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Jon Gruden Expected To Become Raiders Head Coach

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The Oakland Raiders are expected to bring back one-time head coach Jon Gruden, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

News of Gruden’s path back to the sidelines of the NFL, and the Oakland Raiders, broke over the weekend, but now it seems like a foregone conclusion that Gruden will make a return to head coaching.

ESPN reported Saturday that Raiders owner Mark Davis was prepared to pursue Gruden with a strong offer that could include an ownership stake in the team, although there will be some hurdles to clear in order for that offer to be presented.

The Raiders fired head coach Jack Del Rio after Sunday’s game.

“I know him,” Raiders quarterback Derek Carr said Sunday when asked about Jon Gruden. “I’ve known him for a while. But it’s still pretty fresh (with Del Rio being fired).”

“Today was kind of a microcosm of our season,” Del Rio said Sunday of the end of the season for the team. “The opportunities and lack of production really not good enough, really disappointing.”

“He told me he loved me and appreciated all I did to get this program going in the right direction, but that he felt the need to change,” Del Rio said. “I told him how much I appreciated the opportunity he gave me; very grateful, my childhood team.

“But it’s a results business. I understand that.”

Del Rio went 25-23 in his three seasons with the Raiders.

“It hurts when something sucky happens to someone you care about. We weren’t good enough for him,” Carr said after their Week 17 game.

“We have to take our ownership as players and I think that’s where we’re at right now. We’re kind of angry that we let it get to that and we’re upset at ourselves. We understand the business part of it. But as players — I talked with Khalil Mack — our job is to come back better and hungry. We’ve been through some hard times together, and this is right up there with it.”

AFC

Dolphins, Reshad Jones Likely Parting Ways

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The Miami Dolphins and safety Reshad Jones are likely heading to a divorce, according to the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero.

Jones, 31, skipped voluntary workouts and the Dolphins seem to be heading to a parting of ways.

The Dolphins have a younger option to play at safety in Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Jones has expressed his unhappiness, in-game, as recent as last season when he took 10 snaps off against the New York Jets.

Miami is likely shopping Jones, who is still productive, but no longer the elite safety he has been in his Pro Bowl years.

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Patriots Sign Demaryius Thomas

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The New England Patriots bolstered their rather thin wide receiver corps by signing veteran wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Thomas’ new deal is a one-year pact worth up to $6 million.

Thomas split last season between the Houston Texans and the Denver Broncos, who he spent his entire career with prior to his trade to Houston.

Overall, Thomas hauled in 59 receptions for 677 yards and 6 scores in 2018.

Thomas tore his Achilles in December, making his status uncertain at this time.

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AFC

Chargers, Travis Benjamin Agree to Contract Extension

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The Los Angeles Charges and wide receiver Travis Benjamin have agreed to terms on a one-year contract extension, according to ESPN’s Field Yates.

Benjamin’s new deal includes a $3 million signing bonus and lowers his base salary from $5.35 million to $1 million.

Bejamin, 29, posted 12 catches for 186 yards and one touchdown in limited playing time last season for the Chargers.

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