Cartwright honored, plays waiting game

Cartwright honored, plays waiting game
March 11, 2012, 5:07 am
Share This Post

A year ago, the uncertainty surrounding Rock Cartwright as he received his first Commitment to Excellence Award emanated from the NFL lockout.Now? It's about the special teams standout's own future. A free agent when the league's new year commences Tuesday at 1 p.m. PT, Cartwright said he wants to remain in Oakland and does not think being honored at a dinner when his future is in flux is awkward at all."Not really, I lay my heart out there every game I was out there," he said prior to the dinner honoring him at the Oakland Airport Hilton Saturday night. "I really can't worry about stuff I can't control. That's between those guys and my agent. Hopefully we can get something worked out. I love it here. I would like to spend the rest of my career here."I'm going to let the front office and my agent handle that."RELATED: Brown speaks on Saints BountyGate
Cartwright, though, handled enough of his business, both on and off the field this past season, to be feted for the second consecutive year in voting by his teammates "based on their hard work, leadership and excellence." Previous winners include the likes of Jim Otto, Daryle Lamonica, Fred Biletnikoff, Willie Brown, Jerry Rice and Tim Brown."It's voted on by your teammates," Cartwright said, "so you can't ask for anything like that."Despite his unknown contact status, Cartwright continued to speak about the Raiders in the "we" vernacular."I consider myself part of the Raider Nation. Regardless if I'm here or not, I'm always going to be part of the Raider Nation."Cartwright was also asked about other topics.On the new regime with general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen, both of whom were in attendance at the dinner: "I think we're headed in the right direction. Reggie's a great guy and I know Coach Allen is a great guy. He's from Texas, so I know he's a great guy (laughs). You've got somebody that can lead us and show us where we want to go and that's all you can ask for."On what he thinks will happen with fellow free agent running back Michael Bush: "You can't predict anything right now. You never know what's going to happen. I think Tuesday is going to be an interesting day for a lot of people. A lot of people's lives are going to change, including myself probablyyou've always got to prepare yourself for that. We'll see what happens Tuesday."On how Darren McFadden is doing these days: "He's doing fine. He said he's able to do everything that he used to be able to do -- run, run routes and stuff like that. I know Darren and he loves the game and he works extremely hard and that's one of the mosthumble first-round draft picks I've ever seen since I've been in the league. He's working to get back and he's going to get back and we just have to surround him with good people and a good group of guys so he can do the things he's capable of doing."On how McFadden handled the disappointment of being injured: "When you see a guy like him that puts so much in something and then you go out there and you get hurt on a checkdown and kind of costs you your season, you feel for a guy. Every time he has something going, it's always something that wants to set him back. But he keeps coming back year in and year out and producing. I think he's going to get healthy, I think he's going to stay healthy and I think once he does that, he'll be probably the best back in the league, by far." On former coach Hue Jackson: "I spoke to Hue a couple of times. We didn't speak too much about what happened. We just spoke about his future and what he had going on and he just told me he'd stay in contact with me."On if he has a timeframe for settling his immediate future: "I would like to get it settled on Tuesday, but obviously that probably won't happen. All I can do is go out and train and prepare myself the best that I canand if somebody calls and says, 'Rock, we want you to come in and work out,' I'll be preparedI know I'm capable of doing it. It's all about opportunityI'm praying that it's Oakland."On his track record for potential future employers: "I've been captain of the Washington Redskins, I've been captain of the Oakland Raiders. So my resume kind of speaks for itself. I just try to be accountable to everybody and accountable to myself. And as long as I do that, I think I'll continue to be, you know, semi-successful."