Did the Raiders get greedy on offense?


Did the Raiders get greedy on offense?

OAKLAND -- For three consecutive possessions Sunday, going from the third quarter into the fourth, the Raiders offense found its groove. Finally. And Tampa Bay was on its heels.
Carson Palmer was winning the crowd, if not the game, as Oakland slowly but surely was grinding out long scoring drives.The Raiders went 80 yards in nine plays, taking up 3:04 to score a touchdown.Then they went 80 yards in seven plays, needing 4:03 to get into the end zone.They followed that up with a 65-yard TD drive in 11 plays, which took 3:52.And after a two-point conversion and a defensive stop, which was nearly as miraculous as Juron Criner coming down with Palmer's pass in the end zone for a Sea-of-Hands-esque PAT, the Raiders were down just three points, 38-35, and had the ball on their own 38-yard line. There was 2:42 remaining in regulation and the Raiders had two timeouts.So after Palmer hit six different players with an assortment of dinks and dunks and the occasional "explosive" pass (defined by the Raiders as a pass that gains at least 16 yards) in the previous three series, what did the Raiders do with the game in their grasp?
Some might see it as getting greedy.Palmer went deep to rookie Rod Streater down the left sideline but the pass was incomplete. Then Palmer went at Streater again, the ball arriving between Streater and Denarius Moore -- Palmer said the play was actually a miscommunication between himself and Moore, though the ball was closer to Streater -- and being picked off by safety Ahmad Black and returned 34 yards. Three plays later, Doug Martin plunged in from a yard out and that was essentially the ballgame. Buccaneers 42, Raiders 32.Regardless if the young receivers ran wrong option routes and the veteran quarterback threw the ball where they were supposed to go, why did the Raiders throw deep with seemingly all the time in the world to grind out a game-winning drive?"We had done a good job of being patient and wanted to take some shots when they were in pressure situations where they were leaving us one-on-one," Palmer said after the game. "You can sit back and wish that you had done it differently after a loss, and after a win everything looks right."We had some critical errors; I had some critical errors that we need to clean up. It's Week 8, we need to be firing on all cylinders and especially in critical points in games."
Still, Palmer passed for 414 yards, the fourth-highest single-game total in franchise history, and his 61 pass attempts were the second-most in a game by a Raiders quarterback, a feat all the more impressive given the Raiders only ran the ball 11 times, they lost running back Darren McFadden to an injured ankle in the second quarter and backup running back Mike Goodson in the fourth. In fact, were it not for Palmer's fourth-quarter prowess, Oakland would not have been in any position to make things respectable, let alone have a chance to win.None of it meant much, though, in a loss."We were trying to win the game," said coach Dennis Allen, when asked if the Raiders would have been content to simply move the ball into field-goal position to tie the score and force overtime. "We were definitely trying to win the game and, obviously, we didn't execute good enough and weren't able to do it."We hit a lot of plays down the field and we stuck to the gameplan and stuck to the things that we felt like gave us an opportunity to make some plays. So if the shots down the field are there, we're going to try to take them."On the day, the Raiders had six explosive pass plays, with one each in Oakland's last three scoring drives -- a 26-yard reception by Marcel Reece, a 26-yard catch by Moore and a 20-yard catch by Reece.

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.”