Allen gives six Raiders vote of confidence


Allen gives six Raiders vote of confidence

Raiders head coach Dennis Allen was not ready to go public with the team's roster decisions as of 5 p.m. Friday evening.

Asked what he could report on a conference call with Bay Area media members, Allen replied, "Not much."

The team must trim their roster from its current limit of 75 players to the collection of 53 players the team will carry into the regular season, and they must do so by 6 p.m. PT. Eight players can be added to the practice squad.

Allen did acknowledge that the team is actively looking to bolster their roster from the outside.

"We're definitely looking," Allen said. "Whatever moves we feel like give us a chance to be better, were going to make those moves. We're evaluating any and all positions to see if there's anybody out there that can help us.

"Depth is a concern. We've got to upgrade the bottom half of our roster."

Asked what stood out to him in the final preseason tuneup, a 21-3 loss to the Seahawks, Allen acknowledged there weren't many highlights.

"The performance wasn't nearly what our standard is," Allen said.

But the head coach did cite positive contributions from Bryan McCann, Coye Francies, Jack Crawford, Christo Bilukidi and on the offensive side from Taiwan Jones and Mike Goodson.

Despite a 1-3 preseason, Allen is excited about the group he has in Oakland.

"I think we are a tough football team," Allen said. "I think we have tough-minded people."

For the 22 players who lose their jobs before the end of the night, it's an important trait to possess.

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.