NFL Team Report - Oakland Raiders - INSIDE SLANT
Amy Trask, long-time chief executive officer of the Oakland Raiders who had a strong commitment to former owner Al Davis, but not necessarily his son and heir, Mark, announced she that she has resigned in an email to reporters on Saturday.
"Earlier today, I informed Mark Davis of my decision to leave the Raiders," Trask announced in the email. "Having honored a commitment that I made to effectuate a smooth transition and transfer of control, I no longer wish to remain with the organization.
"For over a quarter of a century, it was my honor and my privilege to work for the Raiders. I will forever appreciate the opportunity afforded me by Al Davis."
Al Davis died on Oct. 8, 2011. Mark took over and there have been vast changes in the organization since then.
For years, Trask was the highest-ranking female executive in sports, not counting ownership.
A lawyer, Trask recognized almost no restrictions -- short of coaching and personnel decisions -- and was well known for her singular and aggressive support of the Raiders and Al Davis. Among NFL executives, Trask was known as "The Princess of Darkness," a term that in part reflected her as an extension of Davis.
Her departure adds another name to a long list of departed, long-time employees, some of whom dated to the early years of the Al Davis era.
Most were either were fired by general manager Reggie McKenzie, retired or opted to leave since McKenzie arrived early in 2012.
Among them are former senior executive John Herrera, whose duties ranged from public relations to scouting and signing players; personnel administrator and scout Jon Kingdon, national scout Bruce Kebric and traveling secretary Scott Fink, and Trask.
--The Raiders added a third quarterback to the meeting room in the fourth round of the NFL draft, and Tyler Wilson said he's intent on competing for the starting job.
Competition is all well and good, but general manager Reggie McKenzie urged caution in terms of expectations.
"Well, you know, he's a rookie," McKenzie said. "I want him to learn the playbook first. Get out here and make sure he gets behind the center and not the guard. You want these guys to come in and just show the coaches and their teammates, No. 1, that they belong.
"Then all the other stuff will come."
If his senior year at Arkansas is any indication, Wilson comes in well-schooled to compete on a Raiders team that had its share of adversity last season.
Wilson, rather than come out for the NFL draft as a junior, when he could have been a late-first or second-round draft pick, stayed for his senior year. The program disintegrated when coach Bobby Petrino was fired amid personal and professional scandal.
The Razorbacks went 4-8, Wilson took a beating -- he missed one game with a concussion -- and his draft stock plummeted as a result.
"We were a top-five team coming off a great year and you go through a number of things to test your character," Wilson said. "It tests a lot about you as a football player. I really love this game and I think I'm going to be a better player because of it."
Any regrets about staying in school after going in the fourth round, No. 112 overall?
"Obviously after things pan out you look back and say, `Well, that wasn't business-wise maybe the smarter thing.' I know everybody else looks at it and probably questions my judgment, but my thought is I wanted to be the most ready, most prepared football player I could be and the only way to do that was go back for my senior season.
"I still have an opportunity to play in the NFL."
In fact, with presumptive starter Matt Flynn and reserve Terrelle Pryor both learning a new offense, Wilson is on relatively equal footing for a rookie.
"Everybody says the situation is what's most important, not necessarily the round or slot," Wilson said. "I think the situation in Oakland is perfect."
As for the starting job, Wilson said, "I think any competitor would agree that they want to play, they want to start. Talking to the coaches on the phone, they want you to come in and compete your tail off, and that's my approach. Wherever that leaves me, we'll see at the end of the day."
Mychal Rivera, a tight end out of Tennessee drafted in the sixth round (No. 184 overall) played with Wilson in the Senior Bowl and was impressed.
"Tyler Wilson has a great arm and he's a great leader," Rivera said. "That's really important to be a leader. When he steps into the huddle, he demands your attention and that's very important for a quarterback."
NFL Team Report - Oakland Raiders - NOTES, QUOTES
--Third-round pick Sio Moore, a Wednesday addition to the North team for the Senior Bowl, is convinced he made an impression on Raiders coaches that week. Oakland's staff coached the North team, defensive coordinator Jason Tarver in particular.
"To be hand-in-hand with coach (Dennis) Allen and coach Tarver, they know how I am, they know how I practice," Moore said. "I play with juice. Like I said at the beginning of the draft process, there's going to be one team that falls in love with me and 31 others that are going to be pissed off. The Oakland Raiders got the best linebacker in the draft, I don't care who went before."
