No NFL 90-man roster included more former New England Patriots than the one overseen by general manager Dave Ziegler, head coach Josh McDaniels and the likes of Mick Lombardi, Carmen Bricillo, Bo Hardegree, Jerry Schuplinski, Patrick Graham and Rob Ryan.
But the connections are even stronger in December between the active rosters, practice squads and reserve lists.
Here’s the rolodex of ex-Patriots and ex-Raiders in the fold for Sunday’s 4:05 p.m. ET kickoff at Allegiant Stadium.
Jarrett Stidham, quarterback — The 26-year-old Stidham has appeared in three games this regular season for the Raiders. Those games have seen the quarterback by way of Baylor and Auburn complete 8-of-13 passes for 72 yards with no touchdowns nor interceptions. Selected by the Patriots in the fourth round of the 2019 NFL draft at No. 133 overall, Stidham went 24-of-48 for 270 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions across eight games for the organization. He began and ended last campaign on physically unable to perform following offseason back surgery. And by May, his time in Foxborough had ended. Stidham reunited with his previous offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach in a trade involving future sixth- and seventh-round picks.
Brandon Bolden, running back — Bolden has outlasted every running back taken in the 2012 draft class. And at age 32, the undrafted arrival out of Ole Miss has played 53 percent of the snaps on special teams for the Raiders this season. He’s also logged eight carries for 34 yards, nine catches for 57 yards and his 19th career touchdown on offense. A two-time Super Bowl champion, Bolden checked into 132 games during his Patriots tenure. And in the final year of his tolled contract, he checked in for 226 rushing yards, 405 receiving yards and three touchdowns while remaining a fixture in the kicking game. After wearing No. 38 and No. 25 for New England, Bolden finds himself in No. 34 for Las Vegas. But he found himself in No. 85 in honor of his grandfather, former Raider Frank Pitts, during his initial press conference at the Intermountain Healthcare Performance Center.
Jakob Johnson, fullback — As the Patriots shifted away from the fullback position, they shifted away from Johnson, who joined the Raiders in March after not being tendered as a restricted free agent. A native of Stuttgart, Germany, the Tennessee Volunteer had been assigned to New England as part of the International Player Pathway Program in 2019. “He was not on our radar,” head coach Bill Belichick said that September. “I don’t think we ever would have signed him.” The NFL run began on the practice squad after clearing waivers as a rookie. But 37 games were notched from there. Johnson caught 13 passes for 83 yards and one touchdown over that span. The 27-year-old has since appeared in every game for Las Vegas, starting seven of them as a lead blocker while chipping in four receptions for seven yards.
Isaiah Zuber, wide receiver — The final game of the preseason saw Zuber catch a pass and intercept another against the Patriots. The 25-year-old wide receiver signed to the Raiders’ practice squad at its formation shortly thereafter. Entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2020, Zuber spent his rookie year on New England’s practice squad. He appeared in four games as a standard elevation and Covid-19 replacement, turning two catches into 29 yards and two carries into 21 yards. Waived the next summer, the transfer from Kansas State to Mississippi State made stops with the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets before leading the United States Football League in touchdown receptions. He joined Las Vegas in July.
Chris Lacy, wide receiver — The Raiders waived Lacy leading up to the NFL’s 80-man deadline in training camp. The 26-year-old wideout returned as a member of the practice squad midway through September and remains in that capacity midway through December. Lacy originally joined the Patriots as a part of the 2018 undrafted class. He was waived after one week that May, and went on to the Detroit Lions, Dallas Cowboys and Chicago Bears thenceforth. Through eight career games beyond the preseason, the Oklahoma State product stands with three receptions for 60 yards.
Jacob Hollister, tight end — The 29-year-old Hollister signed with the Raiders in March and was released from injured reserve in September. He made his way back in November, however, after agreeing to depart from the Minnesota Vikings’ practice squad for a spot on the 53-man roster. A handful of games have been logged altogether in 2022. The tight end out of Wyoming entered the NFL with the Patriots as an undrafted rookie in 2017, alongside twin brother Cody Hollister, and caught eight passes for 94 yards through 23 games for the club. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a 2020 seventh-round selection in the months following Super Bowl LIII.
Jermaine Eluemunor, offensive tackle — Eluemunor checked into 14 contests as a Raider last season. And while seeing snaps at left tackle and right guard, as well, he has been the primary right tackle through 13 starts for Las Vegas this season. Originally chosen by the Baltimore Ravens in the 2017 NFL draft’s fifth round, the ex-Lackawanna College and Texas A&M offensive lineman headed to Gillette Stadium three preseasons later. He did so via an exchange of selections in the fourth and sixth rounds. Eluemunor started eight of his 22 games for the Patriots. The 27-year-old was retained as a restricted free agent before going between a trio of teams in 2021.
Justin Herron, offensive tackle — Herron was traded to the Raiders as the rights to 2024 late-round draft capital changed hands in September. His debut followed while reporting as an eligible tight end. But a torn ACL suffered in practice saw the 27-year-old placed on injured reserve in October. The Patriots filled out Herron’s draft card in the sixth round at pick No. 195 overall in 2020. The bookend from Wake Forest appeared in 28 games and made 10 starts during his stay with New England, but was unseated as the top swing tackle in the summer.
Sebastian Gutierrez, offensive tackle — The Raiders signed Gutierrez to the practice squad at the end of October. Prior to then, the 24-year-old out of Minot State had spent one fall week on the Patriots’ practice squad after visiting for a workout. He had been working at Uncle Maddio’s Pizza in North Dakota between NFL stops. A college convert from tight end to offensive tackle, Gutierrez appeared in 42 games with 35 starts for the Beavers. He went undrafted to the Denver Broncos in May and was waived leading up to the 53-man roster cutdown.
