OAKLAND -- So let's get this straight.Despite all the subterfuge and cloak and dagger mind games emanating from Hue Jackson this week, the Raiders rookie coach said he knew all along who he would start at quarterback against Kansas City.All that talk about having a massage and then an Irish Coffee (or was it an Irish Coffee and then a massage?) before sitting down to figure it out on Friday night? Not true. Exactly.Because while Jackson knew he would start Kyle Boller, rather than the newly-acquired Carson Palmer, he kept everyone guessing, including, apparently, the two signal callers in question.Jackson did not tell Boller until Saturday he would get the call.Yes, these are professional athletes who should be ready at a moment's notice. But they are also humans, who would probably like to know their role early on so they can set their mind to the task at hand, no?Well, according to Jackson, the quarterbacks should have known their assignments simply based on the week's work load.To quote Jackson himself when asked when exactly he told Boller. Say what?"The uncertainty did not lead to anything," Jackson insisted, the wreckage of the Raiders' 28-0 embarrassment still smoldering in the background."You guys are going to write what you want, (but) trust me when I tell you, there was no uncertainty that led to thisuncertainty at quarterback is not what leads to interceptions or anything like that. When you play bad, that's what leads to that. When you coach bad, that's what leads to that, OK?"OK, but the uncertainty could not have helped. Especially not when the quarterbacks themselves still seemed shaky on the whole timeline thing. There's preparation that has to be taken into consideration, yes?Palmer said the plan was for him to not play; Jackson said he hoped to have Palmer close out the game in the fourth quarter, to "get his feet wet."Jackson said he had to hold Palmer back because he wanted to start; Palmer was not as definitive."I only know like three or four protections," Palmer said. "That makes it difficult. But really, just reps with personnel. Just timing and rhythm."More weirdness, Palmer said Sunday was the first time he had thrown a football while wearing shoulder pads since January."It's not a bye week for me," he added, "that's for sure."Palmer had a 17.3 passer rating after getting picked off three times, including a 59-yard Pick-Six. Boller's was 22.3, after getting picked off three times, including a 58-yard Pick-Six. Not even JaMarcus Russell threw three interceptions in a single half.No, this was not QB Masterpiece Theater. It was more a Theater of the Absurd QB, with Jackson pulling the strings of mad "gamesmanship," as he put it, to keep the Chiefs guessing. Palmer termed it "being deceptive."Kansas City shrugged it off. And laughed it off."We knew that they had a quarterback controversy," said safety Kendrick Lewis, who took Boller's first pass to the house. "And we studied film and studied their routes."According to ESPN, it was the first time in franchise history the Raiders were intercepted six times and did not throw a touchdown pass.Boller, meanwhile, was licking his wounds."I'm just extremely frustrated," he said. "I had an opportunity to go out there. It just didn't go as planned. Definitely not my best outing. I feel bad for my teammates. I feel like I let my teammates down. There's not much to say. The play speaks for itself."As does Jackson's guessing game with not only the media, but with his quarterbacks.
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.”
ALAMEDA – Raiders quarterback Derek Carr signed a five-year contract extension Friday morning that will pay him $25 million in 2017 and $125 million over the life of the deal.
That’s a lot of scratch. Could’ve been more.
Carr received life-changing money. He didn’t want to handcuff the Raiders front office in the process.
“I just wanted to be a Raider,” Carr said Friday in a press conference. “It’s more than just a team to me. It’s family. The way it went down, it was easy. Both sides wanted it to get done, and it was about family members figuring out to get along. We figured out a way to do it so that we have the opportunity to sign other guys who are important to this organization. That was really important to me, not to just take every single dime that we could”
That list is long but it starts with homegrown talents Gabe Jackson and Khalil Mack. Jackson is up next, and could get locked up before the regular season starts. The Raiders have some time on Mack – his contract doesn’t expire until after 2018 – and Amari Cooper should be a keeper on down the road.
“The bottom line is we’re able to continue to move forward with it, keep all the players that we need to keep in the correct timing,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “This affords us to do that. We’re going to start on that ASAP.”
Carr got the deal he wanted. The 26-year old found market value and upped the ante for NFL quarterbacks a smidge while deferring some cash payouts – his big-time bonuses are broken up over two years -- to create windows of financial flexibility to sign other players. Carr’s percentage of the salary cap should decrease over time and won’t become an insurmountable burden to his employers. His deal won’t prevent the Raiders from keeping Jackson, Mack, Amari Cooper in time, or other vital veterans in house.
With Carr locked up, the McKenzie can work deals and the timing of them around his centerpiece.
Carr understands the NFL business and his role in the market, but he wants to maintain a competitive window as best he can and understands other guys will draw huge paychecks in the near future.
He’s scheduled to draw the NFL’s largest sum next season. A record $25 million is headed his way, though that total will decrease a bit in time and will certainly he surpassed by Matthew Stafford and possibly Kirk Cousins in the near future.
“I don’t care if they all do. We got our contract done, that’s all that matters to me,” Carr said. “The other thing that was important to me is that we didn’t worry about what other people were going to do or doing. I just wanted to get mine done and make sure that the team had, again like we talked about, flexibility to make sure my friends stay around.”
Carr was intimately involved in the negotiation process. Both sides said it was easy, wrapped up well before Carr’s training-camp contract deadline. Common ground was found in short shrift once talks warmed up – preliminary talks started months ago -- and a deal was ironed out that produced smiles on both sides once the deal was formally done.
Even after taking a relatively soft-line stance on dollars and the timing of payments – Carr could’ve been difficult all year and eventually forced a franchise tag – he’s still the league’s highest-paid player. His salary will now be compared with his stats. He was a second-round draft steal before. Now he’s a big-money player. In short, expectations will rise.
Carr insists it won’t add pressure to next year’s proceedings.
“You could give me a dollar, you could give me $25 million, it doesn’t matter,” Carr said. “To me, my No. 1 goal is to make sure that I give everything that I have to this organization. There’s no pressure. There’s no we’ll be on the 1-yard line and I won’t give it to Marshawn (Lynch), I’ll throw it. None of that stuff. I don’t care about the stats. That’s not my No. 1 objective. I don’t care if I throw 10 touchdowns next year. If we win every game, that’s all I care about.”