Said Allen: "We spent a week with the guy, in the meeting rooms with him, in the dining hall with him, watching him interact with other players. You talk about a guy that loves football. He really epitomizes what we're trying to get on this team."
--Seventh-round selection David Bass, a finalist for the Gene Upshaw Award given to the best lineman in Division II football, had 26 sacks in his final two seasons at Missouri Western and believes he can bring that much-needed push to a Raiders team that sorely needs it.
"I believe football," Bass said. "It's the same movements, everybody puts their pads on the same way. The goal is nothing different than me being back at Missouri Western and being an Oakland Raider. Pass plays, run plays, read, react, just help my team reach the ultimate goal."
--Draft buzz on ESPN was that the Raiders were ready to select Matt Barkley in the fourth round with the 100th overall pick, only to have the Eagles trade up and take him at No. 98.
Oakland then moved back to No. 112, picked up an additional sixth-rounder, and took Tyler Wilson out of Arkansas.
Did the Raiders covet Barkley?
"I don't want to get into that because I'd be telling you my board," McKenzie said. "I don't want to do that."
--Frustrated with his development as a defensive lineman at Colorado, Nick Kasa went to coach John Embree to see how he could be of more service to the program.
Kasa was drafted by the Raiders in the fourth round as a tight end, No. 172 overall.
"It was definitely something I was hoping for when I made the switch," Kasa said. "It's just surreal. The strides I've made in the past year and a half have been amazing and I hope to keep it going. I know I can make a ton more progress every day."
Kasa, like Sio Moore, played for the North team and the Raiders staff in the Senior Bowl.
"I knew they liked me a lot," Kasa said. "I talked with a bunch of the coaches there and had a great time. They saw my work ethic. I'm ready to get there and start working again."
QUOTE TO NOTE: "We stayed true to the board and the board dictated a lot of what we did, picking certain players, certain positions." -- Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie on his draft process.
NFL Team Report - Oakland Raiders - STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
The addition of Sio Moore adds to a revamped position group that also includes 2012 weak-side starter Miles Burris and unrestricted free agent signings Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett and Kaluka Maiava.
It also fuels speculation that the Raiders, who are still a bit light on defensive ends, could end up using a lot of 3-4 alignments. Allen won't reveal the Raiders' plans, saying the plan is to be multiple and will be dictated by personnel and putting players in their best position to make plays.
A closer look at Raiders' picks:
Round 1/12 - D.J. Hayden, CB, 5-11, 191, Houston
Scouting department regarded Hayden as the top cover corner in the draft and loves his ability to make plays on the ball in the air. Projected as an immediate starter. Serious medical issue (torn vein leading to heart) has been cleared by medical staff.
Round 2/42 - Menelik Watson, T, 6-5, 310, Florida State
Unique athletic background for a raw, multi-skilled player who could challenge for starting job on right side with some polish and rapid improvement. Raiders believe he has the passion and drive to be a quick learner and contribute quickly.
Round 3/66 - Sio Moore, OLB, 6-0, 245, Connecticut
Projected as an outside linebacker by coach Dennis Allen although he's played all over, Moore caught the eye of coaching staff at the Senior Bowl, where Oakland coached the North team. Plays with a chip on his shoulder and a mean streak.
Round 4/112 - Tyler Wilson, QB, 6-2, 215, Arkansas
Going into a situation where quarterbacks Matt Flynn and Terrelle Pryor have a combined three NFL starts, and with the Raiders implementing a new offense, Wilson has a chance to compete for starting job. Battle-tested in difficult 4-8 final season.
Round 6/172 - Nick Kasa, TE, 6-6, 269, Colorado
A part-time player as a defensive end for three seasons, Kasa requested a move to offense and has made great strides. Big enough to be a legitimate in-line blocker and fast enough to have caught a 70-yard touchdown pass.
Round 6/181 - Latavius Murray, RB, 6-2, 223, Central Florida
Averaged 5.4 yards per carry in his career, Murray has the size, speed and power to compete with free-agent acquisition Rashad Jennings to be the backup for starter Darren McFadden. Has a nose for the end zone, with 19 touchdowns as a senior.
Round 6/184 - Mychal Rivera, TE, 6-3, 242, Tennessee
In a depleted position, Rivera could be a complement for Kasa as a receiving tight end. Has superior receiving skills and can be put in motion or split wide. Finished senior season with 36 receptions for 562 yards and five touchdowns.
Round 6/205 - Stacy McGee, DT, 6-3, 303, Oklahoma
A head-scratcher in that McGee was an under-achiever with a rap sheet (a citation for marijuana, a DUI arrest) and drafted by a team that is stressing character. McGee had 2.5 career sacks but had a reputation for playing well in big games.
