Former Raider Skip Thomas dies

Former Oakland Raiders cornerback Skip Thomas has died. He died of a heart attack during the weekend.

Thomas played for the Raiders from 1972-77. He was an underrated part of a glamorous secondary in Oakland during its 1970s heyday. Nicknamed “Dr. Death,” Thomas was a terrific cornerback who hit hard. Off the field, he was a key fabric of the wild Raiders of that era and was known for being a major-league character. He was a favorite of Oakland coach John Madden. Thomas was 61.

Our condolences go out to Thomas’ family and to the Raiders.

In other AFC West-related news Monday afternoon:

  • Denver offensive coordinator Mike McCoy is about to get his chance to call the offensive shots. He’ll have a much bigger role under new Denver head coach John Fox than he did under former Denver head coach Josh McDaniels.

  • Scouts Inc., in an Insider piece, has the list of the top 40 undrafted free agents available. Teams should soon be able to sign these players, so it will be interesting to see how the four AFC West teams attack undrafted free agency this year.

  • Here is another connection of Oakland free-agent backup quarterback Bruce Gradkowski to Cincinnati. He is not expected to return to the Raiders.