A partial listing of 2002 Oakland personnel developments:
Tight end Marcus Williams placed on injured reserve because of an ankle injury Jan. 22, 2003. The team activated defensive back/kick returner Ronald Curry from its practice squad to take Williams' spot on the 53-man roster. Ben Steele and David Lucas, both tight ends were signed to the practice squad.
Tight end Jeremy Brigham re-signed Jan. 21, 2003. The team also placed tight end Brandon Christenson on injured reserve. Christenson, 25, sustained a torn Achilles' tendon during the Raiders' 41-24 victory over Tennessee in the AFC Championship Game on Jan. 19, 2003. Brigham, 27, was released by Oakland on Sept. 25, 2002 after reaching an injury settlement with the team. He was placed on injured reserve at the start of the regular season after sustaining a knee injury during training camp. He contributed 33 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns in four seasons with the Raiders. The former University of Washington letterman was selected by Oakland in the fifth round (127th overall) of the 1998 NFL drafted.
Tight end Roland Williams placed on injured reserve Jan. 18, 2003 because of torn knee ligaments. The team signed running back Madre Hill off its practice squad to take Williams' place on the 53-man roster. Williams, 27, sustained a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament, a torn medial collateral ligament and a torn meniscus in his left knee against Kansas City on Dec. 28. Before he hurt his knee in the regular-season finale, the five-year veteran had been playing despite torn tendons in his left big toe. He started 11 games this season and contributed 27 catches for 213 yards. By going on the injured list, Williams is ineligible to play again this season.
Defensive end Trace Armstrong placed on injured reserve Jan. 15, 2003 because of a torn right groin. Armstrong, 37, first hurt the groin against Miami on Dec. 15 and then re-injured it during the pregame warmup before Oakland's playoff victory over New York on Jan. 12. He played only one snap against the Jets.
Armstrong had become a key contributor in the second half of the season after recovering from a torn Achilles' tendon last season. The 14-year veteran had 20 tackles, four sacks and his first career interception. He recorded his 100th career sack during Oakland's 34-10 victory at Denver on Nov. 11. After being used as a situational pass rusher in the first half of the season, he started seven of the final eight games. Armstrong tells reporters Jan. 15: "This game is nine-tenths misery. That's why you've got to enjoy the high moments because there are usually a lot more bad ones than good ones." By going on the injured list, Armstrong is ineligible to play again this season.
Safety Kenyon Nash signed to the 53-man regular season roster Jan. 15, 2003. Defensive end David Warren and offensive tackle Joe Wong signed to the practice squad.
Tight end Brandon Christenson signed and cornerback Brandon Jennings waived Jan. 11, 2003.
Cornerback/punt returner Darrien Gordon signed Dec. 13, 2002. The nine-year veteran averaged 5.1 yards on 35 punt returns for the Green Bay Packers before being released Dec. 10. Gordon, 32, spent the 1999 and 2000 seasons with the Raiders. Last season with the Atlanta Falcons, he had an NFC-high 14.1-yard average on 31 punt returns. The former Stanford defensive back has 3,601 punt-return yards (third all-time) and 19 career interceptions. To make room on its 53-player roster for Gordon, Oakland released defensive back Carey Scott.
Defensive end Tony Bryant placed on injured reserve Dec. 7, 2002. Bryant, 26, sustained a bruised spinal cord against the San Francisco 49ers on Nov. 3. The four-year veteran was injured on a helmet-to-helmet hit with 49ers fullback Fred Beasley during overtime. By going on the injured list, Bryant is ineligble to play again this season. The former Florida State lineman started Oakland's first eight games this season before being sidelined. He contributed 24 solo tackles and 2.5 sacks. The Raiders signed defensive back Carey Scott off their practice squad to take Bryant's spot on the 53-man roster. Scott, 24, spent the 2001 season and 2002 training camp with the Minnesota Vikings.
Released running back Madre Hill and signed linebacker Tim Johnson off the team's practice squad Nov. 23, 2002. Hill was re-signed to the Oakland practice squad Nov. 30.
Defensive end Regan Upshaw, was activated to Oakland's 53-player roster from the physically unable to perform list on Nov. 20, 2002. Upshaw, who underwent surgery after tearing his right anterior cruciate ligament during a minicamp June 13, led the team with seven sacks in 2001. According to league rules, the Raiders needed to activate the seven-year veteran or place him on injured reserve by Nov. 20.
