AFC West: Chad Kilgore

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- Running back Jamaal Charles is not practicing Wednesday for the second straight day after suffering a minor foot strain Monday.

Charles
The team has said Charles will be fine. But he very likely will be held out of Friday’s preseason game against San Francisco as a precaution. I’d expect Charles to be ready to go early next week.

Meanwhile, the Chiefs added veteran depth at cornerback by signing Kennard Cox. He spent two seasons each in Seattle and Jacksonville. The Chiefs are top heavy at cornerback, but wanted some more veteran experience at the end of the rotation. First-year linebacker Chad Kilgore was cut to make room for Cox.

Also, this ESPN.com fantasy piece says Kansas City’s Dwayne Bowe and Denver’s Eric Decker are two of the more undervalued receivers in fantasy football.

Oakland Raiders cut-down analysis

September, 1, 2012
9/01/12
12:05
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Click here for the complete list of Oakland Raiders' roster moves.

Most significant move: Putting starting linebacker Aaron Curry on the reserve/physically unable to perform list. He has been out all camp with knee problems. This is good news, because there was a thought he could end up on the injured reserve. Now Curry can come back to practice Oct. 16. He will likely be replaced in the starting lineup by fourth-round pick Miles Burris. I think Oakland will look for some linebackers in the coming days as well. As expected, young tight end David Ausberry made the team and he will continue to develop. They are high on sixth-round pick, defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi. He is raw, but he has big potential and he can learn without urgency because he is on a top-notch line. Cornerback Bryan McCann made the team and he could be the starting punt returner. As expected, punt returner Roscoe Parrish, who was cut by the Chargers on Monday and quickly signed by the Raiders, was cut after he fumbled two punts Thursday at Seattle.

Onward and upward: Defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton was caught in a numbers game. He was impressive in the preseason but he is likely headed to the practice squad. Rookie free-agent receiver Derek Carrier is probably not headed to the practice squad at this point. The team was very high on him after the draft, but he fell behind other rookie receivers such as fifth-round pick Juron Criner and fellow undrafted rookie Rod Streater. Both those players made the team and should be part of the rotation. However, rookie receiver Brandon Carswell could be practice-squad bound. Rookie linebacker Chad Kilgore could also be headed to the practice squad. He looked good in the preseason. Linebacker Nathan Stupar, a seventh-round draft pick, was a surprise cut after he had a strong preseason. I could see him being claimed elsewhere. If not, I'm sure Oakland will try to put him on the practice squad.

What’s next: I expect the Raiders to be very busy in the next few days. Depth is a big problem because of a salary-cap issue and a lack of draft picks the past two years. The Raiders’ lack of depth was a serious problem in the preseason. I think the Raiders could use help at running back, tight end, the offensive line, and linebacker and in the secondary. Yes, they could be busy. Among the players Oakland could look at include Rock Cartwright, Tim Hightower, Joselio Hanson, Justin Miller and Chris Cooley. Oakland could also be on the lookout for a pass-rusher. It worked out Andre Carter recently, but he reportedly isn’t healthy enough to sign anywhere.

Observation deck: Raiders-Cowboys

August, 13, 2012
8/13/12
11:31
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A look at the Oakland Raiders’ 3-0 home loss against the Dallas Cowboys on Monday night:

It was uglier than Russell Brand’s performance at the Olympic closing ceremonies.

Both the Raiders' and Cowboys’ first-team offenses were awful. Dallas' was probably more awful, but the Raiders’ first-team offense (sans running back Darren McFadden, who was his explosive self in a cameo appearance) shouldn’t take solace in not being as sloppy.

Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer was on the field for 10 plays. He threw an ill-advised interception and the Raiders struggled to move the ball. I wouldn’t worry too much about Palmer based on this performance, but interceptions were a problem for him last season and remain something he needs to address.

Oakland receiver Jacoby Ford had a terrible night, for what it’s worth. He dropped two passes from Palmer, ran out of bounds on a punt return and looked pretty disinterested during his outing. I’m a big Ford fan, but he has to shake off this performance. With rookie Rod Streater the flavor of the month in Oakland’s receiver’s room, Ford could be pressed for playing time.

