Allen: Pryor not ready to be backup quarterback yet

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Allen: Pryor not ready to be backup quarterback yet

CHARLOTTE -- All season long, Terrelle Pryor has played the role of good soldier.

The third-string quarterback has said the right things about biding his time, about learning at the knee of Carson Palmer, about waiting for his time to come and not being impatient or frustrated.

But after Palmer was knocked out in the first quarter, Matt Leinart was uneven and Pryor was used as a wrinkle three times in the Raiders' 17-6 loss to Carolina Sunday, might Pryor have shown a glimpse of his true feelings?

Pryor, who simulated Panthers' quarterback Cam Newton on scout team, was actually downgraded in practice this week.

Asked about playing, Pryor was tight-lipped: "It's just playing football, you know? It's what I've been playing my whole life. It's something I like to do."

On what his plays showed: "I just do what I'm asked to do and that's it. Whatever I show, I show."

On if he thought he should have been used more: "I'm just a player. I don't have any expertise in coaching."

On if he expects to play more next week: "Not sure. I know I played three decent plays, but I didn't play a lot."

On how he seemed more upset than usual: "I'm upset that we lost. I think we should have won and more plays we could have made. But it's the game of football. They get paid just like us. Hats off to them. We'll go in next week and do the same thing and get back to week."

On potentially seeing more playing time: "Like I said, I'm not the coach. I definitely don't make decisions like that. I don't talk much, I just go out and do my job. Whatever God has for me, it's going to happen. If not, I'll be fine."

Pryor was not surly, but close, and it was obvious from his tone that he wanted to be anywhere else. And really, could you blame him?

In his mind -- and in the mind of his growing legion of supporters -- he probably felt he could have helped the Raiders more had he been on the field for more than three plays.

On his first play, which was the Raiders' second play from scrimmage, he lined up in the Wildcat, took the direct snap and passed the ball out to Palmer on the right. Palmer quickly threw back to Pryor, who scooted 22 yards upfield.

On his second play, early in the second quarter, Pryor took the direct snap from the Panthers' 9-yard line on second-and-8, and while it appeared to be a read-option, Pryor kept the ball all the way and ran up the middle for a two-yard gain.

And on his third play, early in the fourth quarter, and with the Raiders at the Panthers' 8-yard line on first-and-goal, Pryor lofted a pass to Marcel Reece, who was pushed out of bounds at the 3-yard line.

That was it. And if you thought Pryor should have seen more time…

"Matt's our back-up quarterback," said coach Dennis Allen. "Terrelle's done a nice job. He's working extremely hard. We don't feel like he's ready to be the backup quarterback yet, and we feel like Matt would give us the best chance."

And there it is.

We don't feel like he's ready...yet.

"Although, we feel like using Terrelle in some of the packages and some of the things like we did with him today -- the pass down there in the red zone, also the throw-back screen to start the game off (on) the second play of the game -- I mean, those are some of the things that we feel like we can use him in right now," Allen added, "until he develops even more as a quarterback."

Perhaps Pryor seeing Cam Newton run the Panthers' offense gave him a bigger sense of self? And really, on the flip side of that coin, maybe Pryor could have thrown just as ugly an interception as Leinart did late in the second quarter.

And if Pryor is not ready, how does he get ready in a lost season with one game to go unless he gets to play?

Or, he must really be bad to not get into this kind of game that screamed for a spark, any spark, to get the offense going.

Then there's this -- Pryor only has a handful of plays at his disposal, and they are "specialized" wrinkles, not the full playbook, whereas Leinart has not only knowledge of said playbook, but also the trust of the coaching staff.

And oh yeah, there was that whole bit about Pryor being downgraded this week, too.

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

The Raiders locked up Derek Carr last week, signing their franchise quarterback to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.

He isn’t the only member of the 2014 draft class worthy of a raise. Edge rusher Khalil Mack will get a big one, likely at some point next offseason. The Raiders have some time with Mack after exercising a fifth-year contract option available for first-round picks.

