushed Denver’s  hopes on the final drive. Afterward, he said he counts this performance as sweeter than his big game at Ohio State in 2013 that cemented his first-round status because “this is the Broncos.”

Mack said the Raiders knew they had a chance when they held the Broncos out of the end zone four times in the first half.

safety pulled the Raiders to 12-9 when Mack sacked Osweiler in the end zone and Broncos guard Max Garcia recovered the loose ball.

Jack Del Rio On Macks Performance

“He was unbelievable,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said of Mack. “He’s just getting better and better.”

Charles Woodson On Macks Performance

“I remember playing Derrick Thomas my first game in the NFL against the Chiefs and he had six sacks against us,” Oakland’s 18-year veteran safety Charles Woodson said. “Today, Khalil kind of reminded me of that.”

Defense Holds in First Half, Dominates in Second

The Raiders held the Broncos to three field goals on three red zone trips in the first half and did not allow Denver back into the red zone for the entire second half.

The Raiders held the Broncos scoreless in the second half for the first time since Oct. 15, 2006, a 3-13 loss. The last time the Raiders did so in a win was Nov. 22, 1992 (24-0).

The Raiders did not allow the Broncos to run more than three offensive plays on five-of-eight second-half drives. Broncos 0-for-3 in the red zone in the first half


Raiders Stifle Broncos’ Rushing Attack

The Raiders held the Broncos to 34 rushing yards, giving the Broncos 77 total rushing yards against the Raiders this season. That marks the Broncos’ second lowest season total versus the Raiders (51 yards in 1972).

Along with 1963 (96 yards), this marks the third time in team history the Raiders allowed less than 100 rushing yards to Denver in a season (excluding the strike-shortened 1982 season).

The Raiders allowed 25-or-fewer rushing yards in a first half for the fourth time this season and the second time in three weeks (also Nov. 29 at Tennessee).

2-Point Conversion Dilema 

Oakland long snapper Jon Condo recovered Emmanuel Sanders’ muffed punt at the Denver 11 early in the fourth quarter, but he injured his right shoulder in the pile. He was in the locker room getting it looked at when Carr threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mychal Rivera to put Oakland ahead 15-12 with 14:26 remaining.

Without Condo, the Raiders went for 2 and Carr threw an incompletion, leaving the margin at a field goal.

Kicking Game 

Brandon McManus clanked a 49-yarder that would have tied it off the left upright with 10:22 remaining. Sebastian Janikowski then missed a 43-yarder with 5:07 remaining, giving the Broncos good field position at their 33, but Davis had his big drop on fourth down after that.

Gary Kubiak Talks First-Half Opportunities, Turnovers, Drops 

The Broncos couldn’t get into the end zone in the first half despite 224 yards of offense, settling for four field goals from McManus, each one shorter than the previous — 41, 35, 29 and 21 yards.

“We had a chance to really do some damage in the first half and didn’t do it,” Denver coach Gary Kubiak lamented. “And we obviously helped them in the second half with turnovers, I think four or five drops. We lost line of scrimmage offensively. We played great defense.”

Oakland’s lack of production in the first 30 minutes was the lowest figure by any team in the first half since Nov. 1, 1992, when the Chargers held the Colts to minus-5 yards.

Raiders Defeat Broncos on the Road, 15-12

The Raiders defeated the Broncos 15-12 to snap the team’s eight-game losing streak against Denver. The team’s last win against Denver came on Sept. 12, 2011.
For the first time in the Raiders-Broncos series history, the Raiders did not allow the Broncos an offensive touchdown in a season. It marks the sixth time the Raiders held Denver without a passing touchdown (last: 2002) and the eighth time without a rushing touchdown (last: 1993) in a season series.