Colts' Addai expects to be ready for Raiders

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Colts' Addai expects to be ready for Raiders

Dec. 23, 2010RAIDERS PAGE RAIDERS VIDEOCOLTS PAGE NFL SCOREBOARD

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Colts running back Joseph Addai expects to return Sunday at Oakland after missing the past eight games with a nerve injury in his left shoulder, the first positive news on the injury front for Indianapolis in quite a while.

"I feel like it's a great chance. I feel like I'm heading in the right direction," Addai said Thursday, one day after participating fully in practice. "I felt good. I didn't set myself back. Really, I'm just happy to put on a uniform and just get back into it."

Linebacker Clint Session also is likely to play after missing the past seven games with a broken arm and a dislocated elbow. Their returns coincide with the Colts losing wide receiver Austin Collie for the season. He sustained a concussion last Sunday against Jacksonville.

PREVIEW: Playoff pressure for Raiders, Colts

Addai has 5,280 yards from scrimmage and 46 touchdowns in five seasons. He rushed for 128 yards and a touchdown against Washington this season before hurting the shoulder.

"He understands all the nuances," coach Jim Caldwell said. "He is very, very smart. He's a guy that can make you miss, but also has power and catches the ball out of the backfield. He's also a very good pass protector."

The Colts average 95 yards rushing with Addai and 78 without him. Indy also has a higher average per carry and generally controls the clock better when Addai plays.

"He brings so many intangibles," Caldwell said. "He certainly does make a difference."

Caldwell didn't say whether Addai would start, or how carries would be distributed if he were available. Donald Brown is coming off a career-best 129-yard performance, and the ground game has been effective the past two weeks.

CAPSULE: Indianapolis (8-6) at Raiders (7-7)

"A lot of it just depends on where he is when we finish the week," Caldwell said. "We'll get a real good sense of that. After we make that assessment, we'll make a determination on how Joe will play for us."

Addai said it has been difficult to watch the team struggle. The Colts were 4-2 with him, but lost four of their next six without him, before bouncing back to defeat Tennessee and Jacksonville and brighten their postseason possibilities.

"The biggest thing is that you've always got to go back and understand that football does have injuries," Addai said. "Not being able to be out there with your teammates, that's frustrating, but you've always got to take a positive from a negative. The only thing I could do is keep on trying to get better."

Addai was especially happy to see the Colts churn out 155 yards on the ground in their 34-24 win over Jacksonville.

RELATED: Addai stats splits game logs news

"It's always good when you see us able to run when we're called upon to do that," he said. "Hopefully, it will carry on to the Oakland game. Each game is a confidence builder. We were able to get some runs, get some passes, and be an all-around team, just doing things that we couldn't always do in the past."

Addai said the timing of his return is ideal because wins over Oakland and Tennessee would give the Colts the AFC South title and a home playoff game.

"We're sitting in a good situation," he said. "We're in control of our own destiny. It's always good to have people that's been out come back in. I think it will help as far as trying to get up to that next level, and that's getting into the playoffs."

Raiders finalize five-year contract extension with Derek Carr

Raiders finalize five-year contract extension with Derek Carr

Derek Carr is now the NFL's highest paid player. The Raiders quarterback agreed on terms of a five-year, $125 million contract extension a source confirmed on Thursday morning, keeping the franchise's public face in silver and black through the 2022 season. 

Carr confirmed the agreement on Twitter early Thursday. 

"Now it's done!" Carr wrote. "From the jump I've wanted to be a Raider 4 life. One step closer to that! Blessed!!! Business done! Let's just play now!!!"

Carr was set to make a $977,515 base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract. Carr's raise is significant, and underscores his value to the franchise. Carr's $125 million extension includes $70 million in guaranteed money and $40 million fully guaranteed at signing -- the portion not fully guaranteed is guaranteed for injury -- a source said. The deal features $25 million in the first year -- there's a $12.5 million signing bonus -- with $67.5 million over the first three years, according to ESPN's Dan Graziano.  

Carr's deal resets the quarterback market -- Matthew Stafford may do so again soon -- with an annual value above Andrew Luck's previous record extension. The Colts quarterback signed a five-year, $122.9 million extension last year, which Carr has now exceeded. 

The complete contract structure is not yet known, but a somewhat delayed payout plan is expected due to two key factors. The largest is Carr's desire to see other star Raiders receive extensions, and his deal gives the team some flexibility to keep important players in house. The Raiders will also move to Las Vegas by 2020 at the latest, where there is no state tax. California residents max out at a 13.3-percent tax rate, meaning his money will be worth more later in the deal.  