General manager Reggie McKenzie didn’t have that luxury with Carr, and his 2014 second-round pick cashed in before formally entering a contract year.

Right guard Gabe Jackson could do the exact same thing. McKenzie prefers to draft, develop and reward homegrown talent, and the 2014 third-round pick should be next in line to do so.

McKenzie has said back in March that he’d like to extend Jackson’s contract, though there isn’t a deadline to do so.

“There’s no timetable,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “But, I alluded to earlier in the offseason that Gabe is one of the guys I want to get locked up.”

That could happen later this offseason, or further into training camp. Despite paying Carr an NFL-record $25 million in 2017, his contract is structured in such a way that there’s room for another offseason extension. That was important for Carr, that the Raiders can sign other members of this young core.

“We figured out a way to do it,” Carr said, “so that we have the opportunity to sign the other guys that I think are important to this organization.”

The Raiders have roughly $18 million in salary cap space after the Carr deal. Some of that is earmarked for the team’s top three draft picks, which remain unsigned to this point. A large sum could go to Jackson as incentive to sign up early, well before he’s eligible to hit the unrestricted free agency.

The offensive guard market is booming, with bigger deals going to a position group generally lower than other spots on the offensive line. The Raiders contributed to that inflation in 2016, signing left guard Kelechi Osemele to a five-year, $58.5 deal with $25.4 million in guarantees.

Osemele is one of eight guards with contracts worth $40 million or more, a list that includes two right guards. Jackson played left guard – the more valued position – until Osemele showed up. He moved to the right without complaint.

Jackson thrived there as well. He didn’t allow a sack in 2016, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus, with 27 quarterback pressures in 735 pass-blocking snaps. Jackson has been a strong run blocker as a pro, where he has started 44 games in three NFL seasons.

Finding proper value to entice Jackson to sign while remaining on budget is McKenzie’s next task, trying to keep a valuable offensive lineman in place for years to come.

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr isn’t one for extravagance. The low-key Raiders quarterback already has some nice cars, a house and some luxury items to his name, but signing a $125 million contract extension Friday morning won't prompt a spending spree.

Cornerback Sean Smith suggested he get a Bugatti. That’s a $1 million car.

“Yeah,” Carr said with a smirk. “That’s not going to happen.”

That isn’t the 26-year old’s style. Carr had a his own plan after signing on the dotted line.

“I’ve been eating clean,” Carr said. “I’ll probably get Chick-fil-A.”

That makes sense. This is a guy who celebrated his first NFL victory with a trip through a Carl’s Jr. drive-in.

There will be other purchases. His wife Heather will get something nice in the near future. His family, especially Heather and sons Dallas and Deker, will be taken care of for life.

After all that, Carr plans to spread the wealth.

“The exciting thing for me moneywise, honestly, is this money is going to help a lot of people,” Carr said. “I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands because it’s going to help people. Not only in this country, but in a lot of countries around the world. That’s what’s exciting to me.”

Carr and former Raiders running back Latavius Murray took a missionary trip to Haiti, an impoverished nation had a profound impact on the star quarterback.

“I’ve been down to Haiti and I’ve seen some of those struggles that they have and the kids there, and my heart just… I cry sometimes thinking about it,” Carr said. “So, just knowing that we can go down there and make a difference and help, those are the kind of things that the money makes me kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Because now we can really do some things to help a lot of people.”

He plans to support those in that area, in addition to global and domestic charities he has been involved with over the years. Don’t expect a press release accompanying every donation. Carr would rather keep those decisions private.

“I’m going to do my best to make sure no one knows what we do with it,” Carr said. “I’ll just say this, I can assure you that it’s going to help a lot of people. I’m not stingy. My business manager will probably be on me saying, ‘Hey man, that’s enough.’ I won’t get into when, how or why. It’s not all about that for me. It’s about making a difference. That’s what’s exciting for me is that we’ll be able to do that.”