David Carr: Downing will give Derek Carr more freedom than Musgrave

David Carr: Downing will give Derek Carr more freedom than Musgrave

Bill Musgrave’s contract was up this offseason. The Raiders let their offensive coordinator’s deal expire, a move that was a surprise for most.

Musgrave led a potent offense ranked sixth in yards and seventh in scoring, but was allowed to walk away. The Raiders promoted quarterbacks coach Todd Downing, who is expected to give Derek Carr more freedom at the line of scrimmage.

That fact was relayed by David Carr, an NFL Network analyst and Derek’s older brother.

“Downing is going to do a fantastic job,” David Carr said, in an interview with 95.7-FM The Game in San Francisco. “Musgrave, for as good as he was – I’ve been around it -- there is old style thinking. Derek has been in such a place, especially now, at this point in his career, it’s time for some more flexibility and to let him just take ownership of this thing. That’s hard for some coordinators. I was with Kevin Gilbride in New York, and it was hard even to let Eli Manning, who is an absolute master at the line of scrimmage, to give him the freedom to do that. I think some guys are like that. Musgrave is that way. He wanted to give Derek freedom but, at the same time, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, I have a certain way of doing things. I think you’ll see more freedom from Derek at the line of scrimmage and flexibility there.”

Derek Carr has a strong bond with Downing, a promising young coach the Raiders blocked from interviewing for promotions outside the organization.

The Raiders want to keep him and their franchise quarterback together in the long term, to let them grow together from a season to the next. According to David Carr, getting rid of Musgrave eliminates the middle man.

“Him and Downing have an incredible relationship,” David Carr said. “They talk every day on the phone, gameplan-wise. He was the in-between guy. Derek would give ideas, Downing would take them to Musgrave, and if they got through they got through. If they didn’t get through, they just didn’t get through. Now you kind of eliminate that gap, it’s going to be good. They’re not going to miss a beat.”

David Carr also said Derek is doing well rehabilitating form surgery to repair a broken fibula. Derek Carr was focused on returning should the Raiders have qualified for the Super Bowl, though his rehab has slowed after a playoff loss at Houston. He is expected to return at some point in the offseason program.

“If you’re going to pick somebody to go through this, I don’t know if there’s a better person to do so,” David Carr said. “He’s an absolute dog. There’s nobody who will deal with it better. … He has always been like that. He never gave up, even with a broken leg and a plate in his foot.”

 

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.”