Tight end Ben Steele signed to the team's practice squad Nov. 13, 2002. Steele, 24, spent parts of the last two seasons on the 49ers practice squad.
Two days after he lost a fumble on a kick return against the 49ers, Ronald Curry released Nov. 5, 2002. Curry, 23, was re-signed to the team's practice squad Nov. 6. The former North Carolina quarterback was a seventh-round choice (235th overall) of the Raiders in the 2002 NFL draft.
Linebacker Mike Jones released on Oct. 30, 2002. The team also added running back Herbert Goodman, linebacker Tim Johnson and defensive back Scott Carey to its practice squad.
Cornerback/punt returner Phillip Buchanon placed on injured reserve Oct. 25, 2002. Buchanon, the Raiders' top pick in the 2002 NFL draft, broke and dislocated his left wrist against San Diego on Oct. 20. Oakland signed cornerback Brandon Jennings off its practice squad to take Buchanon's spot on the roster.
Cornerbacks Brandon Jennings and Brock Williams signed to the Raiders practice squad Oct. 23, 2002. Jennings, 24, played in 10 regular-season games in 2000 & 2001 for Oakland. The former Texas A&M starter was among the final 2002 preseason cuts by the Raiders. Williams, 23, was selected by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2001 NFL draft. The former Notre Dame starter spent last season on injured reserve after tearing knee ligaments in training camp. Oakland also released offensive lineman Joe Wong from its practice squad.
Running back/kick returner Terry Kirby placed on injured reserve Oct. 21, 2002. The 10-year veteran suffers a broken right leg returning a third-quarter kickoff against San Diego the previous day. The Raiders signed running back Madre Hill off their practice squad to take Kirby's spot on the roster.
Linebacker Mike Jones signed Oct. 8, 2002. He signed as a free agent with Oakland on June 12 but was released Sept. 1 on the final 2002 preseason cutdown. Jones, 33, spent the 2001 season as a backup with the Pittsburgh Steelers after starting the previous four seasons with the St. Louis. Rams. He played his first six NFL seasons with the Raiders, signing as a rookie free agent in 1991 and starting 31 games in 1995-96.
Defensive back Derek Combs released Oct. 8, 2002. Combs, 23, contributed on special teams during the first four games of Oakland's 2002 season. The Raiders also signed offensive lineman Joe Wong to their practice squad and released linebacker Tim Johnson and tight end Austin Wheatley.
Tight end Austin Wheatley, who spent time with New Orleans and Dallas, signed to the Raiders practice squad Oct. 2, 2002.
Tight end Mondriel Fulcher placed on injured reserve Sept. 27, 2002. Fulcher, a key special-teams contributor who plays in some formations with multiple tight ends, sustained a torn lateral collateral ligament in his left knee at practice Sept. 25, 2002. By going on injured reserve, Fulcher is ineligible to return to the active roster this season. Tight end Marcus Williams signed off the Raiders' practice squad to replace Fulcher on the 53-man roster.
The Raiders reached an injury settlement with tight end Jeremy Brigham and released him Sept. 25, 2002. Brigham, selected by Oakland in the fifth round (127th overall) of the 1998 NFL draft, was placed on injured reserve Sept. 1, 2002 because of a knee injury. The University of Washington player three-year letterman had 33 catches for 300 yards and three touchdowns in four seasons with the Raiders.
Punter Kevin Stemke released Sept. 24, 2002. Stemke, 23, averaged 42.4 yards punting in the regular-season's first two games as an injury replacement for Shane Lechler. The Raiders also signed former Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Alvis Whitted. Whitted, 28, had 17 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns in four seasons with the Jaguars. Oakland also re-signed linebacker Tim Johnson to its practice squad and released wide receiver Ramondo North.
Wide receiver Ramondo North signed to the Raiders practice squad Sept. 18, 2002. To make room on the five-player practice squad for North, Oakland released linebacker Tim Johnson. He was on the Chicago Bears practice squad in 2001 and spent time in training camp with the Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2002 preseason.
Safety Kenyon Nash, quarterback Ronald Curry, running back Madre Hill, tight end Marcus Williams and linebacker Tim Johnson signed to the Raiders practice squad Sept. 3, 2002. Nash, Curry, Hill and Williams were released by the team Sept. 1. Johnson was among the final cuts by the Chicago Bears.
Former Raiders middle linebacker Greg Biekert signed by the Minnesota Vikings on Sept. 3, 2002. The Vikings reportedly gave Biekert a three-year deal worth $3.45 million, including a $1 million signing bonus.
