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Examining the roster ties between Patriots, Raiders ahead of preseason finale

Connections run deep on the roster overseen by Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels.

NFL: Hall of Fame Game-Jacksonville Jaguars at Las Vegas Raiders Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The ties to the Las Vegas Raiders extend beyond general manager Dave Ziegler and head coach Josh McDaniels. They extend beyond a staff that ranges from Mick Lombardi, Carmen Bricillo, Bo Hardegree and Jerry Schuplinski on offense to Patrick Graham and Rob Ryan on defense.

A total of nine former New England Patriots stand on the roster. And that is after the NFL’s 80-man deadline saw wide receiver Chris Lacy waived and cornerback Cre’Von LeBlanc removed from injured reserve with a settlement.

Here’s a glance through the remaining player connections with joint practices underway and Friday’s 8:15 p.m. ET preseason finale ahead at Allegiant Stadium.


Jarrett Stidham, quarterback — Drafted No. 133 overall in 2019, the quarterback by way of Baylor and Auburn went on to appear in eight games for New England. Stidham completed 24-of-48 passes for 270 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions over that span. He began 2021 on physically unable to perform after undergoing offseason back surgery and remained inactive upon returning. But in May, the 26-year-old would be reunited with his previous offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach through a trade involving future sixth- and seventh-round capital. Stidham has made three preseason starts for the Raiders since then, scoring twice on the ground. He went 7-of-10 for 80 yards during his most recent outing.

Brandon Bolden, running back — The 32-year-old Bolden signed with New England as an undrafted rookie in 2012. There were 132 games and two Super Bowl rings accrued by the four-down back via Ole Miss. Bolden had a hand in 226 rushing yards, 405 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season after opting out of the previous due to Covid-19 concerns. The contract year spanned 44 carries, 41 catches and 278 snaps on special teams. After wearing No. 38 and No. 25 during his Patriots tenure, Bolden arrived at his introductory Raiders press conference wearing No. 85. Those were the same digits his grandfather, Frank Pitts, once wore for the Silver and Black. But No. 34 is now his.

Jakob Johnson, fullback — No fullback depth chart remains in New England. Yet the 27-year-old Johnson found another in Las Vegas after not being tendered as a restricted free agent in March. A native of Stuttgart, Germany, the Tennessee Volunteer had been assigned to the Patriots as part of the International Player Pathway Program in 2019. His NFL tour began on the practice squad after clearing waivers as a rookie. Ahead were 37 games. Johnson caught 13 passes for 83 yards and a touchdown on his way to a one-year contract the Raiders.

Isaiah Zuber, wide receiver — Zuber signed with New England as an undrafted free agent in 2020. The transfer from Kansas State to Mississippi State spent his rookie season on the practice squad, appearing in four games as a standard elevation and Covid-19 replacement. He turned two catches into 29 yards and two carries into 21 yards in the sample size. Waived by the Patriots last August, Zuber made subsequent stops with the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and New York Jets before leading the United States Football League in touchdown receptions. The 25-year-old joined the Raiders in July.

Jacob Hollister, tight end — Arriving in New England alongside his twin brother, Cody Hollister, as an undrafted rookie in 2017, the tight end out of Wyoming would catch eight passes for 94 yards through 23 contests. He was then traded to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a 2020 seventh-round selection after earning a Super Bowl LIII ring. The 28-year-old Hollister would also make stops with the Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars before signing with Las Vegas as the new league year began in March.

Jermaine Eluemunor, guard — During the 2019 preseason, the Patriots acquired Eluemunor from the Baltimore Ravens in a deal involving selections in the fourth and sixth rounds. He started eight of his 22 games for the organization and was retained as a restricted free agent in the process. Last September, the Raiders signed the 27-year-old offensive lineman out of Lackawanna College and Texas A&M after he spent training camp between clubs. Three starts were made by Eluemunor across 14 appearances with Las Vegas in 2021.

Chandler Jones, defensive end — A four-time Pro Bowler, two-time first-team All-Pro, Super Bowl XLIX champion and NFL All-Decade selection, Jones finds himself 107.5 sacks into a career that began in New England. The war room turned in the draft card for the Syracuse defensive end at No. 21 overall back in 2012. Jones would later be traded to the Arizona Cardinals ahead of his option year in exchange for guard Jonathan Cooper and a second-round asset that became North Carolina State’s Joe Thuney and Georgia’s Malcolm Mitchell. The 32-year-old reached a three-year, $51 million pact with the Raiders in March.

Tashawn Bower, defensive end — Bower agreed to depart from New England’s practice squad for a place on the Minnesota Vikings’ 53-man roster last November. By then, the undrafted edge-rusher from LSU had spent parts of three seasons in the fold for the Patriots. Bower saw action in nine games and started three over that span, notching 14 tackles, one batted pass and his second career sack. The 27-year-old signed with the Raiders in April.

Duron Harmon, safety — Taken No. 91 overall in 2013, Harmon landed with the Patriots eight draft slots after Rutgers roommate Logan Ryan. The safety’s time in New England came to a close as a three-time Super Bowl champion with 17 interceptions, 175 tackles, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries. Harmon was traded to the Detroit Lions in a cap-driven move entering 2020. The 31-year-old signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Falcons last spring before reuniting with familiar faces in Las Vegas on a one-year deal this spring.


Nelson Agholor, wide receiver — Agholor penned a one-year contract with Las Vegas in 2020 after beginning his NFL run as a Philadelphia Eagles first-round pick in 2015. The USC product proceeded to catch 48 passes for a career-high 896 yards while tying his high with eight touchdowns as a Raider. A two-year deal in Foxborough was the result as a free agent. Agholor, who turned 29 in May, started 13 games during his inaugural Patriots campaign. The veteran wideout finished with 37 receptions for 473 yards and three trips to the end zone. He caught a 45-yard go ball down the left sideline in his 2022 preseason debut last week.

Trent Brown, offensive tackle — After starting every game at left tackle for the Patriots from Week 1 through Super Bowl LIII, Brown inked a four-year, $66 million contract with the Raiders in March 2019. The agreement made the former seventh-round pick out of Florida the league’s highest-paid offensive lineman at the time. Brown earned Pro Bowl honors during his first season with the Raiders. Injured reserve, the Covid-19 list as well as a pregame IV-related hospitalization followed. He was limited to 16 starts during his stay, which ended last March. The 29-year-old was reacquired by New England on a restructured deal as a fifth-rounder and seventh-rounder switched hands. He has since re-signed through 2023.

Raekwon McMillan, linebacker — Chosen by the Miami Dolphins in the second round of the 2017 draft, McMillan missed his rookie campaign due to a torn ACL yet went on to start 28 games through the next two campaigns. The Ohio State national champion was then traded to the Raiders at the NFL’s 53-man roster deadline in 2020. He saw 169 snaps on defense and 285 snaps on special teams during his lone season with the organization, posting 27 tackles and one forced fumble. New England signed the 26-year-old linebacker last offseason. A one-year contract extension crossed the wire one month after McMillan suffered a second torn ACL during training camp in 2021.