The Raiders agreed to a trade with the New York Jets yesterday that will send tight end Doug Jolley to the Jets and give Oakland a first-round pick in this weekend's NFL draft after all.
Jolley, a fourth-year tight end out of Brigham Young University, goes to New York along with a second-round pick in exchange for the Jets' 26th overall pick, one Raiders source and one NFL source said, both speaking on condition of anonymity. The swap would be contingent on Jolley passing a physical.
Chad Brown, shown hitting Atlanta's Michael Vick last season, is close to being released by Seattle to make salary cap room for Jamie Sharper.
(Robert Sorbo -- Reuters)
_____ NFL Draft Preview _____ • Linebackers: Texas's Derrick Johnson and Maryland's Shawne Merriman are the top defenders available.
• Secondary: Cornerback Adam Jones is likely to be an early first-round choice.
• Wide Receivers: Braylon Edwards and Mike Williams headline an impressive crop of first-round receivers.
• Running Backs: Three tailbacks are poised to grab the spotlight Saturday.
• Quarterbacks: Questions remain about the quality of the best QBs.
• Despite multiple injuries, Terps' Chris Kelley sets sights on draft.
_____ On Our Site _____ • Mark Maske's mock draft (Updated Thursday)
_____ Top 'Tweeners _____
1. Shawne Merriman
Upside: Big and athletic
Downside: Isn't even 21 and only made 17 college starts.
2. Demarcus Ware
School: Troy University
Upside: Raw speed that perhaps could move him ahead of Merriman and Derrick Johnson to be the first non-cornerback defensive player drafted.
Downside: Lack of top competition.
3. David Pollack
Upside: Had 36 sacks during highly decorated collegiate career.
Downside: Is he fast and athletic enough to be a standout at the next level?
_____ Top Five Linebackers _____
1. Derrick Johnson
Upside: Playmaker who caused nine fumbles last season.
Downside: Is better in pursuit than when a play comes straight at him.
2. Channing Crowder
Upside: Tough player who could play inside or outside linebacker.
Downside: Played only two years of college football after missing freshman season because of a knee injury.
3. Barrett Ruud
Upside: Known as a smart, experienced player.
Downside: There are questions about whether he's strong enough to hold up over a grueling NFL season.
4. Darryl Blackstock
Upside: Led nation's linebackers with 11 sacks last season.
Downside: Is not regarded as a run-stuffer.
5. Kevin Burnett
Upside: Good leader who was a team captain and has a master's degree.
Downside: Some scouts think he doesn't have great instincts for the position.
_____ First Round Draft Order _____ 1. San Francisco 49ers
2. Miami Dolphins
3. Cleveland Browns
4. Chicago Bears
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
6. Tennessee Titans
7. Minnesota (From Oak.)
8. Arizona Cardinals
9. Washington Redskins
10. Detroit Lions
11. Dallas Cowboys
12. S.D. Chargers (From Giants)
13. Houston Texans
14. Carolina Panthers
15. Kansas City Chiefs
16. New Orleans Saints
17. Cincinnati Bengals
18. Minnesota Vikings
19. St. Louis Rams
20. Dallas Cowboys (From Buffalo)
21. Jacksonville Jaguars
22. Baltimore Ravens
23. Seattle Seahawks
24. Green Bay Packers
25. Redskins (From Denver)
26. Oakland Raiders (From Jets)
27. Atlanta Falcons
28. San Diego Chargers
29. Indianapolis Colts
30. Pittsburgh Steelers
31. Philadelphia Eagles
32. New England Patriots
"There are a couple things that need to happen," the Raiders source said, including finalizing which other draft picks Oakland would receive.
The Raiders traded their first-round draft selection -- seventh overall -- to Minnesota for Randy Moss in March and weren't scheduled to make their first pick until the second round, 38th overall.
Jolley, a second-round draft pick in 2002, had 27 catches for 313 yards and 2 touchdowns last season. In 47 career games, Jolley has 90 catches for 972 yards and 5 scores.
The Jets needed help at tight end after losing starter Anthony Becht as a free agent earlier this offseason. Chris Baker was the only player on the roster with any significant game experience at the position.
C. Brown Will Likely Depart
The Seattle Seahawks are ready to release linebacker Chad Brown to create salary cap room for free agent pickup Jamie Sharper, President and General Manager Tim Ruskell confirmed yesterday.
Seattle's front office has spent the past month trying to rework Brown's salary, but the 12-year veteran faces a big pay cut. He is scheduled to make $4.2 million. The team's proposal calls for $1 million plus incentives for next fall.
"It's more than what we're willing to do," said Peter Schaffer, Brown's agent.
Sharper agreed last week to a five-year, $17.5 million deal that included a $1.5 million signing bonus. . . .
The Carolina Panthers signed linebacker Chris Draft and punter Tom Rouen, a sign that Todd Sauerbrun's days with the team are likely coming to an end.
Sauerbrun, a two-time Pro Bowl punter, recently came up as a player who allegedly obtained illegal steroids. The Panthers had already signed punter Steve Cheek. . . .
The Packers matched the Minnesota Vikings' offer for defensive end Aaron Kampman, keeping the restricted free agent in Green Bay.