There are no doubt the Raiders wanted to showcase Streater. Backup quarterback Matt Leinart, who looked good at times, often went to him. The undrafted free agent from Temple had six catches in the first half. At this point, I’d think Streater is a lock to make the 53-man roster. Fifth-round pick Juron Criner, also a camp star, had a bad drop and did not shine like Streater did. Still, Criner will have a place on this team.

In his first NFL preseason action, Oakland third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor brought some late-game excitement with several exciting runs. That is Pryor’s game. But the truth is, Oakland wants to see him develop as a pocket quarterback. Perhaps the team will draw up some packages for Pryor, but he is still a work in progress. Running for his life won’t always work against first-team NFL defenses.

ESPN's Herm Edwards just said on "SportsCenter" that he'd move Pryor to tight end. It could be tempting because of his size and speed -- and because of Oakland's need there -- but I'd think Pyror will still get more time at quarterback. Plus, I think he would be reluctant to make that switch at this point.

Oakland had just three penalties in the first half, which is a good sign for a team that set NFL records for penalties and penalty yardage last season.

Backup safety Mike Mitchell made a nice interception for Oakland near the end of the first half. Mitchell is not a star, but he makes enough plays to keep him in business.

Is Oakland’s sloppy game a worry, particularly because Denver, Kansas City and San Diego were all impressive in their preseason debuts? No. I wouldn’t worry about that. But it is clear first-year coach Dennis Allen still has to get this team in shape as the season opener against San Diego looms in four weeks.

Cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke, who looked good in training camp, struggled some Monday night. The second-year player will get a shot at playing extensively.

One of the most impressive Raiders on Monday was a player who will not be on the 53-man roster -- punter Marquette King. The rookie, who is playing for injured star Shane Lechler, has a huge leg. But he isn't beating out Lechler. Perhaps Oakland will try to stash King of the practice squad as insurance for Lechler, who is entering the final season of his contract. But with the film King is putting out there, there is a chance a team in this punter-hungry league could snap him up.

Rookie linebacker Chad Kilgore was very active and physical. He could be practice squad bound.

Great scene to see former Oakland coach Jon Gruden, now an analyst on ESPN's "Monday Night Football," hug fans prior to the game. They still live and breathe Gruden in the Black Hole.
In the end, Juron Criner and his agent concluded a fight against NFL guidelines was a no-win situation and getting the promising receiver to Oakland training camp in time overrode the importance of the fight.

Predictably, a dispute over bonus money ended Sunday morning when the fifth-round pick from Arizona signed with the Raiders. He was the final draft pick in the AFC West to sign. The Raiders begin training camp Monday.

Criner wanted $158,000 in signing bonus money because it was in line with what the picks taken just before him received. However, he was the first supplemental pick of the round and the bonus money slotting for supplemental picks dip dramatically. The Raiders were offering $144,000 because it was in line with the NFL Management Council guidelines. Few around the NFL thought Criner would win the fight and they were right.

According to a source close to the situation, Criner received what the Raiders were offering with some adjustments later in the contract. Ultimately, Criner’s dispute was not with the Raiders, but with the NFL’s guidelines. That fight was simply not worth pursuing for a young player who couldn’t afford to miss any camp time.

Criner did the right thing by signing his deal. Now he can go concentrate on making an instant impact with the Raiders.

In other AFC West news:

The winner in the Chargers' issues at backup quarterback is undrafted rookie Jarrett Lee. The LSU product has been impressive so far. Backup Charlie Whitehurst is out for a couple of weeks with a knee injury. The team signed Kyle Boller for the short-term, but he retired after one day. The Chargers will likely bring in another camp arm while Whitehurst heals, but in the meantime Lee is getting valuable extra work.

The Raiders signed two undrafted rookies -- linebacker Chad Kilgore of Northwest Missouri State and receiver DeAundre Muhammad of Indiana.

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