Round 7/209 - Brice Butler, WR, 6-3, 205, San Diego State
The son of NFL veteran corner Bobby Butler transferred from USC to San Diego State after graduating and caught 24 passes for 347 yards and four touchdowns. Raiders receivers coach Ted Gilmore was his first receivers coach at USC and pushed for him.
Round 7/233 -- David Bass, DE, 6-3, 262, Missouri Western
A finalist for the Gene Upshaw award as the best lineman in Division II, Bass had 40.5 career sacks, 11.5 as a senior and 56 career tackles for losses. Could figure immediately as a rush end given the Raiders lack of depth at the position.
FRANCHISE PLAYER: None.
TRANSITION PLAYERS: None.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (7)
--G Cooper Carlisle moved to left guard after accepting a reduced contract and the Raiders will be looking to get younger and stronger at the position this season.
--LB Omar Gaither ended up being the starting middle linebacker in the 4-3 defense after the Raiders demoted Rolando McClain and is looked at as a reserve player at best.
--S Matt Giordano ended up starting most of the season after Michael Huff was moved to cornerback in Week 3, wants to return, and is at his best in a reserve role.
--WR Derek Hagan found himself pushed aside for younger, more physically talented receivers even though his professionalism and route-running were top-notch.
--QB Matt Leinart struggled after replacing the injured Carson Palmer in Week 16 and gave way to Terrelle Pryor in the regular-season finale. He's not a change for the system change to more dropback passing off play-action.
--DT Richard Seymour missed eight games with a hamstring strain, and although both sides have said the right things, both will be relieved that their relationship is over.
--CB Shawntae Spencer was lost in Week 3 with a serious foot sprain and never got well enough to return, eventually ending the season on injured reserve and in all probability looking for a new team in 2013.
UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers)
--WR Duke Calhoun (not tendered as ERFA).
--T Zach Hurd (not tendered as ERFA).
RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: None.
EXCLUSIVE RIGHT FREE AGENTS: None.
--CB Phillip Adams: Potential RFA; $650,000/1 yr.
--T Khalif Barnes: UFA; terms unknown.
--LB Kaelin Burnett: ERFA; terms unknown.
--CB Coye Francies: Not tendered as ERFA; $630,000/1 yr.
--CB Joselio Hanson: UFA; $905,000/1 yr, $65,000 SB.
--G Alex Parsons: ERFA; terms unknown.
--CB Brandian Ross: ERFA; terms unknown.
--RB Jeremy Stewart: ERFA; terms unknown.
--T Alex Barron: FA; $715,000/1 yr.
--LB Kevin Burnett: FA Dolphins; $3.6M/2 yrs.
--DE Andre Carter: UFA; 1 yr, terms unknown.
--QB Matt Flynn (trade Seahawks).
--DE Jason Hunter: UFA Broncos; terms unknown.
--CB Mike Jenkins: UFA Cowboys; terms unknown.
--RB Rashad Jennings: UFA Jaguars; terms unknown.
--LB Kaluka Maiava: UFA Browns; $6M/3 yrs, $2.035M SB.
--CB Tracy Porter: UFA Broncos; $2.5M/1 yr.
--LB Nick Roach: UFA Bears; $13M/4 yrs, $5M guaranteed.
--DT Pat Sims: UFA Bengals; $1.5M/1 yr, $250,000 SB.
--S Reggie Smith: FA; terms unknown.
--DT Vance Walker: UFA Falcons; $1.3M/1 yr.
--S Usama Young: FA Browns; $985,000/1 yr, $100,000 SB/$100,000 WO/$65,000 RB.
--DT Desmond Bryant: UFA Browns; $34M/5 yrs, $15M guaranteed.
--RB Mike Goodson: UFA Jets; $6.9M/3 yrs.
--WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (released).
--S Michael Huff (released/post-June 1 designation).
--DT Tommy Kelly (released).
--P Shane Lechler: UFA Texans; $5.5M/3 yrs, $1M SB.
--LB Rolando McClain (released).
--S Mike Mitchell: UFA Panthers; $840,000/1 yr.
--TE Brandon Myers: UFA Giants; terms unknown.
--QB Carson Palmer (traded Cardinals).
--DE Matt Shaughnessy: UFA Cardinals; 1M/1 yr.
--DE Dave Tollefson (released).
--LB Philip Wheeler: UFA Dolphins; $26M/5 yrs, $7M SB/$13M guaranteed.