Crews still searching missing Raiders LB

Crews continued to search areas off the Florida Gulf Coast late Sunday night in search of missing Raiders linebacker Marquis Cooper and three other men.

Cooper and Corey Smith, a defensive end for the Detroit Lions, were part of four-man group that departed on a 21-foot boat for a day of fishing Saturday morning but have not been heard from since. The Coast Guard searched a 750-square mile area but found no signs of the missing men or the boat, which was owned by Cooper.

Cooper was an avid fisherman, according to reports, and was experienced in deep sea situations. He and Smith both played together when they were with Tampa Bay in 2004 and had previously taken fishing trips together.

The Raiders issued a brief statement Sunday saying they were aware of the situation.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and are in the process of gathering more information," the statement read. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the passengers, their families and those involved in the search efforts."

Cooper played sparingly with the Raiders after signing with the team mid-season. He made five tackles, playing primarily on special teams.

Silver and Black Illustrated sends its prayers and best wishes to the Cooper and Smith families, as well as to those of the other two missing men, identified as Will Bleakley and Nick Schuyler.

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