Tag Archives: New England Patriots

Raiders Announce Practice Squad

Photo of George Atkinson III by Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed the following 10 players to their practice squad, the club announced Monday.

Player                                         Pos.     Ht.   Wt.   Exp.    College

Atkinson III, George           RB      6-1    220    1       Notre Dame
Bell, Mitch                                 G        6-3    345    R       Louisiana Tech
Edwards, SaQwan               CB      6-0    200    R       New Mexico
Gilbert, Garrett*                  QB      6-4    230    1       SMU
Harris, Shelby                        DE      6-2    290    1       Illinois State
Kistler, Dan                               T        6-7    315    1       Montana
McDonald, Tevin                    S       5-11  195    R       Eastern Washington
Orr, Leon                                   DT      6-5    320    R       Florida
Shirley, Josh                            LB       6-1    235    R       UNLV
Valles, Max                              DE      6-4    250    R        Virginia

* – Not previously with Oakland

Garrett Gilbert: Originally drafted by the St. Louis Rams in the sixth round (214th overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft…Spent the 2014 season on the practice squads of the Rams and New England Patriots…Spent training camp in 2015 with the Detroit Lions before being waived…Appeared in a total of 47 at SMU with 37 starts…Finished with 9,761 passing yards on 908-of-1,548 passing (58.6 percent), 49 TDs and 45 INTs…Added 1,013 rushing yards and 20 TDs on the ground for a total of 10,774 all-purpose yards…Began collegiate career at Texas.

Former 49ers Wide Receiver Stevie Johnson To Visit Patriots On Monday

March 15, 2015 3:15 PM PT

Shawn Jonas

The former 49ers wide receiver Stevie Johnson will visit the Patriots on Monday.

The New England Patriots lost cornerback Darrelle Revis to the New York Jets.  It makes sense that the Patriots would be interested in a receiver who traditionally does well against Revis.

Johnson was cut by the 49ers on Thursday, and he visited the San Diego Chargers on Friday.

The Jets also have interest in Johnson, which makes sense given that his former coach in Buffalo Bills coach is now the offensive coordinator of the Jets.

The Oakland Raiders Sign Former Buffalo Bills Tight End Lee Smith

March 11, 2015 2:32 PM PT

Shawn Jonas

ALAMEDA, Calif. – The Oakland Raiders have signed unrestricted free agent Tight End Lee Smith, the club announced Wednesday.

Smith, 27, joins the Raiders after four seasons with the Buffalo Bills (2011-14). Smith’s career totals include 56 games played with 34 starts, 20 receptions for 144 yards (7.2 avg.) and three touchdowns.

Smith joined the Bills via waivers from the New England Patriots shortly before the 2011 regular season. In 2014, Smith appeared in 14 games and led all Bills tight ends with 10 starts. He hauled in seven catches for 42 yards, including an 18-yard touchdown in the Bills’ season-ending victory over New England.

Smith appeared in every game for the Bills from 2012-13, starting 21-of-32 games played during that span. He recorded two receiving touchdowns in 2012, a career high, and totaled a career-high 78 receiving yards in 2013.

The Powell, Tenn., native was originally selected by the Patriots in the fifth round (159th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft out of Marshall. Smith totaled 75 receptions for 791 yards and three touchdowns, and served two seasons as a captain on the Thundering Herd. In his senior year, Smith ranked second on the team with 38 receptions for 358 yards (9.4 avg.), earning him All-Conference USA honors and an Allstate Good Works Team nomination.

Lee Smith signed a 3 year / $9,100,000 contract with the Oakland Raiders, including $3,100,000 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $3,033,333

The Oakland Raiders Media Conference Call Q & A

Q: Can you describe how this deal came together?

Smith: “Obviously, after finishing my first four years out there in Buffalo, it became pretty clear that I was going to be hitting free agency, so [tight ends coach] Bobby Johnson and [quarterbacks coach] Todd Downing were obviously out here, both of which I’ve had a relationship with in the past and have been around me and coached me. I figured that they were there and when it was time for teams to get in touch with me, that maybe they would be one of the ones to do it, at least I hoped so. I hoped those two guys would have good things to say about me. So when they call, it was rewarding to know that I kind of impressed those guys over the years and they trust me to get out here and get to work, and get this thing going in the right direction with them.”

Q: You were used a lot as a blocking tight end in Buffalo. Do you see that as your strength? Can you do more on the receiving end than you’ve shown so far?

Smith: “You get to work every Sunday for this football team, so whatever package that ends up being is obviously humbling and rewarding for me. I’ve got four kids at home and I get their support by playing football for a living. Just like anybody else out there, I obviously think I can contribute in many ways to help this football team win. But whatever those ways are, as long as I’m out there playing football every Sunday, then I’ll be having a lot of fun and enjoying helping this team win. So sure, of course I can catch the ball if they threw it to me, but whatever they ask me to do is what I’ll do.”

Q: What is the one part of your game you take the most pride in?

Smith: “Over the years, people have kind of referred to me as a lunch-pail guy and I take a lot of pride in that. Hopefully, the guy that I’m putting my hand in the dirt beside trusts me and can count on me to fight my tail off until the whistle blows, and maybe here and there I might not hear the whistle blow. (laughing) So just the grinding aspect of my game and getting in there with the hogs and fighting my tail off, and hopefully getting the running backs of the Oakland Raiders to the second level is kind of what gets me fired up and excited to play ball.”

Q: If playing in offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s traditionally run-heavy offense is a natural fit for his blocking capabilities?

Smith: “Absolutely. I’m excited about getting to work with the plans that we have here in Oakland as far as offensively and running the ball. Obviously, Derek’s doing great things and is a great young talent. It never hurts the guy taking snaps to get that run game going, it makes it a lot easier. Obviously, that’s kind of what we want to do around here, and if they think that I can help with that, then you know what, that’s very humbling. I’ll buckle my chinstrap and go to work and hopefully, do everything they envision me being able to do.”

The Oakland Raiders Give Rod Streater A Second-Round Contract Tender

March 7, 2015

Shawn Jonas

Rod Streater was an undrafted free agent in the 2012 NFL draft class by the Oakland Raiders. He had two strong seasons to start his career.  Streater fractured his foot in a 16-9 loss to the New England Patriots  in week 3.

With Streater set to become a restricted free agent, the Raiders gave him a second-round contract tender per league source, which virtually assures his return to the Raiders next season.

Streater is free to negotiate with other teams, but the Raiders have the right to match any offer sheet given to him. If they decline, the other team must give up a second-round draft pick in return.

Streater and the Raiders can work out a longer-term deal in the coming weeks. If not, Streater will end up signing a one-year contract with $2.356 million, the total mandated with the second-round tender.

DSC00878

Photo by Shawn Jonas

While Streater is expected to return, Andre Holmes’ future is somewhat up in the air. The Raiders gave him an original-round tender worth $1.542 million, according to a separate league source. But, because he went undrafted, the Raiders won’t get  any compensation if they refuse to match an offer sheet from another team.

Holmes had 47 receptions for a team-high 693 yards last season. He also had five touchdowns.

All Photos by Shawn Jonas