Raiders

Del Rio hopes NFL schedule makers give Raiders 'a fair shake'

Del Rio hopes NFL schedule makers give Raiders 'a fair shake'

The Raiders have a tough slate ahead next season. Their 2017 opponents had a .564 winning percentage last year, with six games against 2016 playoff teams.

The strength of schedule ranks No. 4, only behind other AFC West rivals. They face the AFC East and NFC East, which also creates a difficult road slate for a team on the West Coast.

They travel to the Eastern time zone four times, with two more trips to the Central time zone. The Raiders also have an extra road game, with a home contest against the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots given to Mexico City.

The Raiders must deal with that adversity. Head coach Jack Del Rio hopes NFL schedule makers don’t add more when slates are revealed later this spring.

“I’m anxious to see what the schedule looks like when it comes out,” Del Rio said. “We’re going to the East (several) times this year. It’s going to be a challenge.”

Del Rio has asked for consecutive East Coast games close enough where the Raiders could stay out there and avoid one cross country trip. They were given one in 2016, where the Raiders stayed in Florida while playing Jacksonville and Tampa Bay back-to-back. The Silver and Black won both games.

“We have some things we’ve requested thst would better enable us to withstand what’s coming,” Del Rio said. “Part of that is a recognition of us going to Mexico. Regardless of how you paint it, it’s a home game for us. From a competitive advantage standpoint, we aren’t gaining one. We’re losing one.

“If you continue to go, that’s one thing. If you continue to go and give up home games and playing nine on the road, that’s a competitive disadvantage. Hopefully, in recognition of that, hopefully we don’t have other things like a Thursday night game two time zones away.”

The Raiders were the only team asked to do that last year. They traveled to Kansas City for a Thursday game in Week 14 without a bye before it, and laid an egg in a crucial contest.

“We want to make sure we’re getting a fair shake,” Del Rio said. “Hopefully we will.”

Source: Raiders complete draft class, agree to terms with first-round pick

Source: Raiders complete draft class, agree to terms with first-round pick

Update (8:39 p.m.): The Raiders announced they have officially signed first-round draft pick Gareon Conley.

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NAPA – The Raiders first full squad practice starts Saturday morning. Gareon Conley will be available to participate. The first-round cornerback agreed on terms of his rookie contract on Friday afternoon, a league source confirmed to , allowing him to report without missing anything major.

Conley is in the Bay Area and expected to sign the contract Friday night at the Napa Valley Marriott.

According to this years rookie wage scale, as published by overthecap.com, the No. 24 overall pick is slotted to make $10.467 million over the life of a four-year contract. The Raiders also hold a fifth-year option to extend the deal. Conley’s contract includes a $5.752 million signing bonus and a $1.9 million base salary in 2017.

Conley missed four days of pre-camp instruction designed for rookies, quarterbacks and select veterans, but shouldn’t be considered a setback. Conley should be able to hit the ground running when he takes the field.

That’s a good thing considering they’ll need him to make an instant impact as a slot cornerback at least.

Conley’s situation could have been complicated by an ongoing investigation into a sexual assault allegation stemming from an April 9 incident in Cleveland. Conley has staunchly maintained his innocence in regard to the allegation, and has not been arrested or charged with a crime. The Raiders remain confident in their selection and the pre-draft research that went into it. It's uncertain at this time whether or how much Conley's legal situation played into contract talks. 

CBS Sports was first to report the news of Conley and the Raiders agreeing to terms.

Report: Unhappy with contract, Penn not reporting to training camp

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USATSI

Report: Unhappy with contract, Penn not reporting to training camp

Donald Penn is set to earn over $7 million this season in the second of a two-year, $11.9 million deal with Oakland. But the 34-year-old veteran wants more.

Penn, who has started all 16 games in each of the last nine NFL seasons, is not reporting to training camp because he is unhappy with his contract situation, according to Ian Rapoport. 

Penn reportedly wants to be paid like a Top 10 left tackle. He played like one last year. He allowed just 28 quarterback pressures in 676 pass-blocking snaps and gave up just one sack, though it was the takedown where Derek Carr broke his fibula. 

Penn stands 6-foot-5, weighs 305 pounds, and -- at left tackle -- occupies a crucial position of the offensive line that protects prized quarterback Derek Carr.

The Raiders don't have another solid option at left tackle, unless they disrupt the line and move left guard Kelechi Osemele over.

Penn has seen the Raiders invest heavily in offensive linemen since he signed on, with massive contract given to Osemele and Rodney Hudson in recent seasons. The Raiders just gave right guard Gabe Jackson a five-year, $56 million contract extension. 

The Raiders should have $14.825 million in salary cap space remaining this season after the release of Austin Howard and Taiwan Jones.