Erik Magnuson was only signed off the Buffalo Bills’s practice squad on Tuesday, but the Raiders better hope he’s a quick study.
After Rodney Hudson went down on Sunday, Andre James filled in admirably at the Center spot. But James is apparently hurt as well with a high-ankle sprain, and the Raiders might be forced to turn to Magnuson against Detroit.
Luckily for Oakland, the 25-year old has played in multiple systems and has a firm understanding of West Coast Offense blocking schemes from his time in San Francisco.
“I’ve played in six different systems, maybe seven now including college. Different offensive coordinators. So, there is overlap between,” Magnuson said after practice on Wednesday. “A West Coast system is a West Coast system. The only thing is, ‘What do you call this block versus this block?’ You know, everyone has different terminology, but once you get the overall understanding of how the play works, run scheme or pass game, you start to pick it up.”
Magnuson has notched just three starts over his NFL career, all with the 49ers in 2017 and 2018. He was cut on August 3rd and signed to Buffalo’s practice squad 17 days later, and is lauded for his ability to play anywhere on the Offensive Line.
While with San Francisco, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo gave Magnuson the nickname, “Money Bags Mags” – a moniker given for his limited salary (by NFL standards) and positional versatility.
“I was in an offensive line room where I was making the least amount of money playing the most positions,” Magnuson laughed. “So, he started calling me ‘Money Bags Mags.’ But it has no reflection of my actual financial well-being.”
Spotrac, the premier sports contract site, doesn’t even have Magnuson’s name spelled correctly. They spelled it as “Magnunson” and track that he’s earned $1,395,056 over his three seasons in the NFL. That’s chump change for an NFL player, especially one signed to the Young Money APAA Sports Agency.
If Magnuson isn’t ready to go, head coach Jon Gruden suggested that Richie Incognito could slide to the Center spot, with Denzelle Good filling in at Left Guard.
A front five of Kolton Miller - Good - Incognito - Gabe Jackson - Trent Brown looks solid on paper, but shuffling around two linemen can mess with continuity more than simply inserting one into the lineup. The last time Incognito made a start at Center was in 2010 with the Dolphins, when Kolton Miller was a 15-year old Roseville High School student.