NFL news roundup: Raiders favored to land DeSean Jackson, Tyrann Mathieu ahead of rehab schedule

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

DeSean Jackson and the Raiders have mutual interest, but the team is doing its research before signing the three-time Pro Bowler.

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The Oakland Raiders surfaced as a possible landing spot for three-time Pro Bowl wide receiver DeSean Jackson shortly after he was released by the Philadelphia Eagles on Friday and that smoke has only increased since, as the Raiders are now considered the favorite to acquire his talents.

DeSean Jackson rumors

If the Raiders are seriously interested in signing Jackson, the feeling would apparently be mutual, as Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that Jackson informed the team of his interest in them prior to being released by the Eagles. Furthermore, the Raiders have reportedly been researching Jackson for weeks.

Any research done is a good idea, according to Tyler Green of SB Nation's Raiders blog, Silver and Black Pride:

One aspect of the situation that the Raiders should consider is their location. Oakland is much closer to Los Angeles that Philadelphia. And If the Raiders move to Los Angeles, Jackson's friends are right in his backyard.

DeSean Jackson is one of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL. But the Eagles released him for a reason that is non-football related. That alone should concern the Raiders. The Raiders should investigate Jackson's history before making any decisions on the three-time Pro Bowler.

Jackson, 27, had a career-best season in 2013 with 82 receptions for 1,332 yards and nine touchdowns.

Here is other news from Friday and Saturday that you may have missed:

Chris Culliver arrested

San Francisco 49ers defensive back Chris Culliver was arrested on Friday for felony hit-and-run and weapons possession after a series of events that included him threatening someone with brass knuckles. According to a report from KTVU, Culliver struck a bicyclist with his vehicle and fled the scene. When an eyewitness cornered his vehicle, Culliver reportedly threatened the driver with brass knuckles before returning to his vehicle and fleeing the scene while also striking this vehicle.

On Friday, David Fucillo of SB Nation's 49ers blog, Niners Nation, broke down what's next for Culliver and the 49ers:

The 49ers dealing with the Culliver situation are not the first team to go through this, they won't be the last team, and this will not be the last time somebody on the 49ers does something stupid.

This is not to say the 49ers won't unload Culliver sooner rather than later. They may just decide he's a knucklehead and is not worth the trouble.

Tyrann Mathieu "really ahead of schedule" in rehab

The strong rookie season of Tyrann Mathieu came to an abrupt end in December when the Arizona Cardinals defensive back suffered ACL and LCL tears, leaving his status for the beginning of the 2014 season in doubt. However, Cardinals general manager Steve Keim seems pretty confident in Mathieu's impending return. Earlier in the week, Keim told Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk that Mathieu is "really ahead of schedule" in his rehab and he's been "fantastic, almost to the point where we have to kick him out of the building. "

Mathieu started 11 games for the Cardinals in 2013, recording one sack, two interceptions, one forced fumble and nine passes defended.

Rams say they are set at wide receiver

There aren't many positions on the St. Louis Rams that are so needy for an upgrade that the No. 2 overall selection makes sense, so Sammy Watkins is a name that has been floated as a possible fit for the team. On Friday, Jeff Fisher told Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he likes Watkins, but didn't sound too interested in the idea of adding another receiver to the roster.

"I think with what we have on the roster right now, we can provide (quarterback) Sam (Bradford) with the talent to where we can win a lot of games," Fisher said.

The Rams finished 2013 with the 27th most passing yards, and tight end Jared Cook led the team in receiving yards with 671 yards and five touchdowns.

Ray Rice gets married

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice was indicted on Thursday for a third-degree assault charge and Friday he was wed to the woman he is accused of assaulting. Both Rice and his now-wife, Janay Palmer, were arrested in February for assault charges, but where Palmer's charges were dropped on Thursday, Rice received an aggravated assault charge. Shortly after his arrest, TMZ acquired a video that appeared to show Rice dragging an unconscious Palmer out of an elevator.

Rice had the worst year of his career in 2013, finishing with just 3.1 yards per carry and four rushing touchdowns after accumulating 33 rushing touchdowns in the four seasons prior.

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