The 26-year old's ultimate goal was to maximize earnings without handcuffing the organization, and that's setting up well. His deal will help the Raiders that regard, though the team has also budgeted to extend several members of their young core. They have financial flexibility in future seasons and upfront salary cap space, though productive drafts are required to remain competitive as the cash gets gobbled by Carr and others in coming years.

The Raiders were always confident the Carr extension would get done this offseason, and the deal was finalized well before the quarterback's self-imposed training camp deadline. Carr's camp had discussed parameters of an extension months ago, but talks heated up in the last few weeks and ended up with an agreement that locks Carr down. 

The Raiders also hope to extend two more members of a star-studded 2014 draft class. Right guard Gabe Jackson is next in line, and could get a new deal this offseason and edge rusher Khalil Mack will get a massive contract at some point in the near future. Jackson's entering a contract year, but the team exercised a fifth-year option that creates more time to get a Mack deal done. Amari Cooper has some time under his rookie deal -- it could last through the 2019 season -- but the Raiders want to pair him with Carr for several seasons. 

Carr, Raiders both win with soon-to-be mega-deal done at right time

Carr, Raiders both win with soon-to-be mega-deal done at right time

If Derek Carr gets his $25 million deal from the Oakland Raiders and becomes the richest quarterback in National Football League history, the Raiders will have gotten a bargain.
 
Unless he gets hurt.
 
Or unless he turns lousy.
 
Or unless the NFL’s defensive coordinators decipher a way to strip him of his powers and render him McCown-tastic.
 
Or unless football happens in a hundred other ways, because of all the sports ever devised by wealthy man to amuse sedentary man, football taught cruelty to the landmine discus.
 
But the same can be said for any football player at any salary. Carr, on the other hand, is a qualified practitioner at a sport that has very few of them – maybe 10 if you’re looking at football, 119 if you’re trying to tot up all the quarterbacks who got contracts so Colin Kaepernick couldn’t.
 
That means he is a rare commodity, and the Raiders did the right thing by tying him up. The alternative, you see, is Kirk Cousins and the Washington Supreme Court-Mandated Native-American Heads.
 
Cousins was not signed when the Washingtons could have gotten him at a high but still reasonable rate, and now he is one year away from being franchised a third time at the hilarious figure of $34.47 million per year.
 
The lesson is clear. Nothing pays like procrastination, and by waiting to give Cousins what they knew they’d have to give him eventually for choosing him over Robert Griffin III, the Battling Snyders will pay through both nostrils, ears, eye sockets and mouth to keep him.
 
By signing Carr now, the Raiders have as much cost certainty as they can have at the position, and all they have to do now is (a) keep him stocked with supporting players and (b) keep him safe from opposing ones.
 
This isn’t easy, of course; most quarterbacks eventually end up in a fiery crash in Turn Two, and their ability to escape the mangled wreckage is the only thing keeping them from becoming part of the mangled wreckage.
 
So yeah, luck. Lots of luck.
 
On the other hand, the Raiders could have guaranteed that they would have had to overpay by a factor of 1.5 or maybe more by not signing him now, or they could have saved millions more by losing him entirely, which would have been just the gift for the discerning Las Vegas ticket holder who wanted an excuse not to buy tickets.
 
Essentially, Carr played the system brilliantly, and good for him since under most circumstances the system plays the players. Football players have a short enough career, and a shorter than average quality of life, so the rule of thumb should always be getting everything available and as much guaranteed as possible.
 
In fact, were I Derek Carr, I’d ask for ALL the money to be guaranteed just to set a standard for those who come behind me.
 
But if he’s happy – and let’s wait to see how much of this deal is actually guaranteed and how much is placed on a rug that will be pulled out from beneath him – and the Raiders are happy – and why wouldn’t they be? – then there’s nobody to complain, now, is there?
 
Now the Raiders of old would have screwed this up, and somehow Carr would have done so as well. But this team hasn’t done anything regally boneheaded since . . . well, trying to go to Los Angeles . . . or maybe hiring Dennis Allen . . . or . . . 
 
Oh, never mind. The point is, Carr was done at the right time, at the right number, for the right reasons, and both sides should be delighted.
 
And in nine or twelve or seventeen days when Matthew Stafford gets a deal that makes him a dollar more than Derek Carr . . . well, we’ll let the amateur accountants who think NFL contracts define players sort out that level of idiocy.