Chandler Jones, defensive end — Jones signed a three-year, $51 million contract with the Raiders in March. And at age 32, he’s turned the calendar to December with a three-sack outing followed by a one-sack outing that featured a forced fumble and recovery. A four-time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro, Super Bowl XLIX champion and member of the NFL’s latest All-Decade team, Jones stands 112 sacks into a run that started in New England. The Syracuse defensive end got the call at No. 21 overall in the 2012 draft. Jones was later traded to the Arizona Cardinals ahead of his fifth-year option in exchange for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-rounder that became guard Joe Thuney and wide receiver Malcolm Mitchell.
Tashawn Bower, defensive end — After spending parts of three seasons with the Patriots, totaling 14 tackles, three starts, one batted pass and his second NFL sack, Bower exited the practice squad for the Vikings’ active roster last November. It marked a return to Minneapolis for the 2017 undrafted free agent out of LSU. But Bower signed with the Raiders in April. The 27-year-old has rotated in off the edges and on special teams through six appearances this campaign and was inactive last week.
Duron Harmon, safety — “The Closer” is 31 years old. He is also in his inaugural season with the Raiders. It has brought 59 tackles, a pair of forced fumbles and a pair of interceptions returned for 86 yards and a touchdown. Harmon has started all but one game for the Las Vegas defensive backfield. He made his first starts as a Patriot after getting the call at No. 91 overall in 2013, just eight picks after Rutgers roommate Logan Ryan. Harmon earned three Super Bowl rings to go with 17 interceptions, 175 tackles, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries with New England. Traded to Detroit in 2020, the safety spent last year on a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons.
Jalen Elliott, safety — The 24-year-old Elliott signed to the Raiders’ practice squad in November after spending training camp with the Patriots. He posted a team-high 10 tackles in the preseason opener before being among of the moves down from 85 to 80 players. Elliott entered the league with the Lions as a rookie free agent out of Notre Dame in 2020. The former Irish captain recorded 12 tackles last regular season while serving as an elevation from the practice squad and member of the active roster for Detroit.
Garrett Gilbert, quarterback — Gilbert, who rejoined the Patriots on the practice squad in October and soon served as a standard elevation, was the corresponding move to the Raiders acquiring another familiar quarterback in May. The 31-year-old entered the league in the sixth round of the 2014 draft with the St. Louis Rams. But a Super Bowl XLIX ring followed with New England. Gilbert returned to the scout team last season before signing to the active roster of the Washington Commanders and ultimately landing in Las Vegas. Through eight NFL games, the transfer from Texas to Southern Methodist has completed 57.3 percent of his passes for 477 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
Nelson Agholor, wide receiver — Agholor has started four games in a contract year with New England. After catching 37 passes for 473 yards and three touchdowns, the 29-year-old wide receiver has caught 30 passes for 359 yards and two touchdowns. Agholor will now will revisit organization that he spent 2020 with after setting out with the Philadelphia Eagles in the first round of the 2015 draft. The USC product totaled 48 receptions for a career-high 896 yards while tying his NFL best with eight touchdowns as a Raider.
Lynn Bowden Jr., wide receiver — The 25-year-old Bowden has been a practice player of the week and a standard elevation since signing to New England’s scout team in September. His Patriots debut included 14 offensive snaps. Originally a 2020 Raiders third-round draft choice, Bowden was traded to the Dolphins before his rookie regular season began. A former first-team All-American and Paul Hornung Award winner out of the University of Kentucky, Bowden spent last year on injured reserve. He did so after collecting 28 catches for 211 yards and nine carries for 32 yards as a rookie in Miami Gardens.
Trent Brown, offensive tackle — Brown started every game at left tackle for the 2018 Patriots from Week 1 through Super Bowl LIII, and signed a four-year, $66 million deal with the Raiders the next offseason. The former seventh-round pick out of Florida earned Pro Bowl honors during his first season in Las Vegas. He endured injured reserve, the Covid-19 list as well as a pregame IV that led to him being hospitalized. Brown started 16 games during his time with the Raiders. The towering 29-year-old was reacquired by New England as a fifth-rounder and seventh-rounder swapped in 2021. He is under contract through 2023 and has started 12 games this season on the blindside.
Raekwon McMillan, linebacker — In his first year on the field for the Patriots after suffering a second torn ACL turning the previous training camp, McMillan has tallied 27 tackles, his first career sack and his first career touchdown on a fumble recovery. The 27-year-old linebacker has done so on the heels of a one-year contract extension that was signed while on injured reserve. Originally chosen by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2017 draft out of Ohio State, McMillan missed his rookie season due to a torn ACL and went on to start 28 games before being dealt to the Raiders. He saw 169 snaps on defense and 285 snaps on special teams in 2020 with Las Vegas, recording 27 tackles and one forced fumble.
Michael Palardy, punter — Palardy signed to the New England practice squad in November. But the 30-year-old was soon promoted to the active roster as incumbent Jake Bailey landed on injured reserve. He has since stepped in to punt 22 times for an average of 42.9 yards per. There have been six opportunities downed inside the opposing 20 and a trio of touchbacks. Undrafted out of the University of Tennessee in 2014, Palardy’s well-traveled NFL career began in Oakland, where he signed in June of his rookie season and re-signed to the practice squad that December.