Carr: Raiders' lack of early free agent signings 'a really good thing'

Carr: Raiders' lack of early free agent signings 'a really good thing'

The Raiders haven’t done much in free agency. They weren’t expected to. Even still, fans are stressed.

Derek Carr is not. The team’s franchise quarterback is fine with a lack of activity that bucked a recent trend of heavy spending on free agents.

The Raiders were major players the last three years, but have drafted well enough that money will soon be given to homegrown players approaching the end of rookie contracts.

“For so long, our fans were looking forward to free agency,” Carr said Friday in an interview with 95.7 the Game. “They were chomping at the bit. They couldn’t wait for it, all the way until this year. … Now, Reggie (McKenzie) and (head coach Jack Del Rio) and our front office has done such a good job adding talent through the draft or free agency leading up to this, that we have a solid team. Now we just need a couple pieces to come in and help. Now we’re in a spot where our front office can take care of their own and do those types of things.

“That is a really good thing to have. As exciting as free agency is, if you don’t have to be involved, I think it’s a really good problem to have for an organization.”

The Raiders had signed offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse as of Saturday morning. That’s it thus far, though more players are coming once markets settle down. They need inside linebackers and possibly a veteran running back, two markets that have been slow to develop.

There’s plenty of talent left on the board, and McKenzie believes patience will produce good bargains.

Carr could be an attraction to veteran free agents, and he said he’ll step in and recruit in specific situations. He does so behind closed doors at the facility, as he did luring Michael Crabtree to the East Bay.

“I will recruit, but only once I get the green light from our front office and they tell me who we’re going after,” Carr said. “I’m not just going to blindly go into something. I will and I have been a heavy recruiter. I just do it in my own way. Bruce (Irvin) has his way. He’s “Baby Reggie,” and he does his thing. I’m more sleek about it, more in the shadows.”


Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.

The charge is for assault of his sister's boyfriend in Smith's hometown of Pasadena. Smith allegedly beat and stomped the boyfriend's head on the morning of July 4, 2017 in Old Town Pasadena, the district attorney said.

Smith faces formal felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury to the victim.

The 30-year old plans to fight the charges levied against him. 

"Sean maintains his innocence at this time," Smith's attorney, Daniel Rosenberg told NBC Sports Califorinia on Thursday evening. "We are going to be entering a plea of not guilty and fighting these charges."

A warrant was filed on Aug. 16. Smith's arriagnment is scheduled for Sept. 29. 

Smith was not present at Thursday's Raiders practice, the last session of training camp. He surrendered to Los Angeles County authorities, posted an $80,000 bond and has been released from custody.

If convicted as charged, Smith could face a maximum sentence of seven years in California prison. 

A Raiders spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The case is still under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department. 

This is another blow in a rough summer for Smith. He has struggled on the practice field during training camp and faces an off-field legal issue. Smith is guaranteed $9.5 million for the 2017 season. 

More to come...

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

NAPA – Marshawn Lynch spoke with the media Thursday for the second time as a Raider. He was quick-witted, disarming and, as always, not suitable for work.

It was five minutes of peak Marshawn, where he brought light to his charitable endeavors, called himself the “daddy” of his position group and cleverly sidestepped all things nation anthem.

He was asked four questions on other topics before elephant in the room was mentioned. It didn’t stick around long.

“I think the elephant left the room because a little mouse ran in here,” Lynch deadpanned. “Didn’t they say elephants are scared of mice or something? That [expletive] left the room, cousin.”

[RATTO: Lynch reminds media how much control he exerts over any interaction]

Two more related questions came down the pike. The first was about Del Rio letting players be themselves. He answered a different question instead.

“Yeah, because on ‘doctor-24,’ it’s a designed way that you’re supposed to run it but I have all freedom to go any way that I choose to run it,” Lynch said. “I would say, yes.”

The final anthem-esque query was deflected in a similar fashion.

“When we run ‘74’ or something like that, where I have to scan and read on both sides, that is pretty difficult. For the most part, I’m a veteran so I can make it work.”

Two things were crystal clear after speaking with Lynch.

He didn’t miss football one bit during his year in retirement. Lynch said this spring he decided to return after the Raiders were approved to relocate away from his native Oakland. He wants to represent his hometown well and give them something to cheer before the team leaves for Las Vegas.

That’s why he’s fired up even for Saturday’s exhibition against the Rams – he’s expected to make a cameo in that game – his first in Oakland wearing silver and black.

“It’s truly a blessing and just to have the opportunity to go and do that is a good [expletive] feeling,” Lynch said. “It’s a good [expletive] feeling.”

Lynch has always been active in the community, and hopes him playing here will bring more visibility to what’s being done to help kids in Oakland.

“I plan on continuing to do what I do in the community,” Lynch said. “It’ll probably be that now that I’m here, more people that are in the community might actually come out and support what it is that we’ve got going on.”