Middle linebacker Greg Biekert, who refused to accept a $1.5 million pay cut, heads a list of 17 players released on Sept. 1, 2002. Biekert, scheduled to earn $2.5 million this season, had started 127 regular season and postseason games for Oakland the past eight years. The Raiders wanted Biekert to take a pay cut from $2.5 million to $1 million for two reasons - to help the team's salary-cap problems and because he had lost his starting job to rookie Napoleon Harris. Biekert, 33, has led the team in tackles each of the past four years.
In trimming its roster to the regular-season NFL minimum 53 players, Oakland also released defensive backs Johnnie Harris, Brandon Jennings, Raymond Perryman and Kenyon Nash, linebackers Bobby Brooks, Gerald Dixon and Mike Jones, tight ends Brandon Christenson and Marcus Williams, quarterback Ronald Curry, running back Madre Hill, defensive tackle Josh Taves, wide receivers Elijah Thurmon and Reggie Barlow, offensive tackle Joe Wong, and center Tom Ackerman. Oakland also placed tight end Jeremy Brigham on injured reserve because of a strained medial collateral ligament in his left knee.
Wide receiver Matthew Hatchette and defensive lineman Jon Harris released Aug. 27, 2002.
Defensive end Regan Upshaw placed on the physically-unable-to-perform list Aug. 26, 2002. Upshaw, 27, will be eligible to return the sixth week of the season. At that point, the Raiders must activate him, place him on injured reserve or give him his release. The seven-year veteran is recovering from surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee sustained June 13 during a minicamp.
Veteran wide receivers Billy Davis and Alex Van Dyke and eight other players released Aug. 26, 2002. The Raiders also waived running backs Larry Ned and Melvin Barnett, guards Jeremy Staat and Teag Whiting, defensive end Emil Ekiyor, defensive back Willie Ford, defensive tackle Derrick Pickens and wide receiver Joshua Johnson. Ned, 24, was taken by the Raiders in the sixth round (197th overall) of the 2002 NFL draft.
Backup quarterback Bobby Hoying placed on the waived/injured list Aug. 20, 2002. Hoying, 30, was Rich Gannon's backup during the 1999 and 2000 seasons. The former Ohio State star completed 10 of 23 passes for 117 yards and no touchdowns in regular-season and postseason games with Oakland after being acquired from Philadelphia in a 1999 trade. He spent the past nine-plus months rehabilitating his right elbow after tearing ligaments in practice last September. The Raiders placed him on the physically-unable-to-perform list at the start of their 2002 training camp.
Defensive tackle Sam Adams, a starter for the Baltimore Ravens the past two seasons, signed Aug. 18, 2002. Adams, 29, reportedly received a six-year deal from the Raiders. The nine-year veteran was released by the Ravens in March for salary-cap purposes. He helped Baltimore to a Super Bowl championship in 2001 after playing his first six NFL seasons with the Seattle Seahawks. The 6-foot-3, 330-pound Adams reportedly also considered contract offers from the Ravens, Broncos, Bengals and Seahawks before signing with the Raiders. His contract with Oakland includes a $1.25 million signing bonus and a first-year salary $750,000. He's due a $5 million roster bonus March 1, 2003 and annual salaries of $5 million every year through 2007.
Backup offensive tackle Darryl Ashmore placed on injured reserve Aug. 15, 2002. The 10-year veteran underwent surgery after he sustained a torn left quadriceps during training camp Aug. 6. Ashmore, 32, started game game at right tackle during the 2001 season.
Safety Calvin Branch placed on the reserve non-football injury list July 27, 2002.
Cornerback Phillip Buchanon, selected by the Raiders with the 17th overall pick in the 2002 NFL draft, signed on July 25, 2002. The former University of Miami two-year starter reportedly agreed to a five-year, $7 million deal that included a $4 million signing bonus. He'll earn a base salary of $400,000 with annual increases of $100,000 over the length of the deal. The team also announced the signing of San Diego State running back Larry Ned (sixth round, 197th overall) and North Carolina quarterback Ronald Curry (seventh round, 235th overall).
Linebacker Napoleon Harris, chosen by the Raiders with the 23rd pick in the 2002 NFL draft, signed July 19, 2002. He reportedly received a six-year, $7 million contract, including a $3 million signing bonus. The 6-foot-2, 253-pound athlete played outside linebacker and defensive end during his career at Northwestern. Oakland also announced the signing of Cal offensive tackle Langston Walker (second round, 53rd overall), Brigham Young tight end Doug Jolley (second round, 56th overall), UCLA defensive end Kenyon Coleman (fifth round, 147th overall) and Albany State defensive back Derodrick Keyon Nash (sixth round, 189th overall).
