Oakland Raiders Sign CB Montrel Meander; Place Leon Hall on IR

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent CB Montrel Meander, the club announced Friday.

Meander, a 6-foot-2, 215-pound cornerback, was originally signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent. Meander spent the offseason with the Browns and made the team’s practice squad following the conclusion of the preseason, where he has spent the first 12 weeks of his rookie campaign.

A native of Amarillo, Texas, Meander transferred to Grambling State in 2016 after a short stint at Texas. As a senior in 2017, he played in all 13 games and totaled 49 tackles, two interceptions and two passes defensed. 

In a corresponding move, the Raiders have placed CB Leon Hall on the Reserve/Injured List. Signed as an unrestricted free agent this past March, Hall appeared in 10 games for the Silver and Black this season and made four starts, compiling 25 tackles (22 solo) and three passes defensed. Over his 12-year career, Hall appeared in 152 games with 112 starts, recorded 588 stops (437), two sacks, 27 interceptions with three returned for touchdowns, 118 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and 10 fumble recoveries.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Return Cowser and Holton to Practice Squad

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed LB James Cowser and WR Johnny Holton to the practice squad, the club announced Wednesday.

Cowser was originally signed by the club as an undrafted free agent in 2016. Earlier this season, he was elevated to the active roster from the club’s practice squad but has not seen game action in 2018. Now in his third year, he has appeared in 22 contests, made 28 tackles (21), one sack, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Holton originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati following the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Draft. Holton spent the first 11 weeks of the 2018 campaign on the club’s practice squad before being elevated to the active roster and making his season debut in Week 12. Over his first three years, Holton has appeared in 32 games, making one start and totaling 11 receptions for 252 yards (22.9 avg.), adding three scores.

In a corresponding move, the team has released WR ArDarius Stewart from the practice squad.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders’ TE Jared Cook Named Ed Block Courage Award Winner

ALAMEDA, Calif. – Oakland Raiders TE Jared Cook has been selected as the Raiders’ 2018 Ed Block Courage Award recipient. 

The Ed Block Courage Award is presented to the player who exemplifies a commitment to the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Additionally, the award recognizes a player’s efforts on and off the field, as well as their ability to overcome great adversity. The recipient is selected by a vote of his teammates.

Cook, who came to Oakland as a free agent prior to the 2017 campaign, has emerged as a top weapon on the Raiders’ offense this season. Through Week 12, Cook leads the team in receiving yards (609), touchdowns (five) and ranks second on the team in receptions (47). 

Cook started the 2018 season off strong, racking up 180 yards on nine catches in the season opener against the Los Angeles Rams. The 180 yards set a Raiders franchise record and tied for the sixth-highest total by a tight end in NFL history. In a Week 4 win over Cleveland, Cook hauled in eight passes for 110 yards with two touchdowns. Six of his eight catches against the Browns went for first downs and his second touchdown tied the game with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation. His performance was part of a historical effort for the Silver and Black, as the Raiders produced a 100-yard receiver, 100-yard rusher and a 400-yard passer for the first time since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. He tied a single-season career high with his fifth touchdown reception of 2018 last week, as a one-handed effort at Baltimore cut the Ravens’ lead to three points in the third quarter.

In 2017, his first year with the Raiders, Cook started all 16 games and led the team with 688 receiving yards on a career-high 54 receptions while adding two touchdowns. His yardage total marked the sixth-highest among NFL tight ends. 

Cook joined the Silver and Black after playing one season with Green Bay, seeing action in 10 games and posting 30 receptions for 377 yards with one touchdown. He played in all three postseason games for the Packers, tying for the team lead with 18 receptions for 229 yards, which were both top marks by a Packers tight end in a single postseason, including a memorable 35-yard reception against the Dallas Cowboys to set up the game-winning field goal in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.

He played three seasons with St. Louis Rams from 2013-15, appearing in all 48 games and topping 50 receptions twice, while establishing a career high in 2013 with five touchdown catches. Cook, who attended South Carolina, started his NFL career with the Tennessee Titans after the club selected him in the third round (89th overall) of the 2009 NFL Draft.

Derek Carr was the Raiders’ Ed Block Courage Award recipient in 2017.

The Ed Block Courage Award annually honors one player from each NFL team. The award has become one of the most esteemed honors bestowed upon a player in the NFL, primarily because his selection is based upon a vote of his peers.

The Ed Block Courage Award is named in honor of Ed Block, the longtime head athletic trainer of the Baltimore Colts, who was a pioneer in his profession and a respected humanitarian. In 1989, the Ed Block Courage Award Foundation formulated the Courage House National Support Network for Kids.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign G Chaz Green and TE Darren Waller; Place Smith on IR

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agents G Chaz Green and TE Darren Waller, the club announced Tuesday.

Green, a 6-foot-5, 318-pound guard is a former third-round selection (91st overall) out of Florida by the Dallas Cowboys in the 2015 NFL Draft. Over his three seasons with the club, Green appeared in 18 contests and made six starts for the Cowboys. The Tampa, Fla., native most recently had a short stint on the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad but has not appeared in game action in 2018.

Waller, a 6-foot-6, 255-pound tight end out of Georgia Tech, was originally drafted in the sixth round (240th overall) by the Ravens in the 2015 NFL Draft as a wide receiver. Waller spent three seasons with the club, appearing in 18 contests and making four starts, while tallying 12 receptions for 103 yards and two touchdowns. A native of Landover, Md., Waller has spent the 2018 campaign on Baltimore’s practice squad. 

