“I believe in Baker Mayfield,’’ Stefanski said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “He’s our starting quarterback. He’s a young player that we’ve all seen glimpses of this kid being a really good player. Organizationally we believe in Baker Mayfield and this was part of my job and our job to surround him with some people that are going to help make the best version of Baker Mayfield. That’s myself, [offensive coordinator] Alex Van Pelt. And then I think Case, his role, he’s done it all. He’s been a starter, he’s been a backup, he’s had to fight to be the third-string guy on teams, he’s been the undrafted player.’’
Stefanski said Keenum’s backup role is a “valuable position” and provides leadership to the rest of their roster.
“So much of that is just in the preparation, the way Case goes about preparing himself to play, whether you’re the backup or the starter, I think is a great message for our entire team. It’s a great lesson for our entire team to see, not just Baker and the rest of the quarterbacks. We just think the guy’s got the right makeup. I know everybody’s sick of me saying smart and tough, but those are a couple things that Case Keenum has in spades.’’
“Both those guys are exactly where they need to be in terms of rehab progression,’’ Stefanski said. “(VP of Player Health and Development) Joe Sheehan has been in touch every single day with those guys, so he’s very aware of where they are and what they’re doing and how they’re progressing. They were in the building quite a bit back in, I guess, January and February. So I got to talk to them, sit down with both those guys and see them in the training room. So they’re doing everything they need to and they’re right where they need to be from a rehab standpoint.”
- Adam Caplan reveals that the Raiders made a strong offer to S Jimmie Ward, who eventually re-signed with the 49ers. Las Vegas then later signed former Cowboys S Jeff Heath.
- Scott Bair notes that the Raiders safety group is in great shape following the addition of S Damarious Randall. Bair also says that the team is set at linebacker for both the short and long term after signing linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski.
- Bair mentions that while drafting another edge rusher wouldn’t hurt the team, a cornerback should be their top priority in the draft after Las Vegas’ contract with CB Eli Apple fell through earlier this week.
- Gerry Dulac reports that TE Eric Ebron‘s two-year, $12 million deal with the Steelers includes a $5 million signing bonus. His contract will count for $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2020 and $8.5 million in 2021.