Former Raiders linebacker Mike Jones signed June 12, 2002. The 11-year veteran reportedly received a one-year, $750,000 contract with a $25,000 signing bonus from Oakland. Jones, 33, was cut June 3 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He contributed 13 tackles in 15 games for the Steelers last season. After playing for the Raiders from 1991-96, Jones signed with the St. Louis Rams in 1997. The former University of Missouri running back made the game-saving tackle on the final play in the Rams' 23-16 Super Bowl XXXIV victory over the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 30, 2000.
Wide receiver Billy Davis signed May 29, 2002. The six-year veteran has caught 51 passes for 907 yards and three touchdowns with the Dallas Cowboys (1995-98) and Baltimore Ravens (1999-2000). Davis, 29, did not play in the NFL in 2001. He established career highs of 39 catches and 691 receiving yards with the Cowboys in 1998. The former University of Pittsburgh receiver earned Super Bowl champion rings with the Cowboys in 1995 and Ravens in 2000.
Wide receiver Matthew Hatchette signed May 21, 2002. He spent last season with the New York Jets, catching two passes for 44 yards. The five-year veteran was released by the Jets on Feb. 25, 2002. Hatchette, 28, was a seventh-round draft pick (235th overall) of the Minnesota Vikings in 1997. He caught 43 passes for 640 yards and four touchdowns in four seasons for the Vikings.
Safety Rod Woodson (right) signed April 30, 2002. He reportedly received a six-year, $8.5 million contract with a $1 million signing bonus from the Raiders. The future Hall of Famer and six-time All-Pro was cut by the Baltimore Ravens in a salary-cap move in February. Woodson, 37, contributed 74 tackles and three interceptions in 2001. He has been voted to the Pro Bowl 10 times and has 61 career interceptions (tops among active players). Woodson was named to the NFL's 75th anniversary team in 1994. The former Purdue All-America also has played for the Pittsburgh Steelers (1987-96) and the San Francisco 49ers (1997) during his 15-year NFL career. He's is the only player in league history selected to the Pro Bowl as a cornerback, safety and kick returner.
Former Minnesota and Washington offensive guard/tackle Brad Badger signed a one-year contract April 12, 2002. The five-year veteran started 12 games for the Vikings in 2001. Badger, 27, reportedly will earn $650,000 but only $450,000 will count toward Oakland's 2002 salary cap under a new NFL provision that gives teams cap relief for signing a veteran to a minimum-salary contract.
Former Raiders defensive tackle Grady Jackson signed a two-year contract with the New Orleans Saints on April 11, 2002. He reportedly will earn $1,270,000 in 2002 - a $750,000 signing bonus and a $525,000 base salary. He earned $448,000 in 2001, the final year of a four-year contract with the Raiders. Jackson, 29, started 31 games the past two seasons for Oakland. He had four sacks in 2001 after contributing a team-high eight sacks the previous season. Jackson was named 2001 Oakland defensive most valuable player by a vote of team members. The ex-Knoxville College (Tennessee) lineman has 216 tackles, 19 sacks and four forced fumbles during his five-season NFL career, all with Oakland. The Raiders chose Jackson in the sixth round (193rd pick) of the 1997 NFL draft.
Former Cleveland and San Diego linebacker Gerald Dixon signed April 10, 2002. Dixon, who will turn 32 on June 10, contributed 62 tackles and two sacks with the Chargers in 2001. The 6-foot-3, 250-pound linebacker was chosen by the Browns in the third round (78th overall pick) of the 1992 NFL draft. The former University of South Carolina starter has 322 tackles and 23 sacks during his nine-season NFL career.
Two days after being released, running back Randy Jordan re-signed March 29, 2002. Last season, he rushed for 59 yards on 13 carries, caught nine passes for 63 yards and was a standout on special teams. Jordan, 31, has been with the Raiders since 1998.
Quarterback Rick Mirer, who spent the last two seasons as a backup with the San Francisco 49ers, signed March 23, 2002. The former Notre Dame star was the second overall choice in the 1993 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawks. He played for the Chicago Bears in 1997, the Green Bay Packers in 1998 and the New York Jets in 1999. Mirer, 32, has passed for 10,702 yards and 47 touchdowns during his nine NFL seasons.