Additionally, the club has placed DE Jacquies Smith on the Reserve/Injured List. Smith signed as a free agent ahead of Week 10 and appeared in three contests for the Silver and Black this season.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Waive Johnny Holton

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have waived WR Johnny Holton, the club announced Monday.

Holton originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati following the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Draft. Holton spent the first 11 weeks of the 2018 campaign on the club’s practice squad before being elevated to the active roster and making his season debut in Week 12. Over his first three years, Holton has appeared in 32 games, making one start and totaling 11 receptions for 252 yards (22.9 avg.), adding three scores.

Additionally, the club has released CB Arrion Springs from the practice squad.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Elevate Holton; Make Practice Squad Additions

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have elevated WR Johnny Holton to the active roster from the practice squad, the club announced Wednesday.

Holton, a 6-foot-1, 190-pound receiver originally signed with the team as an undrafted free agent out of Cincinnati following the conclusion of the 2016 NFL Draft. Holton made the active roster following his first training camp and appeared in 31 games over his first two seasons, making one start and totaling 11 receptions for 252 yards (22.9 avg.), adding three scores. Holton has spent the 2018 campaign on the club’s practice squad, where he participated in a short stint as a converted cornerback.

Additionally, the club has signed WR Saeed Blacknall and CB Arrion Springs to the practice squad. 

Blacknall appeared in his first NFL action in Week 11 after being elevated to the club’s active roster. Originally an undrafted free agent out of Penn State, Blacknall played in 48 contests and made 15 starts, totaling 50 receptions for 979 yards (19.6 avg.) and seven touchdowns.

Springs is a 5-foot-11, 208-pound cornerback that was originally signed by the Kansas City Chiefs this past offseason as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon. Springs played four years (2014-17) with the Ducks, appearing in 40 contests and making 137 tackles (97 solo), two sacks, two interceptions, 42 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery. A product of San Antonio, Texas, Springs has spent the 2018 regular season between the Chiefs’, New Orleans Saints’ and Cleveland Browns’ practice squad.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign WR Keon Hatcher; Place LaFell on IR

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed WR Keon Hatcher via the Green Bay Packers’ practice squad, club announced Monday.

Hatcher, a 6-foot-1, 212-pound wide receiver out of Arkansas, was originally signed to the club in 2017 as an undrafted free agent. He spent his rookie campaign on the practice squad before making the 53-man roster following the 2018 preseason, where he appeared in one contest for the club. Hatcher returns after a short stint on the Packers’ practice squad. 

A native of Owasso, Okla., Hatcher played four years with the Razorbacks, seeing action in 47 games with 28 starts. He totaled 130 receptions for 1,866 yards and 19 touchdowns, while finishing his collegiate career ranked fourth on the program’s all-time list in receiving touchdowns.

In corresponding moves, the Raiders have waived WR Saeed Blacknall and placed WR Brandon LaFell on the Reserve/Injured List.

Blacknall, an undrafted free agent out of Penn State, appeared in his first NFL action in Week 11 after spending the first 10 weeks on the club’s practice squad. 

LaFell signed to the team as a free agent this season after spending the last two seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals. Over his 10-year career, LaFell has appeared in 125 games and made 90 starts, totaling 406 receptions for 5,398 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders DT Eddie Vanderdoes Will Remain on Reserve/PUP

ALAMEDA, Calif. –Oakland Raiders DT Eddie Vanderdoes will remain on the Reserve/Physically Unable to Perform List, the club announced Monday. The practice period for Vanderdoes expired on Monday at 1 p.m. PT.

Vanderdoes, a former third-round pick (88th overall) by the club in the 2017 NFL Draft, appeared in all 16 contests as a rookie. While making 13 starts, he totaled 24 tackles (13 solo).

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign DE Kony Ealy

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent DE Kony Ealy, the club announced Monday.

A former second-round pick (60th overall) of the Carolina Panthers in the 2014 NFL Draft, Ealy now enters his fifth year in the league after making stops with the Panthers (2014-16) and New York Jets (2017). At 6-foot-4 and 275 pounds, the defensive end has appeared in 62 games over his career with the two clubs, making 19 starts and compiling 90 tackles (53 solo), 15 sacks, two interceptions, 14 passes defensed, six forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. In postseason action, Ealy has appeared in five contests and made one start, notching 11 stops (five), three sacks, one pass defensed, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

A native of New Madrid, Mo., Ealy played in 38 games at Missouri and made 25 starts, earning first-team All-Southeastern Conference honors as a junior in 2013. Over his career, he registered 93 tackles, including 27.5 for loss, 14 sacks, one interception, 13 passes defensed and four forced fumbles. 

In a corresponding move, the Raiders have waived LB James Cowser.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations

Oakland Raiders Sign DE Jacquies Smith

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed free agent DE Jacquies Smith, the club announced Monday.

A 6-foot-2, 260-pound defensive end, Smith originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2012 when he signed with the Miami Dolphins. Following a short stint with the club, Smith made stops with the New York Jets (2012-13), Buffalo Bills (2013-14), Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2014-17), Detroit Lions (2017) and most recently with the Arizona Cardinals in 2018. Since entering the league, he has appeared in 34 contests and made 18 starts, compiling 41 tackles (29 solo), 13.5 sacks, three passes defensed, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries.

A native of Dallas, Texas, Smith played in 53 games at Missouri, starting in 32 of them over his four-year career (2008-11). As a Tiger, he recorded 159 stops, including 26 for loss, 13 sacks and one interception that he returned for a touchdown.

Press Release Courtesy of the Oakland Raiders Media Relations