Davis explains why talks between Raiders, Oakland went south

Davis explains why talks between Raiders, Oakland went south

PHOENIX – Raiders owner Mark Davis has given Oakland and Alameda County officials the silent treatment over the past year.

He has ignored attempts to keep his Raiders in the East Bay, choosing instead to focus on a stadium proposal in Las Vegas. Relocation was a goal achieved on Monday morning, when NFL owners approved a move by a 31-1 vote.

Oakland mayor made several last-second attempts to sway ownership, hoping they would help bring him back to the negotiating table.

Davis never thawed his cold shoulder. He explained why after Las Vegas approval was secure.

While the Raiders and Oakland officials clashed over land use and control of the Coliseum site, a schism occurred roughly a year ago. The Raiders and Chargers were angling to share a stadium in Carson, while the Rams wanted to build a facility in Inglewood. The Raiders were still open an Oakland return at that point, but official’s actions changed his outlook.

“I think it turned during the L.A. (relocation attempt),” Davis said. “Before the vote for Los Angeles, Oakland had an opportunity to come in and make a presentation to the league. They came in with a five-page (submission) that had nothing to do with anything. They claimed that they would wait for us to lose the L.A. vote, and then come back with all the leverage.”

Davis didn’t view that as good-faith negotiations, and still went back to Oakland after losing the L.A. battle to the Rams, and the first option to join them to the Chargers.

“We came back to Oakland and negotiated a one-year lease with two years of options and talked about getting together to discuss a long-term future together,” Davis said. “A week later, I got a call from one of the (Alameda County) supervisors and told me, ‘Mark, the lease you just negotiated and the options are not going to be valid.’

At that point, we ended up signing that lease anyway, but decided we had to start looking elsewhere to find a long-term solution.

He found a willing partner in Las Vegas and Nevada. That state’s legislature approved $750 million in public funds for stadium construction, and will contribute even more to infrastructure improvements.

That’s a sweetheart deal Oakland couldn’t match. The city ultimately presented a plan NFL owners didn’t consider actionable, which wasn’t a deterrent to a positive relocation vote.

Not that it mattered much. Davis committed to Las Vegas, and remained focused on that.

“The commitment made by the legislature and the governor was very strong,” Davis said. “I think my commitment was strong as well, and we worked out a deal.”

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.”