Offensive guard Frank Middleton re-signed March 21, 2002. The five-year veteran started 12 regular-season games and both playoff contests for Oakland in 2001. Middleton, 27, is expected to enter training camp as the leading candidate to replace Steve Wisniewski as the Raiders' starting right guard. Wisniewski announced his retirement after the 2001 season.
Cornerback Terrance Shaw signed March 21, 2002. Shaw, 28, contributed 19 tackles in 13 games for the evenutal Super Bowl champion New England Patriots last season. The Raiders also announced the signing of former San Diego Chargers defensive lineman Mike Mohring. Mohring, 28, played defensive end and tackle in six games for San Diego in 2001.
Former NFL quarterback Jim Harbaugh named assistant offensive coach March 18, 2002. He started 140 games in 15 seasons with Chicago, Indianapolis, Baltimore, San Diego and Carolina. Harbaugh, 38, has no previous coaching experience.
Defensive back Calvin Branch and offensive lineman Darryl Ashmore re-signed March 14, 2002. Branch, 27, was released during 2001 training camp and didn't play in the NFL last season. He appeared in 54 regular-season games with Oakland from 1997-2000. Ashmore, 32, played in 15 regular-season games (one start) last season. The tackle/guard has appeared in 62 games the past four seasons with Oakland.
Bill Callahan named head coach March 12, 2002. Callahan, 45, was Oakland's offensive coordinator from 1998-2001. The former Philadelphia Eagles offensive line coach received a two- or three-year contract with a club option for two years, according to published reports. Callahan will earn $1 million annually.
Jay Norvell named tight ends coach March 9, 2002. Norvell, 38, was receivers coach with the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2001. Norvell and Raiders offensive coordinator Bill Callahan were assistants at the University of Wisconsin from 1990-94. Jim Erkenbeck, who coached tight ends for the Raiders the past three seasons, was released.
Former San Diego Chargers defensive tackle John Parrella signed a six-year, $24 million contract March 7, 2002. The nine-year veteran, considered an outstanding run defender, reportedly received a $4.75 million signing bonus. Parrella, 32, helped the Chargers rank in the Top 10 against the run the past four seasons. The Raiders ranked 22nd against the run in 2001. Parrella started the past 89 games with the Chargers and has 25.5 career sacks.
Wide receiver Marcus Knight re-signed March 7, 2002. Knight, an exclusive rights free agent, was active for five of 16 regular-season games in 2001. He didn't catch a pass but contributed on special teams.
Linebacker Elijah Alexander released March 6, 2002. The nine-year veteran started 30 of the past 32 regular-season games at strong-side linebacker for Oakland. In 2001, Alexander ranked eighth on the team with 40 tackles (30 solo) and made one sack.
Strong safety Marquez Pope and guard Frank Middletown released Feb. 28, 2002. Pope, 31, lost his starting job to Johnnie Harris after 12 games in 2001. Middletown, 27, started 13 games at right guard last season in place of the injured Mo Collins. Middletown was scheduled to earn a base salary of $2 million and Pope $650,000 in 2002, according to published reports.
Ex-Denver Broncos linebacker Bill Romanowski signed a seven-year contract Feb. 27, 2002. He received a $1.3 million signing bonus and a $700,000 base salary for the coming season, according to published reports. Speaking at a news conference to announce his signing at the team's Alameda (Calif.) headquarters, Romanowski said: "I can't wait to hear these fans cheering for me. I wish I could run out on that field tomorrow." The 14-year veteran was released by the Broncos on Feb. 21, 2002. He reportedly asked for his unconditional release because the team couldn't guarantee him a starting position entering its 2002 training camp. Romanowski started all 16 games at stronside linebacker in 2001, ranked third on the Broncos with 116 tackles and tied for the team lead with seven sacks. He has played on four Super Bowl champion teams -- the 49ers in 1989 & '90 and the Broncos in 1997 & '98. Romanowski, 35, is the third Broncos player to sign with the Raiders since 1999. The others are defensive backs Darrien Gordon and Tory James.
Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden agreed to to a five-year, 17.5 million contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Feb. 18, 2002. As compensation to release Gruden from the final year of his contract, Oakland received 2002 first- and second-round draft picks, a 2003 first-round pick and a 2004 second-round pick. The Bucs also agreed to pay Oakland $8 million over three years.
Former Raiders quarterbacks coach David Shaw named Baltimore Ravens quarterbacks and receivers coach on Feb. 11, 2002. Shaw, 29, was with the Raiders the past four years, the first three as a quality control assistant.