Raiders coach Dennis Allen's day-after-an-exhibition conference call took on the tone of a medical update presser early Saturday evening.The highlights, or lowlights, less than 24 hours after the Raiders' 31-27 defeat in Arizona: Receiverreturner Jacoby Ford's sprained foot may keep him out of action into the regular season and yes, it is the same foot, his left one, he sprained last season that kept him out of the lineup for most of the second half of the season."If you ask me, is there a chance (he could miss regular-season time), yeah, there's a chance," Allen said. "But we've still got to continue to look at it to see what type of time frame we're looking at." Backup quarterback Matt Leinart (cut right index finger) and running back Mike Goodson (shoulder weakness) are going to be O.K., Allen said. Receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who injured a shoulder against the Cardinals, was not considered to have a "serious" injury but will be monitored this week in practice. Allen "is hoping" to have both tight end Brandon Myers (shoulder) and running back Taiwan Jones (hamstring) back in practice this week. Receiver Denarius Moore (hamstring) is also getting "closer," per Allen, but there is no timetable on his return either. Linebacker Aaron Curry (knees) has returned from a week-plus in Los Angeles getting treatment and worked out with a running program for the Raiders coaches Saturday and "looked pretty good so we'll look at him (Sunday) and see where he's at," Allen said, "kind of evaluate him as we go along."The spate of injuries at the skill positions raise the specter of the Raiders looking outside the box, especially with such veterans still unemployed as receivers Plaxico Burress and Chad Johnson and running back Ryan Grant.And as such, Allen was asked if the Raiders needed to look at potentially adding some players now."We're going to look at that," he said, "as far as if we need to add somebody or not."Especially at returner, what with the injured Ford returning both kickoffs and punts."Right now we're looking at Bryan McCann," Allen said. "But that's obviously a position we've got some concern over. We're going to be evaluating the guys we have here but we're also going to be looking at the rosters of the other 31 teams and see if there's somebody that comes available that can help us in that regard."
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.
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.”